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2003-04-21 - 11:52 a.m.

Weekend Shopping

We had a quiet weekend. No Easter for us. We were both raised Methodist, but are pretty much non-practicing. My grandma sent us an Easter card (and a check for $25 which we promptly used to go out to dinner) and my mom said she meant to send cards but got distracted by my dad's retina detaching and him going in for emergency surgery (I can't figure out why I haven't mentioned this before or maybe I have and I just don't remember).

Everything looks OK with my dad's eye now, although it's been almost two weeks since the surgery and he's still having some pain and fatigue and can't stay at work for an entire day in front of the computer.


We spent Saturday shopping. I noticed on Friday afternoon that The Scientist's favorite jeans had an unmendable (but fortunately not yet embarrassingly revealing) hole in the crotch. Thus, much to his dismay, they had to be disposed of and new ones bought. This started a many-hour trek from store to store.

The first two stores we tried (TJ Maxx and Marshall's) had nothing. A few pairs of jeans in each size and most of them were the wide-legged, low-riding, boxer-shorts-showing, carpenter style which The Scientist hates and would never wear. He holds out hope that someday the 1980s tight pegged-leg look will come back in style. Until that day, he compromises with innocuous straight-legged Every Jeans.

The Scientist is not a stereotypical would-wear-anything-that-comes-to-hand type of guy. He knows what he wants and won't settle for less. In general what he wants is as follows:

  • No visible labels.
  • Cheap. Low price, but not low quality.
  • Conforming to his ideal of "stylish," an ideal which I am slowly learning to interpret, but still sometimes surprises me.
  • A perfectly functioning zipper (it's a constant complaint - evidently the quality of clothing zippers in the modern world is rapidly declining).

I have had some successes picking things out for him. He really likes the blue shirt I brought home from Banana Republic. He liked another shirt we found at Marshall's (a blue plaid one I had almost bought him a few weeks before), but ended up going with the same shirt in a different color and pattern. He bought two pairs of sunglasses at Marshall's (I got one) for our trip to the beach. But still, no jeans in sight.

We decided to upgrade and head to Marshall Field's, but stopped for lunch first at Atlanta Bread. Sustenance taken care of, we hit the mall. MF's was unsuccessful. The pair I liked while holding them up in the aisle weren't right once they were on. The Scientist was drawn to a light blue pair, but I refused. The pair we both liked was the wrong size (too long) and besides that cost $79. The Scientist was morally opposed to $79 jeans and knowing how he would treat them (wearing the in the lab, walking to and from work, etc. - they're jeans, not suit pants) I wasn't thrilled either. But I thought they were sexy and he liked them well enough, so at least we were on the right track. In the process of trying on jeans, he found a $17 pair of clearance pants (army green like cargos but without the extra pockets) and a blue shirt (hmmm, there's a theme there).

After MF we detoured to get three new watch batteries for me and a new watch band and then to the New Balance store (only because it was near the restrooms and drinking fountain - I had to pee and he was thirsty) where I finally convinced The Scientist to try on some shoes. I've been a NB fan forever, but he remained unconvinced. However, 60% off the regular retail price began to convert him and he found a pair he liked. They're one of the hiking/running hybrids and he's been wearing them nonstop since he got them. He likes them, he really likes them!

The afternoon marched on and while we had certainly bought things (current tally for him, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of sunglasses, a pair of pants, and a pair of shoes; current tally for me, 1 pair of sunglasses, 3 watch batteries, 1 watch band), we had not accomplished our main mission, which was to buy him a new pair of jeans. So, off to another mall. By this time it was pouring rain and we ran to our car, me tottering precariously on platform thong sandals that got treacherously slippery when wet. Lacking unstable shoes, The Scientist got to the car before me, triggered the keyless entry, and hopped into the driver's seat. I arrived a few seconds later only to find my door firmly locked. Busy putting his bags into the back seat, The Scientist didn't notice until I pounded on the window. Wet, but not demoralized, we pressed on, cheered by the discovery of the Emergency Umbrella I keep in the car.

The second mall almost defeated us. As the rain continued to pour down, all parking spaces seemed to disappear. There was literally none to be found, not even a far-away one. The Scientist was ready to give up, but I pushed him to keep going. Finally, we found a miracle spot, relatively close to the door. We had an epiphany to try for jeans at JC Penney and were rewarded. Miles of jeans, shelf after shelf of Levi's. Finally, success! He found a pair he liked, they fit, looked good on, and were rapidly purchased. $25, baby.

One might think that our shopping would now be over, but one would be wrong. I had my eye on a black-and-white skirt at The Gap, but was sidetracked by Ann Taylor. I found a black-and-white skirt I liked at AT and The Scientist found a black-and-brown one that was also pretty, fit me well, and was on clearance. We still had to go to The Gap, just to make sure I didn't like their skirt better, but AT won out in the end. The Gap did produce a pair of black capris for me and a bucket hat (for the beach) and lightweight jacket (perfect for Midwestern spring and fall) for The Scientist, however. One might have already guessed that both of The Scientist's items were on clearance. As we left the mall, The Scientist told me that he had always thought The Gap was expensive and therefore he didn't shop there but now that he knew they had good sales he might go back.


I slept in on Sunday while The Scientist went out for coffee and then went to work to practice the presentation he has to give on Thursday. We did some laundry, watched some TV, and while I packed for my business trip, The Scientist napped. It became clear that he was coming down with something and I felt bad about leaving (I had to drive to my office location, about 3 hours away for meetings on Monday and Tuesday - actually I had to go about 4 hours to where AR lives since I was staying with her) but I had to leave.

My drive was fairly easy, although it was interrupted by Easter- and construction-related traffic in one section and intermittent rain showers throughout. I listened to Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes (the audiobook version narrated by the author in her delicious Irish accent) on the iPod and ate a Snicker's bar for dinner.

AR was already in her PJs when I arrived, so we watched Da Ali G Show (her new favorite TV show) and went to bed. I talked to The Scientist briefly and he was definitely sick with a cold, which had gotten worse in the hours since I left. I felt sorry for him, but glad to get a good night's sleep before my long week.

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