Friday, July 07, 2006

An unsatisfying shopping trip.

An upcoming voyage often sends me on a treasure hunt for hard-to-find items. Since I'm leaving for Paris (tomorrow!) I've recently fumed through a few of these inefficient jaunts. For instance, on a recent trip to the mall I was looking for three things.

1. Real walking sandals.

In the 1970s I had cloth walking sandals from Woolworths; they were sandals I could walk in for miles and miles and miles, month after month. I can't show you a picture because they fell to pieces years ago. I should have had the tattered remains bronzed.

Walking sandals are hard to come by these days. Is it because people don't walk any more? What I found instead was rack after rack of decorative-only footwear as pictured here.

On the day in question, I hit about eight stores without finding a satisfactory model.

Later , though, I found a good Isotoner walking sandal. I bought three pairs. I had to go to two different towns to do it, though, and you're out of luck if you want some, because they're discontinued.

2. Bras which do not stand up all by themselves and bulge in your face.

The current standard bra is more of a breastplate. It contains about half an inch of stiff insulation formed into what is considered to be a correct shape, engineered to jack your own original equipment up to jut perkily out of your shirt. Modern-day bras thrust themselves upon the eye so aggressively it's unpleasant to be around a rack of them.

In my formative years (so to speak) we weren't wearing bras at all and I've never gotten used to them. But lately there seems to be a complete disconnect between the actual body and the bra silhouette.

On the day in question: no luck. I subsequently found a reasonable model on

3. Shirts free of pictures, decorations, and slogans.

Have you noticed all the racks of shirts on clearance? Most of them sport strange sayings, logos, advertisements for various products, portraits of unicorns, sprays of rhinestones ... you know what? If they didn't have all that writing on them, they probably would have sold at full price.

Yes, I know some people must be buying them. Why, just the other day when I spent a fruitless hour at the Verizon wireless store, a zaftig girl behind the counter was wearing a skin-tight shirt that said: "Tell your boyfriend to stop staring."

Many of us, though, prefer to go slogan-free; we do not need to adorn ourselves with lame cartoons dreamed up by marketing managers. I don't need my clothing to speak for me.

Nor do I need any material objects to speak for themselves. For instance, it isn't necessary that a coffee mug be printed with the word "coffee." What if one wanted to put milk in that mug? Are the marketing managers trying to force you go go out shopping for a mug that says "milk"?

On the day in question: no luck. I later went to Goodwill and found blessedly mute shirts there.

At the end of all that futile tramping around I was in a foul mood. However, on a sudden last minute impulse I ducked into Spencer's and came out with something that's been cheering me up ever since: a lava lamp. Good as ever.

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At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Cass said...

See, the shirts and the bras go together. You gotta have the correct boob-wall so folks can read your shirt. Throwing yourwholebodyoutofkilter with ridiculous shoes also adds to the readability. It's all a conspiracy.:)

Cass of the plain shirt and normal bra, who walks in her shoes

At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Starlight said...

I like your blog. This make me feel alive. Live is very dull to me recently. Hope I can do the same as u

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You had to mention Goodwill. Now EVERYONE will shop there !

Dang !

At 12:37 PM, Blogger MLight said...

The only thing that beats bra shopping by yourself is bra shopping with kids. The last time I did this (about two years ago), I had my 12 yo daughter and 5 yo son along. When I came out of the changing room, they were having a great time making comments about the bras!

I hope you have a wonderful time in Paris!

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to wear a pair of black cloth sandals from Woolworth. They were very cool. They came in white and floral too. I wish I could find them. Also an authentic espadrilles from Casa Moneo in Manhattan were really nice.


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