We be shoppin’

30Nov10

Halfway through our shopping trip to Macy’s on Black Friday, Lisa turned to me and said, “You are going to put this in your blog, aren’t you?”

For the entire seven hours, I was filing away whimsical nuggets to share with ya’ll later.

We didn’t do the “line up at Macy’s at midnight for the 4 a.m. opening.” No. We did the, “sleep in til noon, putz around the apartment for two hours and show up at the stores by 3 p.m.”

I like our method much better.

I tried to be on my best behavior. And when I say best behavior, I mean show the patience of the Dalai Llama.

Lisa and I have two very distinct methods of shopping. I describe my style as utilitarian. I know exactly what I want. I know exactly what store I need to go to. I can be in and out in five minutes, give or take a minute depending on how long the line is at the check out counter.

Lisa is a shopping artist. Genius, really.

She can dissect every line, every curvature, every hem, every hue, every imperfection on every shoe in every store. Genius takes time. Lots and lots of time.

Unfortunately I have time.

Granted, I should have seen this coming. I have been shopping with Lisa before. There is no such thing as “making a quick trip to Macy’s.”

I should have been tipped off when Lisa said she needed me to help carry bags. She has never made this request so blatantly. It is usually just implied.

Our first stop was at City Sports. Lisa is looking for snow boots, Uggs to be precise. Our visit to City Sports only took five minutes. I got prematurely excited. I didn’t realize this was just a reconnaissance mission.

We headed to Macy’s, me – exuberant. The weather was nice, we were spending a day together strolling through downtown Philadelphia, and the shopping had yet to turn to excruciating.

Then it happened. Lisa said, “Oh wait, I want to stop by Aldo’s.”

Aldo’s is Lisa’s favorite shoe store. I needn’t say more, but I will.

If you asked me, “Nick, how do you want to spend your Friday?” Sitting in Aldo’s for two hours watching Lisa try on every single boot and slip-on ranks somewhere between Hollywood Tans and Justin Bieber concert.

Under normal circumstances, I can put up with this. I am, after all, deeply in love with this girl, and Lord knows she tolerates football Saturdays with only a few exasperated sighs.

So I did my best at Aldo’s. The problem was this was a particularly small store, with skinny aisles. Big guys in winter jackets do not do well in this environment, especially when there is a lack of chairs.

Finally Lisa said, “Do you want to go somewhere? You are making me feel hurried.”

Apparently I was getting my point across. So I wandered out into the mall and Chick-fil-a came to my rescue. I highly recommend it, should you have the chance. But of course, just as I took my first bite into that juicy chicken sandwich delight, I received a text from Lisa, “I need your help making a choice.”

It never fails. I am standing there by her side for an hour, and she doesn’t need me. But the second my time is consumed by something in my interest, such as fantasy football or pizza, my services are needed.

Anyway, refreshed by Chick-fil-a and Dr. Pepper, the show was on. I helped Lisa choose between a pair of boots (not snow boots, mind you, that was still to come). And we were on our way to Macy’s.

By 5 p.m., Macy’s was a third world trash heap meets teenager’s bedroom. The clothing departments were torn asunder, jeans strewn on the floor, jackets discarded on the wrong rack.

Lisa and I split up to do our own shopping. There were indeed some great sales. I bought two pair of slacks and two dress shirts for $80, plus an electric griddle for $20 and a crock pot for $25. It was a treasure haul.

My favorite part about our trip to Macy’s was they had this indoor Christmas lights show, with giant three-story organ pipes. Halfway through the show, the power supply went out. I was standing idle on the third floor while Lisa was shopping for panty hose. I watched the store manager and electrician try to figure out how to turn the power back on. I don’t know if I had a testosterone power surge of my own, but I had this urge to go over and help them. I truly felt like I could figure out the problem, even though there were millions of cables strung about and the fact I couldn’t rewire a coat hanger. 

By the time we left the store, half of the shopping bags I was carrying were mine. We went into the war zone that was Macy’s, and came out survivors.

In the end, Lisa decided against the Uggs. During our shopping excursion, she saw too many junior high girls wearing the exact same boots, and they lost their appeal.

In a related story, we returned to City Sports on Sunday to shop for sports bras. The hardest part for me was not looking like a pederast while Lisa was in the dressing room trying on bras.

I recommended the next time she needs to go shopping, we do it online.

For my Thanksgiving blog, check out the link here.

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