Monday, August 4, 2008

Gas, On The Other Hand, Is A Bargain .....

Look .....

To each his (or her) own.

But there's a line. Seriously. And I think it was crossed on a little shopping outing over the weekend.

I don't remember when it was ... a few years ago, I think ... my wife and I were walking through Nordstrom on our way back from some mission just accomplished in the mall.

Casually, we strolled the main aisle through the middle of said Nordstrom and we had to veer either left of right. There were a couple mannequins in our path. As we began to walk around them, I went up to one mannequin nattily dressed in some sort of capris and top ensemble. It just so happened both the price tags were dangling near each other and I reached out to take a gander. What I saw shocked the bejeebers out of me:

The price on the capris pants was $550.00. I shit you not. The cost of the top? $800.00.

"Holy Crap!" I exclaimed out loud to my wife:

This outfit costs $1,300.00 ... !!!"

People turned and stared. My wife - never so embarrassed in all her life, she would later confess - grabbed me by the hand and with as much dignity as she could muster under the circumstances led me out of the store at a jaunty clip.

Fast forward to yesterday. Another errand, another excursion to the mall. And yes ... much to my wife's chagrin, another stroll through Nordstrom, my personal "favorite place to shop".

You see, the wife was out of perfume. And it just so happened she had a handful of Nordstom gift cards to exchange. So it was into the store we went ... but not before being admonished:

"You are not to say two words when we go in here, do you understand?" she chided.

"I can say anything else, though, right?" I asked. "Just not 'two' and 'words'. Got it."

I was given a look that froze the words coming out my mouth right there in midair. I wisely lowered my eyes in subjugation and opened the door for her.

It was a short stroll to the perfume counters. Her brand was quickly located, a gift box was acquired and a free gift pouch with unknown goodies was given to her for her efforts.

Meanwhile, I took time to peruse the men's colognes. I found one I thought rather unique and gave the sample bottle a squirt. "Hey!" I was yelled at. It was the wife, coming my way. "What are you doing?!?" "Just passing the time," I confessed.

Into the mall we went ... without an incident to be told of.

Thus far.

But on the way back an hour later, we needed again to pass through Nordstrom. And this time, even the wife was game for a looksy at a few things being hawked. (Though, I don't know if you can really call salespeople selling the wares of Nordstrom "hawking". Not at some of the prices I saw.)

We passed a shoe department. A pair of glisteny high heels beckoned me. I went over and nonchalantly lifted one. "How much? Care to take a guess?" I asked the wife.

"You guess," she replied, looking at me askew.

"Hhhmmmmmm ...... it is Nordstrom. I'll wager 175 bucks."

I wasn't far off. The pair weighed in at $160.00. I was only slightly aghast. I reasoned that must be a bargain.

Then, I saw some goofy looking plaid shoes. They were Bum Berry's or Huckleberry's or somesuch ... I don't know. These were probably the ugliest shoes I had ever seen ... ever. They were those dopey looking ones that kind of look like a sneaker, but they're a slip on shoe, without the heal. They were plaid, a brown and white combo, and they looked like a really bad picnic table cloth that didn't have anywhere else to call home so someone decided it would make a good shoe design.

We're talkin' hideous: Damn. Fugly. Shoes.

I hefted one and flipped it over to see the price; that's when my eyes about boinged out their sockets:

$275.00 for a pair of shoes that were missing the heal. Seriously.

I looked at my wife who was looking at me comically. "You ain't seen nothing yet," was her only comment with a wry smile.

Next we perused the sunglasses. She tried on a pair or two and asked if I liked any of them.

"Those ones look really good on you," I admitted at an oversize pair she donned. The $175.00 price tag, however, left me breathless.

"Let's get out of here," I told her and grabbed her hand.

"It could be a lot worse ... I could shop here all the time," I was told. "The only reason I come here is to get perfume or cash in gift cards."

I was relieved to here that.

On the way out, I spied a really spiffy looking Hawaiian shirt adorned with pineapples. It was earthy and comfortable-looking. And it was my last hurrah of the outing, so I took the bait. (I have a fondness for summer Hawaiian shirts - "pineapple shirts", I call them. I need a new pineapple shirt for summer every year and usually get one for Christmas. And, yes, they usually have a pineapple on them.)

$275.00. The shirt retailed at $275.00. My wife scooped my jaw off the ground and led me out of the store.

As we exited, I exclaimed: "That's insane. Completely, totally insane. And people actually pay for that stuff. Matter'n fact, it's beyond insane. It's obscene," I gushed.

We entered the car and I continued: "Look - I understand if you're some highfalutin', high-end personal shopper to the stars. Or if you're employed by someone who requires you be dressed to the nines ... but those prices are ridiculous. I mean ... you can't even walk out of there with a complete outfit for under a grand! Don't the people that shop there know we're supposedly in the midst of a recession ... ?!?"

The wife just shook her head at me silently. I turned on the radio.

Pink Floyd's "Money" was playing .....

.............................................. Ruprecht ( STOP )

P.S. Anyone that can identify the mall in the picture above wins a prize - specifically, the movie it was featured in .....


  1. I think you haven't seen anything yet. Why don't you try Saks Fifth Avenue if you think Nordstrom is bad? Oh, and $275 for shoes isn't even high end! LMAO!

    The mall is in Monroeville, PA. Right? Though I've never been there.

  2. I'm a mega bargain shopper. I'm not a high-end, high-falutin' chica. I grew up in a K-Mart layaway household and I've never let go of that.
    Sure, I love the feel of expensive fabrics. The haute couture look of the spifficated shoes I see in Vogue, but if I can't afford much more than Ramen noodles, I am not going into credit card debt for shoes that'll squeeze my size 11s to death.

    ps. I have no credit cards

  3. "I shit you not" is my favorite phrase .. ever!

  4. All I cacn say is that if $275 for a pair of shoes shocks you, you've obviously never seen Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahniks. Not that I'd ever wear either, I'm a converse and docs sorta girl, but I do live in Miami and see a lot of ridiculously high priced crap.

  5. Was it George Romero's Dawn of the Dead?

    And, if it was (because it was), what is my surprise?

    Please let it be a Nordstrom's gift card!!!!!!!!!!

    Squeeeeeeeeeee! Okay, I'll stop. Believe it or not, I don't care for Nordstrom, but I'd beat someone down for a bookstore gift card.

  6. this bit speaks to me....

    I was given a look that froze the words coming out my mouth right there in midair. I wisely lowered my eyes in subjugation and opened the door for her.

    sometimes being the clown goes un(der) appreciated.