We are off to the mall in Boca. An adventure indeed. A luxury shopping destination with over 200 stores and 18 dining establishments. I have only been shopping here once, Rich has never been. They offer valet parking, if you are so inclined. We pass on this option. The Town Center mall is a symbol of all things good and bad in America.
The reason for this trip to the mall is a family wedding we are attending in July. Neither one of us has anything to wear to this shindig. The one and only suit Rich ever purchased was for our wedding twenty two years ago. He called it his “fine Italian suit.” He bought it at Filene’s basement. The original Filene’s basement in Boston. It was a black wool suit and it really was Italian and it really was fine. Filene’s used the automatic price markdown system. The starting price was marked with the date it first hit the floor. Then the longer it stayed on the rack, the lower the price would go, reduced 25%, 50%, 75% and if not sold, given to charity. My husband is extremely frugal. He was waiting for the 75% reduction and I wouldn’t be surprised if he waited to follow the suit out the door and onto a truck headed to Goodwill. Like many basement shoppers, he hid the suit in a different department, in this case women’s dresses, and hoped it would still be there when it reached the desired price. It was and he looked great on our wedding day. But the suit is wool, the wedding we are attending is in July, and let’s not mention the passage of time.
He wants a Miami Vice, Don Johnson look. I would love a Marilyn Monroe look but am shopping for anything that makes me look thinner. This is not an easy task. We split up and agree to meet in an hour at the top of Macy’s second floor escalator. We rarely shop together. Rich rarely shops at all, which explains a lot about his wardrobe.
I try on over a dozen dresses. Why do they have such bright lights in dressing rooms? They would sell a lot more clothes if they had low lighting. Candlelight would work magic. I notice it’s time to color my hair. I obsess over the grey streaks. Why is my face so red and ruddy? I’ve been slathered with sunscreen since I moved to Florida. All this walking has been improving my legs but what is it with this baby belly? Will it ever go away? Time to add sit ups to the daily routine. I hate sit ups.
Maybe I should just wear that old pink dress I bought at Talbot’s six years ago and buy a new pair of shoes and earrings. I love shopping for shoes and earrings. I don’t have to take my clothes off. Oh right, I wore that pink dress to my nephew’s wedding and sat on something that made green spots all over the back. The dry cleaner was unable to get the spots out. Damn. Back out on the floor for a dozen more dresses.
I finally find two I like and they actually camouflage my belly. I remember something the guy on Say Yes to the Dress said about ruching. The beige dress has some ruching and looks the best but I’m wondering if the color is too boring. I like the aqua one but am not ready to say yes to the dress. I take both dresses down the escalator to the men’s suit department.
I arrive to find Rich being helped by a posse of guys who work for the store. Three men are running around, finding him ties and dress shirts to go with the Michael Kors tan linen suit he found, marked down 75%, his magic price point. Why didn’t I have a posse helping me? I start feeling frumpy and neglected but jump right in with the tie and shirt advice. He wants a burgundy colored shirt. One of the salesmen, a handsome thirty year old from Brazil with a sexy accent, looks at me and we both shake our heads. “Too Michael Corleone,” I say. “What happened to Don Johnson?” I want him to wear one of those Cubavera shirts I’ve been studying lately because I love the Cubavera models. Very Miami Vice.
Do you see what I’m talking about?
Rich is stressing over the length of the jacket. He has very long arms. “Do you think the sleeves are too short?” An older Jewish couple pass by, the husband complaining to his wife that she never likes anything. “That suit looked good on me.”
“If you want to look like a homeless person, yeah it looked good on you.”
My husband flexes his arms in an Arnold Schwarzenegger kind of way and asks, “Does this seem too tight?” The little Jewish woman jumps right into the conversation. “What? Too tight? What are you gonna do in it, move furniture?” I laugh, she waves her hand and says, “Men. I’m done for the day. I need a drink.”
“Where are you going? I’m right behind you,” I reply. It’s all too much pressure for Rich. Besides, he’s appalled at the fifty dollar price tag on the shirts. He decides he will get the shirt and tie at Marshalls.
I show him my two dresses. “I hate that blue/green color,” he says, then adds, “Are you sure you want to go sleeveless?”
“Don’t talk,” I reply. “Do you want to see them on?” We go back up the escalator. He likes the beige one. He actually smiles and says I look great. Shopping done. We’ll deal with the shirt and tie next week.
We head to the beach, stopping at a drive through liquor store. First valet parking at the mall, now drive through beer. They do not have these things in New Hampshire. Rich somehow drives past the window and can’t circle back around. It’s an in and out situation. He parks the car as a woman jumps out the door. “Can I can help you?”
“I want to buy some beer.” he answers.
“Well, I suppose you can come inside.” She seems confused. Apparently no one ever comes inside. I get out too and join them inside. There is a cage full of parakeets. I take a picture and send it to my brother.
The beer selection is weak. Rich settles on a six pack of Bud. It was originally a twelve pack but the box was split in half and the cans are now held in place with duct tape. It costs eight dollars. I hear him muttering “eight dollars?” under his breath. The price of not having to get out of your car. But we did get out of the car. He gets some ice, fills the cooler, and we continue on to the beach. I take a walk.
Later in the evening, I bake banana bread and Rich watches the U.S. Open. The girls call to talk to their Dad. We make a special dinner. Chicken stuffed with prosciutto. Happy Father’s Day.
I am still here writing and listening to music. This one’s for the guys of Cubavera; “I saw a werewolf drinkin’ a pina colada at Trader Vic’s And his hair was perfect”. I think my husband’s going to need a tailor. His suit needs hemming. Anyone know a good one in Boynton Beach? “I’d like to meet his tailor.”