11am, Wednesday, and Day 2 of The Great Shopping Expedition is set to begin!
First, however, is something I maybe should have thought of Tuesday, but didn't...
Removing my hat, bowing my head, and offering up a humble prayer to the Gods of Shopping, those mysterious Lords, and Ladies, on High who, some swear, can make or break ones efforts at making even the most humble, and simple, of purchases.
I mean, one can never be too sure of the truth of these things, afterall, so why take chances? ;-D
Upon entering Kohls I head deep into its bowels until I find the Mens Clothing section, and then head for the 40%-50% Off Dress Slacks.
There they were, rack, upon rack, of black, navy, gray, brown, teak, sandy, and tan, all calmly, cooly giving me a look that boldly dared me to "Go ahead, make my day! Come on! Try me on for size, I dare ya!"
For the next 90 minutes I tried on every 38x32 pair I could find, from several brand names I've never heard of, marching resolutely back, and forth, from the racks to the fitting room where, in the full-length mirror, my Mirror-Universe Self silently smiled mockingly out at me as I tried on each pair.
I just KNEW those silent rows of pants, out on the sales floor, were having a very good laugh among themselves, at my expense, each time I disappeared, the discarded pants regaling their comrades with the story of each of my pathetic efforts to feel all comfy, and at easy, with them on my overweight (I'm a 194lber who should weigh closer to 170, and wear 36's , not 38's!).
As the son of Sylvestor the Cat was fond of saying..."Oh, the shame of it!" ;-D
As it became more, and more apparent that I might be forced to accept a 40 (I tried one on just to further torture myself!) I found myself with two 38's in my Black Kohls Shopping Bag, and 2 pair draped over my right arm, wandering the aisles in a desperate search for even the barest hint that my salvation was at hand.
For some reason I found myself wandering further away from the racks I'd been exploring...
I know I was probably just imagining it, but I could have sworn I heard a whispered "Pssttt! Hey, over here! Come over, and look US over, Big Boy!"
Suddenly I found myself standing in front of several racks of "Croft and Barrow Microfiber, 100% Polyester, slacks, with pleated fronts."
My desperate eyes passed over the pleasing sales price, and locked on two of the lovliest words ever to be written in the English Language...EXPANDABLE WAIST.
Could it be? Was this real? Just let me feel it, and see if it really stretches, before I even dare to go back to the fitting room...
Oh, My God, YES! It stretched, I'm SURE of it! ;-D
I eagerly pawed through the racks until until I found a midnght black, dark blue ink, taupe (I didn't have a clue what that meant, only caring that, as long as it fit, I didn't give a s***!), and a teak (Some sort of cousin to brown, and a wool/poly mix.), of a slightly higher price, and slowly made my way back to the fitting room, trying not to betray my growing excitement to those other pants, two of whose compatriots had been draped on my arm, but were now stuffed, in a very undignified heap, on top of the other two in the Kohls Bag. ;-D
Once more in the privacy of a fitting room stall I tried on the first pair, then the second, third, and 4th, each time my comfort level growing as I stared triumphantly at my self-image in the mirror.
My mirrored self no longer stared at me mockingly, but grudgingly took in the fact that the stretchable band made the pants feel nice, and comfy, around my waist.
I proceeded to very nicely, gently, fold each pair of my new found friends, then dumped out the Kohls Bag, onto the bench, the unwanted pants replaced by those who would go home with me.
I returned to the sales floor, dumping the unwanted pants on the return rack, and boldly, triumphantly, walked past the rows of those who had been my tormentors, and went in search of a belt. ;-D
The belt search took only 10 minutes, and after another 20 min., looking over shirts, and not finding any to my liking, I headed for the cash register.
While in line, the lady behind me offered me an extra 10% Off coupon that she didn't need, and I gratefully accepted her very kind gesture, telling her thanks for her "Good Deed of the Day".
I gave her my card, inviting her to check out my shopping spree stories for a good laugh. ;-D
At 1pm I headed to the bus stop, and by 245pm I was at Stein Mart, in Huntington Beach.
After 15min. of wandering around the store, looking for solid colored, short-sleeved shirts, I gave up, and headed over to Southcoast Plaza to return the purchase I made there the day before.
By 430pm I found myself outside the Cost Plus World Market, across from the Plaza and, on a whim, decided to go in, and take a quick look around.
Maybe I was meant to go in because I ended up buying something, more than appropriate, to help me celebrate not only the success that this day was turning into, but a few more successful days that I hope to see take place as the rest of the month plays out. ;-D
During an hour of exploring the shirt offerings, for 16's, and medium shirts to try on, I almost despaired of finding short-sleeved ones.
It took a while, but I found a selection of dress shirts and, picking out 4 (A Blue Limoges, and Lacrosse Green, Trekker Crosshatch Shirt of 100% cotton, and Blue, and Green, Cotton Polyester, Stafford Essentials.) headed for the fitting room.
Unlike the pants, I was reasonably confident of the fit of the shirts, but still asked a sales lady, then another man in the fitting room, for their opinions of the fits.
My own opinions thus confirmed I headed to the cash register, then triumphantly went for dinner, at a nearby Carl's Jr, finally arriving home by 830pm.
I was quite proud of myself, after this most eventful day, and capped it off by going online to buy a better version of what I had returned a few hours earlier (Don't worry, all will eventually be revealed!).
In all I had spent $233 dollars, on clothes, and saved $202! Momma , may she rest in piece, would be proud, as will my sisters, when they read this, no doubt green with envy, too. ;-D
Nikita helped me sort out the clothes for hanging in the closet...
but declined to join me in a celebratory beer, saying that "somebody has to remain sober around here!" ;-D