John and I woke up feeling rather adventurous today. We decided to spend the day in the city. The pups came along– they’re always up for a car ride, even if they can’t keep their heads out on the freeway. We checked out another new dog park– Douglass Park. A former softball field, Douglass Park is now all dog, with the mud and puddles to prove it. Still, John and I enjoyed the pitstop. We took in some awesome views of the city: the park is situated atop a huge hill (going up the 30-degree incline, I worried that maybe I should have had the mechanic repair the anti-lock braking system…). Remy and Martin never spend much time playing with other dogs; they just run off on their own. The park was fenced, but the perimeter was super hilly– elevation difference reminded me a lot of a vortex– high along the edges but low and deep in the center. And you should have seen Remy. She climbed and climbed– ran all along the fence, with Martin chasing her; they were like dogs straight out of Homeward Bound or something, so boisterous. John and I just spun around watching them from below. I met a lady there, Lynn, who was there with her border collie. That dog used to work on a ranch: she knew all kinds of commands– different whistles, hand signals, voice orders. Ridiculously smart.
After we got our dodos wiped out, we figured then was as good a time as any to go shopping. I mean, we were already downtown. Plus, after watching the What Not to Wear marathon yesterday, we were feeling especially inspired. Now I’m aware of all the criticisms about Banana Republic–gentrified, boring, cookie-cutter. Well, sorry to disappoint but we got sucked in. Cut us some slack though, for people as un-stylish as we, we’re desperate. We don’t have it in us to “create” looks. We have to go with ready-made. Kind of like my cooking– I need shit to be oven-ready. No prep, no mixing, no seasoning. I just pop the crap in the oven and voila, dinner is done. So yes, extend that philosophy to how I dress. Besides, you already know I’m a cheap bastard… when I try to “mix and match,” I’m telling you (and my friends will tell you), it’s a mess. To be honest, I think I have made some progress over the last year, but somehow every time I watch WNTW, I realize again that I still need serious help. I need to be on that show. Hello friends, are you listening? Nominate me!! $5k to blow on clothes! Who in her right mind would ever turn Stacy and Clinton down? Duh!
Anyway, back to BR. They had some decent promos (we got sucked into their damn card, ok?) and frankly, we’re just relieved to find something suitable for our demographic. Seriously. These days when I go into department store juniors sections, it’s just all. wrong. Then I try misses and that shit is so fuddy-duddy even by my standards. At least now we’re armed with more basics. Not terribly daring but thankfully passable and professional, even if it’s a tad conservative. Welcome to yup land after all, right? Well whatever. The bigger picture is that John and I actually had some fun trying on different outfits. And the oddest surprise of the day? Service! Jesus, it actually still exists. I don’t know if it’s because we were in the heart of a legitimate city, or if the stores have finally figured out that good service is good for business, but I could not believe it. There were a billion sales reps posted all over, and they actually showed follow-through. I was stunned. What? You’ll actually go check in the back for my size? Do I need to tip you?
In the fitting room, I was spoiled rotten for about an hour by Will, a stylist (that’s what he said). Granted, he took many liberties trying to expand my comfort zone way beyond where I was willing to go, but still, he rolled my cuffs like a champ. Even if I had the sweater on just to try out the color for like 10 seconds, he prepped my cuffs. And when shit didn’t fit? He went to find my size. A true miracle, I tell you. Amazingly, John didn’t utter one complaint the whole time… then again, how could he? He had his solitaire on the Treo AND a comfy seat. Thank goodness for Will. Sigh. In the end, I nixed the striped crew sweater and the big belt and the boxy, short jacket Will loved, but I did leave with several fitted shirts and v-neck sweaters.
Surprisingly, our good luck with service continued at Macy’s. The dude in the shoe department removed the stuffing from the shoes and fit the shoe on John’s foot. I’m telling you, shopping with decent service makes for a whole other experience. I could actually drop some dough shopping this way. Wink, wink!