I Got My Shop On

Last Friday, I learned of a sale extravaganza at the outlet mall in Edinburgh, so B & I decided to join in on all the fun. He tentatively roused me around 9 a.m. Saturday morning. After showers (separately, of course) and Starbucks (mmmmm, white mocha), we were on the road. It was a lovely drive. The weather was sunny and cool and we listened to our favorites, from Imogen to DCFC. It was during this time that B — who once declared “if Christ sees his shadow during resurrection, 6 more weeks of winter!” — uttered the smartest determination he’s ever concocted. “Sometimes,” he pondered, holding his right hand in the air with his pointer and thumb pinched together, “…Imogen sounds a little like Frou Frou.” I immediately erupted into giggles because Imogen is half of the British duo comprising Frou Frou. Nothin’ gets by B! Later, he cleverly linked Beyonce and Destiny’s Child.

There wasn’t much traffic, so we arrived in Edinburgh within 40 minutes. We decided to fortify our longevity with a power lunch before shopping. The pickin’s in such a tiny town are pretty slim. We eventually opted for soup and salad at Ruby Tuesday’s.

Note: I’d like to commend the Edinburgh Ruby Tuesday’s for its impressive salad bar sneeze guard. It’s no flimsy sheet of clear plastic, rather a bullet proof titanium-enhanced pane stretching to the very edge of the bar along which you slide your tray. One must be well versed in cat’s cradle formation to contort one’s arm into the optimal condiment-grabbing posture in such a well-protected environment. Nobody’s bodily fluids are gettin’ through that thing baby!

Despite B’s impatient protests, I drove a lap around the mall to get the lay of the land. I couldn’t get over how things have changed. When I first moved to Indiana, my brother discovered this outlet mall and we became frequent visitors. I was especially fond of Eddie Bauer and Esprit. I got so many great purses at that Esprit store. When they closed, I fasted in protest for 15 long minutes. Eventually, the whole mall went to the dogs, but it has since been regentrified. There are so many new stores!

B and I agreed to split up, since we had different prey in mind. I hit the Coach store first. Surrounded by so many cute bags, I nearly passed out a few times. I’m on the prowl for a really nice, leather, large-ish, classic, always-in-style purse. I saw a few candidates, but nothing that inspired me to spend $250+.

I spent the rest of my time tooling around Liz Claiborne, Banana Republic, Nine West, and Borders. I’ve gotten some great purses at the Liz Claiborne outlet in Seymour, but nothing in Edinburgh struck my fancy. I did buy a luscious, red leather wallet at Banana Republic. I also saw a cute black purse hanging casually from the arm of a mannequin there. Hoping for a better look, I gently tugged the bag, at which point the ENTIRE mannequin slithered from a standing to a sitting position. Someone nearby noticed, but I just smiled and said, “She was tired and needed to rest.” Before I slunk out the door, I debated about buying a pair of tweed, round-toe flats. In the end, I decided $55 was too much. I don’t mind paying a lot for chic, quality shoes but these seemed more like trendy, flash-in-the-pan footwear.

Although I love my wallet, I was very unimpressed with the generally aloof vibe of the people working at Banana Republic. That may very well be due to my own insecurities though, as the entire time I shopped there, I was increasingly mindful of the singularly teensy-sized wares dangling teasingly from preppy-but-stylish hangers.

My spirits low, I decided to hit the Nine West store. There I tried on several pairs of shoes that I loved, but knew I wouldn’t buy. I simply cannot wear crazy-high heels. Though terribly impractical and ridiculously uncomfortable, they’re sexy and fun but my hooves will not stand for much more than a kitten heel. In addition to this, I’m already tall-ish and do not wish to emphasize or enhance my stature. Still, when I see cute heels, I naively hope, “Maybe these will be comfortable. I’ll just try them on to see.”

At Borders, I scored some cute stationary for my card-making endeavors. Even though I need more books like I need to be shot in the head, I allowed myself to buy more, playing the “But they’re so cheap!” card. I made off with:

  • Elegy for Iris – John Bayley
    • I LOVED the movie based on this book and figured the literature that inspired such noble cinema must be good.
    • Low, low cost: $4.50
  • Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom – Catherine Clinton
    • I took an African American history class my senior year and quickly came to appreciate, respect, and enjoy reading slave narratives. The harrowing tales remind me of the importance of individual freedoms, in addition to appreciating and inviting diversity into our lives. I’m also a sucker for biographies, so this was a no brainer.
    • Low, low cost: $4.99
  • Haring – Alexandra Kolossa
    • Keith Haring’s profound messages via bright, iconic images warm my heart.
    • Low, low cost: $4.99
  • (Can you believe these low prices?? I know you already want to make out with me but wait – there’s more!)
  • The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook – Thunder Bay Press
    • The plump, jewel-toned figs on the cover caught my eye. During my visit to the Balkans, I came to appreciate Mediterranean cuisine and have since held it in high regard. This cookbook is packed with yummy recipes and stunning photos.
    • Low, low cost: $7.99 (A bit more than the others but it’s a big hardback)

(Edited to add: In reading over those last few paragraphs, I realize what lengths I will go to and excuses I will indulge in order to feed my book addiction. Please help me! (But not really because I WANT MORE STILL!))

After sufficiently parlaying our weaknesses, B and I met up at Lane Bryant. (It was a central location and apropos of nothing!) He arrived laden with a myriad of textiles including a sassy, silk pocket square, jeans, a handsome tie, and a snuggly fleece jacket.

We left the outlet mall around 4 p.m. which happened to be the time 98% of its visitors also decided to leave. For what seemed like hours, we puttered in a long line snaking around the parking lot. By this time, I was feeling rather irritated and had snapped at poor B a few times. I assumed the never-ending wait and my retail-driven exhaustion had conspired to that end, but soon recognized another contributing factor. B is a very high-energy person. He’s LOADS of fun, but sometimes I perceive that intensity as pressure, which in turn makes me irritable. I explained this to B later and promised to be more careful in the future. NOW BACK OFF! (Kidding)

We started the drive back to Indy, and B suggested we stop at Super Target in Greenwood. In trying to find it, we passed DSW. I’d heard they were having a sale, so we popped in. Awhile ago, I found some CUTE Kenneth Cole Reaction Mary Janes but didn’t buy them because I thought they might be too matronly. I saw those shoes at DSW and showed them to B. He gave them the thumbs us but there wasn’t a 9 1/2 in stock. The 9 was too squishy and the 10 flopped off my heels. Any idea where I might find ’em online? I’ve checked amazon.com, zappos.com, and kennethcole.com, all to no avail.

We eventually found Super Target and took awhile to browse. I’m always drawn to the shiny orange stickers promising gooey clearance goodness. I’m proud to say I managed to leave with only one small purchase – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out by Panic! at the Disco. I waited to get this album because I thought the band might fall into the one-hit wonder category. After reading reviews and listening to other songs from the album, I’m certain they have lots to offer. These guys are very talented. I’m so impressed by their clever, well-written lyrics. The whole album is good, but I can’t stop replaying The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage. I love its fast-paced urgency and unsettled melodies.


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