Yesterday noontime found me on a semi-frantic search for a tuxedo shirt.
Why? Might you ask.
Well, I would answer, because Thing 1 had a band concert last night and decided to inform his Dad yesterday morning that he needed a tuxedo shirt for his band uniform.
And with that simple statement, gone are the days of “wear your Dad’s white dress shirt and some old tie” as uniforms. Gone are the days when any sartorial requirement could be cobbled together from someone else’s closet, because you just KNOW that I’m not going to be having a tux shirt lying around just any old place.
Not anymore. I got rid of MY tux shirt a few years ago. It was a holdover from my Wilton House days, and was never going to fit again, and was stained, and even though I had a lot of good memories associated with it, it was really JUST a shirt.
When the call came in that a shirt was needed, I volunteered to fetch one, because I am closer to shopportunities than the boys’ Dad is. Plus which, helLO! Shopping? I hate it less than he does, and in the spirit of continued co-parenting and cooperation I said I’d find one.
Sure I did. That’s what the internet is for, right?
Amazingly, there are TWO formal wear places in “The Streets at Southpoint,” which turns out to be this mega fancy-schmancy mall that’s only about 10 minutes from my new office. Right. Sure, I can go to a gigantic Mall I’ve never been to before, find the formal wear place, buy a tux shirt for a 12-year-old, and be back before the lunch hour is over. Yes. I can DO this, for I MUST.
Little did I know…..
This particular mall is one of those “don’t put all the Mall in one place” kinds of malls, in which a LOT of the stores are in the covered-up bit, but SOME stores are in that nouveau “Main Street” layout that’s ever more popular down here in the temperate south. I wound in and out of those main streets looking for David’s Bridal, because right NEXT to the David’s Bridal would be the After Hours formal wear store.
I couldn’t find it.
As frustration mounted, I recalled from a brief conversation I had with the store clerk (who nicely verified to me that they did have the size and style shirt I wanted, because by GOD I was not going to go to this new mall without some guarantee that I was going to get what I went there for!) that there was ANOTHER After Hours store in the Mall proper. Giving up my search for David’s, I girded my mental loins, I parked in the hinterlands by Sears, and hiked my way in.
And then my jaw dropped.
This mall? This mall is awesome. This mall is gorgeous. This mall looks like a town, with a very strong overwhiff of Harry Potter-ish magical streets of wares. The aisles are NOT terribly wide, the store fronts all looks like individual buildings, the upper level is set back from the lower so it’s bright and welcoming looking, and there is plenty of natural light. To say I was bowled over would have been an understatement. THIS is a Mall I can get into. To add to the gee whiz factor, the stores were the hoity-toity kind that I LOVE to browse – Williams-Sonoma, Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstroms! OMG. It’s not like I would ever BUY anything in those places, for I am a cheapskate to the very core, but oh wow can I browse.
However!There was no time for browsing! I had to put me blinders on and find the formal wear store.
Which, as you may have already guessed, was alllll the way at the other end of the Mall from where I entered. Ah well. Call it exercise. The mall-length purposeful hike took me past tantalizing shops of tempting goodies, but there was not time to stop. No time. Must get the shirt! Must. Get! Don’t stop to look at the life-sized mechanized skating scene. Don’t look to the left or right at the kiosks of good-smelling, pretty-looking, beguilingly beeping things, just do not. Indeed, in my haste and because of my pinpoint focus on the goal, I may have looked a little scary, maybe a little "Neo-on-a-mission" kind of way….and I really really wished I had some kind of cool coat to billow out behind me as I strode on down the mall.
Never let it be said that I don’t have an active inner life, y’all.
After several daydreamy moments thinking about how awesome it would be to ride a huge motorcycle through this mall or to be able to fight all “Matrixy” through its side alleys and over its parapets, I found the store, found the shirt, and found out that it was 20% off. Sweet. I had hunted and gathered, I was the victor! Woot!
(Success can be found in small things, people. Feel free to celebrate with me.)
Oh, you can be sure I’ll be going back there. THIS time to idly wander, maybe let the gals at Sephora give me a makeover, maybe wander around stores that sell expensive chocolate, maybe get me a shoulder massage from the lovely woman who has her shop set up right in the middle of the Mall. Who knows? That place seems positively RIFE with opportunities to treat myself to something nice. You know, as soon as I pay off those credit card bills...which should be sometime in 2010. Sigh.
Oh, the shirt fit Thing 1 perfectly. My boy, in tux shit, bow tie, cummerbund, and his Daddy’s pants. So freaking cute.
And the band wasn’t half bad either.
Hugs all around, for I am feeling festive today! Have a good ‘un, y’all!