By February 27, 2014


After way over half a century of married life, I have suddenly started to become educated about some facts of life previously hidden from view. My wife sustained a head injury in a fall and as she recovers, I have become the chauffeur of choice for any transportation needs. As part of this recovery, there was a loss of weight, causing her clothing to fit loosely, necessitating some shopping for clothing to remedy her need to look proper. If I had lost the same weight, there would be absolutely no indication or notice by anyone. We set off on a weekday afternoon for a women’s clothing store to pick up the necessary items and to pick up some stuff I needed. I dropped her off and proceeded to get the seven items on my list at three different stores.

An hour later I am back to the store and park in view of the front door. I call her on her cell phone to tell her that I am back and she tells me that she has yet to try anything on and is still looking. I had the foresight to bring a book and settled down to enjoy the warm, sunny day. After growing tired of reading, I start to observe the people of the female persuasion streaming in and out of the store. The most startling fact is that the majority of them were carrying bags of merchandise in both directions. This was explained later when we got home. The parade of shoppers was of every variety and there were absolutely no duplications of shape or clothing that I could see. It was amazing.

Two hours after I parked, she came out with some bags and we headed home. She proceeded to try on each item she had purchased and ask my opinion on how they looked. Of course, they all looked very nice and she looked good every time. I told her so. She went next door to our neighbor and evidently went through the same procedure with her. When she returns, she tells me that half the items will have to be returned or exchanged.

Two days later, we are back to the store and another wait while the offending items are returned or traded. It was only two hours this time. She did ask that I take her to another store to exchange a bra on the way home. I again parked in sight of the door expecting to be on our way shortly. When I buy undergarments, I go in grab a package of three or four in the size I have been wearing most of my life, pay for them and am back on the road in 15 minutes. Not so with bras, evidently. For most of our life together, she has had her own car and shopped without my presence, so I was totally ignorant of the intricate processes involved. Having to provide transportation now has opened up a whole new area of education for me, which I am not sure I am ready for.

While observing the flow of shoppers, after a synopsis of the bra problems needing correction by my wife necessitating this “short” stop, I did some close looking at the apparel being used as camouflage by the women shoppers. These delightful appendages, covered by shirts, blouses, dresses, etc., are evidently shaped by the undergarments for precise appearance then disguised by outer clothing to hide them from sight, mostly. There are exceptions. I don’t normally dwell at length on these fashions but as my shopping education proceeded, I took note of all kinds of apparel used in this process. These activities of the other half of the population are things that aren’t normally noted by men but when you must drive and wait, they are brought vividly to your attention. This second stop on the way home was two and a half hours. I haven’t even touched on shoes, which is a whole different kettle of fish.

Cameron Park

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