Most men, myself included, hate shopping for clothes. To be honest, we would walk around naked if it weren’t for society’s stupid boundaries. Shopping for dress clothes ranks right up there with getting eaten by rats while being forced to watch a Sally Jessy Raphael marathon. Sorry, but there is a -4% chance I will ever get excited about spending an inordinate amount of time and money on clothes I only wear because I’m forced to do so.
Yet, there I was, on a Friday night, in a dreaded purgatory called The Mall. Encouraged by my wife to update my wardrobe, I found myself alone, in the middle of this bright, dystopian society controlled by the cell phones of adolescent girls cackling and wearing UGG boots.
Sure, a few “men” were wandering around as well, but they seemed more like casting extras from The Walking Dead than actual living, breathing human men. All of them, in reality, were merely the bag handlers for their female loved ones anyway.
Stumbling into a store that had scantily clad mannequins, I asked the first employee I saw where they kept their dress shirts. She looked at me and said, “1958.” Apparently they didn’t sell dress shirts. She then re-examined me, obviously thinking I was too old to shop in her store, and directed me down the hall to Sears.
However, despite being out of the trendy loop for what essentially amounts to forever, even I knew not to buy dress shirts from any retail store that sells paint.
So, I roamed over to a high-end clothing store, home of quality clothes and knowledgeable sales associates (they aren’t called cashiers), who enjoy asking you how your day has been, repeatedly, until you finally relent and say, “Decent.”
Unfortunately, they don’t leave you alone to peruse. If you respond to their questions by stating that you are looking for dress shirts, they then branch off into the varying types of dress shirts that are available. When you respond that you don’t care about the material, color, or the clothier, they almost appear offended. When you go in for the kill by asking if they have a sale rack . . . well, it’s enough to send them to the emergency clinic with symptoms of a stroke.
“Would you like to try them on?” asked Calvin, the only sales associate not to suffer a stroke after his encounter with me.
“Nope,” I said. “I know my size.”
Calvin was dumbfounded. People in 2018 simply did not make purchases without trying them on first. Seeing that I wasn’t going to budge, he gave me the total price, which nearly left me seeking the emergency clinic with symptoms of a stroke.
Now, I make a decent living, but it seems quite ridiculous that dress shirts from Italy are more expensive than dress shirts from China. After all, I know all about economics and geography, and China is much farther away from us than Italy is. Based on this logic, Chinese-made shirts should be far more expensive than Italian-made ones because they have to travel farther to get to us.
“Italians make the best dress shirts,” said Calvin, arrogantly.
“They also make the best wine, and I would need to be drunk to buy dress shirts at that price,” I responded.
So, I left, shirtless but with a renewed sense of purpose. I would exclusively purchase my clothes online—and from China.
A few days later, after the dust had settled on my harrowing experience at the mall, my wife suggested I upgrade my dress shoes.
What channel is the Sally Jessy Raphael marathon on? And does anyone own hungry rats?
2 thoughts on “Lost in the Rectangle Purgatory”
Very funny, AoS. Perhaps the funniest you’ve written. I share your distaste for shopping for clothes—I prefer online shopping.
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The shirt you have on in the photo at the top of the page is just fine. How can you improve on THAT!? It’s comfortable, snug, doesn’t need to be ironed, has a slogan, can be loaned to your girlfriend when she stays over, and, best of all, can be slept in!
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