Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Oops! I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today!


Confession: I am forgetful sometimes. This morning, I forgot to put on my belt. I'm blaming this on the fact that Larry came home just as I was getting dressed for work, having just finished a double shift. The distraction threw me off and I rushed leaving so he could get some sleep.

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Luckily, my pants fit snugly enough that they weren't falling off, but I felt very uncomfortable going to work this way, as if I'd forgotten to wear pants in the first place.

I decided that I'd spend more time at my desk to avoid people seeing this. I doubt anyone would have cared. The financial industry is not like the fashion industry. Had this been Michael Kors, my manager would have called me out on it and embarrassed me in front of everyone to the point where I would go home and stick more needles in the voodoo doll I had under my bed with her name on it.

God, where was I?

So I decided to go to the Gap at lunch and buy a new belt. The one I wear every day out of habit is getting a little long in the tooth, so this small purchase would be justified in my head.

At the store, I was frustrated by the prices. $34.99? $29.99? Jesus. There should be a little "emergency" section just for dolts like me. I dug through the rack a little and found one hidden (probably by George Kostanza) on clearance for only $14.99. Jackpot.

As I skipped towards the cashier (nothing like an unexpected bargain), I stopped. Wait! I thought, if this one was $14.99, perhaps there are other, cheaper belts. Maybe I'll get two!

I came up short and headed back to the cashier, where Xavier robotically asked me if I'd like to save 15% by opening a Gap credit card.

Normally, I'd just shake my head, as if being offered fried grasshopper on a stick, but today, I said, "No. I have an account already, but I don't want to charge such a small item."

As the words spilled out, I braced for impact. Here comes the hard sell. In my head, I practiced my backup excuse: "I don't have the card with me, now leave me alone." This, I reasoned, would be his cue to say, "We can look you up. What's your telephone number?" And then I would have to grab the belt and threaten to whip him with it.

But maybe Xavier was not in the mood, because he just shrugged his shoulders in agreement and scanned the item.

"$8.99"

"Excuse me? How much?"

"$8.99"

This was better than I expected. Maybe tomorrow I'll forget my shoes.

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