Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Catalog shopping

This blog series contains my observations about my move to Tioga County Pennsylvania. In the past, I have written about landscape and lots to do, but have not told about my forays to malls for necessities of daily living. Here is a look back at this week:

A week ago, I decided that I want a dress or two for those times I get dressed for going out places and jeans are not appropriate. I went to the local shops and found nothing that fits me. Neither in size nor in age. My size is almost unchanged in over quite a few years though my age continues to creep up. I was sixty-seven last year and very much too old for clothing meant for a flirt-y and flat-chested 20-year old. After exhausting the local shops, I drove to the mall – DETERMINED to find a dress that looks good. I spent a whole day (my day off for those of you who are wondering where I get this time) taking off and putting on. After 8 hours, I did purchase one dress that, when tried on at home, is terrible. I gave the double-knit clingy polyester dress to my 36-year old neighbor who is better suited to the clings of knit polyester. The same day, I bought a skirt (a keeper) and two blouses – that can now be found in their respective mall stores.

Not being completely deterred, I looked online then, remembered why I don’t like to buy clothes online – I return them. In the office area of my home, I have an almost-new sewing machine, so on my day off this week, I went to the same New York mall and bought material, two spools of thread, two patterns, and tree buttons to sew into two dresses. Next week, after Easter, I will give it the old college try. I used to sew well, but have not since discovering that I can try on clothes in a store, discard what I don’t like and take others home. After sewing, if I don’t like the dress, it goes into a basket to be taken to Goodwill.

Next in the list of things I need is bedding. I have wanted a colorful quilt for several years and looked at many online sites without luck. When a catalog came and I saw the picture of one I liked, I ordered it immediately. I waited with eager anticipation for the package to arrive --- it came yesterday. I could barely contain my excitement as I tore open the box and put the quilt on the bed. Disappointment flooded my soul – the quilt did not look so good. I decided to return it, then talked myself out of that spontaneous reaction, tried it again, decided it was OK – not great, but OK. This morning sanity returned and the ”OK” quilt with two shams (total cost: $398) are on their way back to the online catalog store.

There is one thing that I could shop for online and not return, a date! On January 1, 2010, I signed up for match dot com for three months, just to see if there is someone "out there” to date: someone to talk with, to have coffee with, to laugh out loud with. I met four men and did not meet as many others who expressed an interest. People tell me that I did well for three months. Here is what I learned – few men are interested in dating a minister (that may have to be qualified to dating a “female” minister, apparently being a male minister is a turn-on). Living two hours apart is not an attractive proposition for men seeking women my age they have many opportunities to date single women living a mere 20 minutes away. An additional drawback: I am employed, working 50+ hours each week, so I plan time off. The men my age are freer - retired or working part time and can do things at the spur of the moment. I did meet one nice man, clergy, who is at this point, a friend. He listens, makes me laugh and even talks about his ministry. All good – just the inconvenient two hours away from Wellsboro.

Catalog shopping – the days of the Sears and Roebuck Catalog being eagerly anticipated may still be who Americans are. We love to look, make our wishes – then we do the 21st Century thing – we go online and buy – getting goodies overnighted for just a few dollars more. Instant gratification. I would settle for gratification just because something came, fit, looked right or (in the case of a date) lived close enough to have coffee on an impulse.

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