I moved from Los Angeles to a town of around 6,000 about four years ago. I’ve finally managed to make peace with the cattle (and deer and pigs and possums and bears) that hang out casually in the roadway. I’m no longer surprised to attend weddings where people sit on bales of hay and the groom swigs from a 40-oz. Natty Ice while his lucky bride walks down the aisle (in his defense, he was under a lot of pressure – there were like two other girls in town who were carrying his babies at the same time as his wedding to another woman. Whom he had also impregnated. I am not making this up). Hell, I even saw a lady wearing a T-shirt that said “Talk Shit, Get Hit” set her baby on the ground so she could light a cigarette a few days ago and I didn’t even have the urge to run her over with my car. The thing I can’t get over is the fact that when it comes to clothing, our only local options are Walmart and JC Penney.
I’m tired of having to choose between “Miley Cyrus: Trailer Park Handy Queen” and “Sensible Polyester: A Study in Desperation” whenever I need new clothes. The other day I actually found myself wondering if I could alter a pleated, calf-length skirt with a hybrid jungle/stripe motif into something I could wear to a semi-formal wedding. (Not the hay bale wedding. I believe the dress code for that event was “Dimebag optional.”)
I know the obvious solution here is online shopping, but I try to limit myself because most shipping fees are totally out of control. Like, I’d rather use half a tank of gas driving round trip to an actual Target store just so I can “stick it to them” and refuse to pay their $8 shipping fee for a dress that weighs 6 ounces. My bank account is now out 30 extra dollars instead of 8. TAKE THAT, TARGET!
Another reason I avoid online shopping is because once I place my order, tracking the package becomes My Life. I find myself telling people, “My $11 polka dot skirt was just processed in Ohio a day ahead of schedule, which means it will hit San Leandro on Tuesday, so if traffic is light and this rainy weather pattern holds off I may be looking at a Friday arrival!!!” And then they look around for my caretaker because this was my response to the deli worker asking if I want tomatoes on my turkey sandwich.
Anyway, a couple weeks I broke down and bought this skirt online because a) cute! and b) $2 shipping?YES, PLEASE. And this is when I realized that when it comes to online shopping, a small town has its advantages. A few days ago I looked up from my desk to see a UPS driver walking toward me with a package. I had met her a couple weeks prior through a mutual friend, and we had chatted briefly about where I work. That’s right. This woman totally went out of her way to bring my skirt to me at my office because I wasn’t home when she delivered it. At first I considered telling her she needn’t do that for me … and then I remembered the new Mad Men Collection over at Banana Republic and was all “Thanks! My regular work hours are 7-4!”
Oh well. At least I’ll be a well-dressed asshole.