Wednesday, December 21, 2016


“It's the kind of night that's so cold, when you spit
it freezes before it hits the ground
And when a bum asks you for a quarter, you give a dollar
if he's out tonight he must be truly down
And I'm searching all the windows for a last minute present
to prove to you that what I said was real,
for something small and frail and plastic, baby,
'cause cheap is how I feel”

I had avoided the mall for two years. The last time I was there in 2014, a really slick salesman tried to sell me 80 dollars worth ofpink salt. These guys are good.

But I had to go last week. I was invited to a Gala Event, a White Dress  Banquet, where everyone is supposed to wear all white. Believe it or not I actually have a couple white shirts, but I don’t have any white slacks, or a white dress jacket. In order for me to meet the dress requirements, I am going to need at least a white dress jacket. And I only have one days notice.

So I trudge down to Dillards at North East Mall. I’m willing to buy a jacket with my Credit Card, if they have one.
But they do not. The salesman tells me white jackets are out of season, especially in my size. This doesn’t surprise me, because guys my size dressed in all white usually look like something you would put on top of your hot cocoa.
Unless you are Gary Williamson, who always looks good no matter what he wears

I hate to go to the mall and not buy anything. I thanked the man, and as I was turning, spotted a rack of ties.
Ah, a tie! If they have a white jacket at Men’s Warehouse, a nice red tie will look nice. I take a look at a few and ask:
“How much are the ties?”
“Seventy-Nine Dollars” the man says.
“$79.00 for a tie? I don’t think so.”

So now I’m at Men’s Warehouse, Damon is measuring me, and we go over to the rack, and there is not a single white suit or dress jacket in my size there. Big Surprise. And then I spot the ties again. You know, maybe a guy like me with a winning personality can show up to a Big Fancy Christmas Gala Where Everybody Wears All White, dressed in black slacks, a navy jacket, white shirt and festive red tie. Even though everybody else there has had weeks to get ready for the Gala, with rented Tuxedos with tails or elegant Yves St. Laurent tailored suits, I can just waltz in there wearing my Navy Blue jacket I bought last year to try to hide my tremendous gut, and a stupid grin, dance like no one is watching,  and no one will notice.
And anyway, who cares? I’ve suffered many worse humiliations…

So I look at the ties. The tag says they are 16 dollars each. I grab two and head for the register. I have to fill out an entire questionnaire to buy two ties. About this time, Damon shows up with a gorgeous Calvin Klein suit, and things start happening fast.
‘Mr Renfro, I can call the Irving store and see if they have this in your size”
‘Sure, that would be nice” I say.
The cashier takes my questionnaire and rings up the ties.
“That will be 80 dollars” he says.
“80 dollars? I thought they were $16 each?”
“No Mr. Renfro, they are 75, plus tax, and on sale two-for-one”
“Well you can take them back. I’m not spending 80 bucks on a tie, even it if its TWO ties.”
He looks at me like I’m a worm, and now its Damon’s turn.
“Mr. Renfro, they have this suit in your size at the Irving store!”
“Oh, thanks Damon. Is that at the Irving Mall?”
“Yes, you cant miss it. Right in front of the Best Buy. Tell them Damon sent you.”
“Ok, I’ll head right over”
And that’s when it hits me.
“Damon, just for grins, how much is that suit?”
“Lets see….its 1100 dollars, but on sale half off. $550 dollars”
I look at him, slack-jawed.
I wanted to say “You know I can buy a Trump suit for $179?
Instead I said “That’s way out of my ballpark” and turn and left. I could feel the eyes of he and the cashier watching me, both thinking “that’s one cheap dude right there” but I really didn’t care.
Because cheap is how I feel.


David Kanigan said...

Still laughing: "And anyway, who cares? I’ve suffered many worse humiliations…"

Oh, so have I Stephen, so have I.

bulletholes said...

I'm probably overestimating the value of the Navy Blue sports coat.
Hi Dave!