Thursday, November 29, 2007

Move Over Speed Dating

Let me tell you about Speed Shopping.

My dad wants to get my mom a Coach bag this year for Christmas, and he wants me to help him pick it out (thank god).

So on Saturday morning we go to the mall together. Thanks to my crazy good parking karma we find an awesome spot, and enter Macy’s in the accessories department.

I stop to admire a super soft cashmere wrap. Dad beelines to Coach.

I half run/half walk (in heeled boots on an over-waxed tile floor) to catch up.

My Dad picks up the closest bag.

Dad: “How about this one?”

Me: “It’s too big.”

Dad: “You think?”

I give him my ‘didn’t-you-ask-me-to-come-along-for-my-opinion’ look.

Dad grabs another signature logo beige bag.

Dad: “What about this one?”

Me: “She won’t like that flappy thing. And I don’t like the signature collection. Did she say she wanted a pocketbook with a million little C’s all over it?”

Dad: “She didn’t say anything. She doesn’t even know I’m getting this.”

Me: “Ha! I’ll have a front row seat when she opens it and yells at you for spending too much money.”

Dad: “Can we get back to the pocketbooks?”

Me: “Are we on some sort of schedule that I’m not aware of?”

Dad: “Yeah – mine. Let’s get moving.”


I pick up a beautiful chocolate tote.

Me: “This one is SOOOO nice. But I think she'd prefer something she can put on her shoulder."

Dad: “How will we know if they’ll fit on her arm? They’re all locked up.”

Yours Truly proceeds to try and stick her arm in the handles of every bag while it’s still hanging on the rack and theft-locked with wires.

Dad: “Yeah, the straps are too small. And it’s leather.”

Me: “What’s wrong with leather?”

Dad: “Nothing. I just thought she’d like the other kind better.”

Translation: other kind = fabric.

Did I mention it’s a million degrees in Macy’s?

Me: “I think I like the leather. Any chance you want to get me a Coach bag for Christmas?”

((Overly-exaggerated sigh from my father))

I steer clear of the metallic gold hobos, hot pink wristlets and focus on chocolate fabric. I find a great little satchel with leather straps – the best of both worlds.

Me: “I like this one.”

Dad: “For you, or for your mother?”

Hey, Dad’s smiling again!

Me: “For her. It’s the right size and it has nice leather straps.”

Dad: “Works for me. Now where’s the lady who unlocks these things?”

Turns out the lady who unlocks these things is working at the customer service desk to help ring customers in the small leather goods section.

Dad: “You mean I gotta wait in that line for that lady to come over here and unlock that bag?”

I sense a window of opportunity.

Me: “Looks that way. Should I take this time to peruse for stuff for myself?”

I buzz through contemporary sportswear like I’m on a video on fast forward, grabbing random items off the racks. I keep an eye on my Dad, who hasn’t even moved in line.

When my arms are full I find my father. Dad has his shopping bag and his eyes bulge when he sees my arms.

Me: “I need to find something to wear to my work holiday party. I have to try this stuff on.”

I come out of the dressing room (success – found a top that fits perfectly!) and my dad is sitting on a sofa watching the Food Network.

His face lights up when he sees me.

Dad: “Ready?”

Me: “I could be. I wanted to look downstairs."

((another deep, long sigh from Dad))

Me: "Hey, if I knew I was only allowed 15 minutes in the mall I would’ve taken my own car.”

Dad rolls his eyes and follows me downstairs. I am immediately drawn to the coat that I had tried on a few weeks earlier. I am already in love with this coat. It’s dove gray with big buttons and a rolled collar. I shrug off my old coat and slide into the new one. It was like it was made for me. Unfortunately, I cannot get the coat because it’s too expensive. Plus I should be spending money on other people's gifts, blah blah blah.

Dad nods in approval: “Nice coat.”

I am admiring myself in the mirror, imagining myself walking down a city street looking fabulous in my new coat.

A woman walks by and sees me.

Woman: “That coat’s hot. You look sharp.”

I look over at my dad.

Me: “I’m getting the coat.”

Dad: “Good. Can we go now?”

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