Fred shops with visiting Brit: stiff upper lip at the malls. Yes, malls.

Off & running early with cousin-in-law A, who can shop for England. And has done, says she. Stores open at 8 or 9, frost or snow on parking lots, feeling seasonal. A's youngest 2 or 3 or 4 (they move fast) came along in case there was candy. By 7:30 AM, all on a sugar high, including self.

Would not let A buy elderly rose tees at nearby Crewlet, suggested driving a bit longer, pulled out map THAT I JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE, showing another Crewlet on way to four (4!) malls with J.Crew stores, which just happen to be in a straight line til no. 3, then south to no. 4, where we can finish the day at my sister's, who will feed kids a healthy dinner if it kills them. A's idea: head for sis first, drop kids, hit the JCs in reverse order, by the time we're done, sis will have had enough of little angels and will have driven them back to mine herself. A is from culture where kids go to boarding school at age 5. Obviously so moms can shop. There'll always be an England.

Embellished boy shirt (still around? why?) not a success, embellishment too heavy for thin fabric so that side of opening falls down, hiding embellishment. Thick-ish blue green pencil skirt, didn't like any tops but loved skirt, bought, will stalk blog for styling ideas. A morbidly fascinated by ruffled silk camis wasting away on clearance racks. Thin but nice choice of cute Crewcut tees. A says duffle coat wanna-be is not fashion. Belts: skinny, shiny, might serve as leashes for a Crewdle. A thrilled by “historical” teeny miniskirts (her mum saved one from a Beatles event) – but not to wear.

Malls populated but bearable. For parking, I wore Deranged Lady Who Does Not Drive Well Look (with hat) when crowded by any car that costs more than mine (meaning of course, any car), and we were fine. JC stores mysteriously empty early on, not so scary later in day. Found A's kids-- the heir, the spare and the pair (twins) – watching American football at my house, liking the big guys jumping on other big guys but not all the waiting around bits.  

Explained to A that real shoppers wait it out. Triumphantly showed off some accessories from last winter's end-of-season sales (feather & ribbon gloves, feather wristlet, jeweled cuff gloves, moonbeam sequin blazer, metallic coquette hobo), and leather lederhosen with elastic waist from this fall. Her comment: ooh, you can wear this gear to Ren Fayres! There'll always be an England. Planning to take up Alchemy now that I know what to wear. Need pointy hat. But no, A says puffy shorts, tights, booties & sequin floppy jacket are for court jester, not distinguished alchemist. Sigh. Time travel is not cheap. 


  1. You make shopping sound like fun. One cannot even get near the malls around here, it's shopping insanity. I have to get groceries before noon if I want to park in the store lot. Stocking up on everything so I don't have to go out until 2012.

  2. Hi, xoxo, keys to wild malls at feeding time: no kids, sense of humor, well-supplied car conveniently parked, willingness to leave when shopping deities tell you you're done, designated driver for when the sugar high is replaced by something a little more grown up. Also helps to have done most of one's own shopping, better to be a critic than a shopper. I like your idea of a well- stocked hibernation. You won't even need a designated driver for that!

  3. I fear malls, there's something about them that sinks me into depression within 20 minutes, I have to go to one shop only and then run for the hills.

  4. Hi, Tabitha, yes, grouchy hunters and gatherers out en masse pawing through tacky merchandise can give anyone the collywobbles. In perhaps an excess of holiday spirit I left out that part.

  5. Jolly good post-- I agree, more fun to help someone else shop. I cannot shop with other people for some reason. You are a brave woman to hit a mall this time of year-- I am a coward.

  6. Hi, Lane, I left out the scary stuff. There's enough of that going around.

  7. Southern Belle Ph.D.December 15, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    Hi Wellfedfred, You are amazing! And generous and kind. I just shuttered to read about your shopping day. And in the NYC area. Oh my goodness, I would have been a basketcase at the end of that day. The kids definitely got the best part of it...watching football! Hope your day today is much more relaxing.

  8. Hi,Southern Belle, having grown up surrounded by stores I'm not easily intimidated, and once the kids were unloaded, well, we had a good time. Some tips from my mom and The Aunt Who Shopped: dress lightly or leave heavy coats in the car. It is easier to get waited on in a big store if you're already carrying that store's shopping bag. If your feet start to fail, sit down in the shoe dep't, on a chair with boxes in front of it and take your shoes off. Tell anyone who hassles you that somebody's getting you another size. Gods for about half an hour. And last, if anyone has the nerve to look downcast when opening your offering, threatening to bake them something next year will make them mind their manners

  9. Oops autocorrect strikes again! That was GOOD for about half an hour !

  10. FOUR JC stores? Wow! I think I would be floored after 2.

    Thanks for the fun read.

    Also check my blog for the "liebster blog' award here.

  11. Rose, thank you for the award! And as always, thanks for stopping by!

  12. What a fun day you had and your cousin in law sounds very delightful.
    You are a brave woman. I despise shopping malls which is why I rely so heavily on my UPS man. I gave him his present yesterday: beer and cookies, because he is like Santa round here. He was so pleased.
    Have a great weekend Fred!

  13. 4 JC stores! You win the Die Hard JCA award, hands down! I can attest to Rose's endurance, she was fine after 2 stores ;)

    Shopping for self during busy times is OK by me, as I'm a "take it or leave it" kinda gal. But if I was on a mission, I'd hit the mall super early, fueled on double latte and banana loaf from Starfracks.

    Great post, thanks for the laughs!

  14. Hi, Dani, hi, ClosetCrisis, the Designated Driver and Tour Guide had to take a few days off, but all is well now...

  15. Thanks, Lane! Although I have to admit I prefer the Capital One Visigoths to the Geico cavemen. Just sayin.


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