Outlet Shopping Center Sweep

Ssshh. Don’t tell anyone but (are you sitting down?) I hate clothes shopping. Honestly. I’m missing the shopping gene. I know, I know. Other women shop for fun. (I’ve tried to tell my husband how lucky he is but he just doesn’t get it.) I love having the new clothes; it’s just the whole process of acquiring them, especially the trying on, that does me in. If someone could magically find the clothes for me in my size and transport them to my closet, that would be my idea of a really fun shopping trip.

But I do love clothes, and better yet, getting them at discount. So that’s why on our way home from visiting our Freshman at college last week (and with our Lab Maggie in tow, no less), I succumbed to the lure of a just-off-the-highway outlet center. The deal was, my husband and I would each have 15 blitz shopping minutes in the Izod outlet store, while the other one waited outside with the dog (the Marriott had welcomed her with open paws for an overnight visit, but the stores were less hospitable).

Anyway, remember the old TV show “Supermarket Sweep?” Each contestant had something like ten minutes to run through a supermarket throwing items into a shopping cart; the one who rang up the bigger bill, won. (Savvy shoppers used to head straight for the steaks.) Our Izod shop was much like that, minus the food.

My husband went first and naturally, he took longer than we agree upon. So I cooled my heels outside while Maggie attracted lots of attention and squeals from the little kids being schlepped along from store to store. When it was finally my turn, I handed off the dog, and emerged fifteen minutes later with one yellow V-neck sweater ( "they" say yellow will be hot this spring, so I’ll be ready), a pair of black shorts, and a matching sleeveless top. My total? $49.00 (at retail, these items would supposedly sell for about $100 more).

When I came back out, my husband was in no rush to leave. He informed me that Maggie had been an unbeatable chick magnet. Let’s see, for me she attracted toddlers with runny noses, for him, buff babes in sports bras. What’s wrong with this picture? Of course, the outlet probably just attracts lots of women and kids. So Maggie and I, me in my new Izod yellow sweater, are gonna test out my theory during the hubby's next Home Depot run. I'll skip my sweep-shop, though. Light bulbs and plumbing supplies just don't do it for me, even at discount.

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