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After the laundry is done I hang up the clean things on one end of the clothes rack while I take down the new things from the other end. As a consequence of system Spo-garments get used at the same frequency and things wear out all at once. When this happens everything needs to be replaced at the same time.  This weekend it was time for trousers. I think the trousers collections lasts for 5-7 years but it could be longer. The majority of the time I wear khakis and they are now dog-eared and cuff-torn to to the point they all want replacing. So it is hippity-hop to the trousers shop I go. 

I dislike shopping – to be more accurate I don’t like going to shopping places. When obliged to purchase clothes I try to do this on-line but trousers remain an on-site process. I want to feel the quality of the material (no rubbish) and ascertain sizes and cuts. Someone advised I go to the local mall to give me options of several stores. As a shopper he’s the type that wanders store to store comparing prices and such. I take a different approach: time is more important to me than money. I want to get in and out as quickly as possible and if this means parking at the closest store (preferably at opening time) so be it. I made my list:  two regular khaki; one blue; one black – and another black for Someone who is taking my same size these days.

The mall was unsettling. There were few people. I’ve heard malls are in decline and by the looks of things this is indeed so. I got there at opening 10AM. There is a sense of decay to the place.  Many stores look closed and what was open looked none too appealing. I hit Macy’s. No such luck. I take a 34 W and 32 L. These measurements are either so rare or so common they sell out as there was nothing in that size.  I’d hoped to have some nice salesman swoop down on my going through the bins to ask me if I was being served. They would listen to my woes and somehow solve my problem – but there was no one.  I am not a crook but I thought how easily it would be to stuff my pockets and run in this ghost town.*

At the other end of the mall is JCPenny. I remember this store from my youth. I was surprised to see it still around, thought it had died decades ago.  The men’s shop is on the second floor is right next to the appliances which is unsettling in itself.  JCPenny was also bereft of salespeople. **  Happily I found my five trousers and got in and out relatively quick.

When I got home I found to my horror the trousers were now too long. Dammit they were OK in the store, so what the hell? It is hoped by washing and drying them well they will shrink. I can always do up the cuffs myself.  In the end if it’s a bust I can be comforted in another 5-7 years I can do better.

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*I suspect they have cameras for this sort of shenaniganery. Would Mr. Macy had staff to watch me as well. 

**I have a vague memory of going into Mens departments in which were suited gents and tailors who served obsequiously and with the knowledge of how to dress a man.  Those days went out with full service gas more’s the pity. 

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