Today is the last day of Christmas Camp. Tonight I will fly back to San Diego and tomorrow I will be back to work. Less than 24 hours from now I will be pushing morphine, protecting airways, fluffing and buffing patients, but for now I will seize the final few hours of Christmas Camp by (drum roll please..........) attending the Saks day after Christmas Sale.
Readers I know what you are thinking....."wait a minute.....I thought you were a triathlete, where's the running, biking and swimming?" What kind of a blog is this? My answer to you is as follows
a) This is my blog and if I only wrote of biking, swimming, and running it might get boring. Do you want me to change my screen name to "Boring blogger"
b) Another word for triathlon is multi sports. This is a sport. This is cross training. You've heard of Xterra. This is the Xterra of shopping. Besides if I can take on Iron man, I can take on the land of fashion.
So another early morning we rise. We have a quick cup of coffee and homemade potica bread and head to the train station. This might sound fairly pedestrian but remember Tim does have a very swollen broken leg and is on crutches. I offer for Tim to stay home but he decides to come. Apparently he hasn't caught on to me pushing him off the lift yet. I doubt he'd be able to forgive me this quickly. Tim hobbles to the escalator which is not yet turned on and hobbles up the steps. I start to feel guilty for pushing him off the chair as I imagine the callouses forming under Tim armpits. Ouch. Tim's being a really good sport as I know hopping around on crutches is not part of the RICE recovery plan. ( Rest Ice Compress Elevate)
On the way into the city I study the Victoria Beckem "Every inch counts" guide to fashion and prepare myself for the shopping event. Until noon everything is 70% off. I have three items in mind maybe a new pair of skinny jeans. I know, I know I have am wearing skinny jeans now but Victoria says no bagging in the bottom or the knee. Shame, shame, all this training is giving me droopy drawers. Given that Saks is the place you buy clothes that last a lifetime maybe a pair of tall leather boots or maybe a cocktail dress. I do have the occasional fashionable function to attend and a cocktail dress could be magnificent.
We arrive in San Francisco and hurry the few blocks up the street to Saks, AKA the mother ship. Cindy advises me that the younger women's close are on the 4th floor, the shoes are in the basement, formal dresses are on the 2nd floor, and she would be with Janice on the 3rd floor.
Tim and I decide to proceed to he shoe department as shoes never go out of style. An Italian pair of leather boots might be just the ticket. When we arrive in the basement I feel as if I am swimming in the first 500 yds of a mass start triathlon. Arms everywhere. There is frenzy. There is panic. There are Manolo Blahniks scattered everywhere. My mother would be sick to see these shoes so mistreated. She would say at the least "It's a crying shame" or "It's a sin" Finely made shoes everywhere. Tim tries to help me find shoes that might be nice but it's too dangerous with his swollen ankle. It's a good thing he has his crutches for self defense. After enduring the first several minutes of combat we find a seat for him. Tim sits protecting his wounded leg as I head over to the boots. While I try one pair on I hear these gossiping ladies say "Can you believe that guy on crutches? What is he doing here? He is only going to slow his girlfriend or his wife down" They chatted on as I thought of a million things to say but couldn't decide on which nasty comment I would retort to them. Actually I sized them up to be the kind of girls who couldn't pay their credit card bill. The kind whose boyfriend or husband had 10 conversations with them regarding their spending habits and forbid them to do any more shopping. Also I knew they were jealous and who could blame them:) So I didn't waste my breath but I did stick my nose in the air and strut past them with a slight huff as I made a beeline to Tim.
"C'mon I said, we are out of here. Let's pursue some skinny jeans". In the elevator women start needling Tim. They say "This isn't a good place to be with a broken leg." "You should be at home" , "This isn't a safe place to be." Tim may be quiet and well mannered but he's also very smart and much quicker than these women. To them he states "You know handicapped people have rights too. There are laws in this country that protect the handicapped.
After a quick survey of the 4th floor I dismiss it. The skinny jeans are not on sale and the rest I wouldn't buy from a thrift shop. We head down to the 3rd floor where Tim's mom and dad are shopping. I make a few passes around the circle I find nothing but a jacket two sizes too big. Bruce spots us and says Cindy has a dressing room. I circle the 2nd floor and find a beautiful leather skirt. It's carmel color and soft as butter. I decide to give it a try. Hmm. It's nice, I can't find anything wrong with it but it really doesn't pop. Cindy suggests we ask Janice. Janice is this really nice sales associate who works really hard and is good at her job. She looks up and down and quickly says "No it's too big, your to small for that skirt." Bruce suggests I tell Janice what I'm looking for and ask Janice to find it. After several laps around the floors perimeter I am doubtful there is anything for me. I tell Janice I am looking for a cocktail dress. I don't know what size I am as the sizes are French, Italian and so forth. Janice takes an appraising look. In less then one minute she names my size and conjures up the perfect dress in her head. She leave and returns with a beautiful black velvet dress. Oh looks good. I don the dress and Janice pronounces it to be perfect. I ask if it is the right size and Janice pronounces "Honey you can't get it tailored any better then that, fits like the skin on a grape. The skin on a grape." The way Janice says this reminds me of a more sophisticated and modern day Dina from the Bobsey Twin books. I prance out of the dressing room with some loaner heels and head towards Tim. Tim has a very glazed look on his face but livens as I near him. I ask Tim what he thinks and he says turn around, turn around again. I am not so sure just how many twirls I make but I am dizzy with excitement. Once again I am in Mrs. Movelson's kindergarten class standing on my desk showing off my new dress. This dress has the pop I'm wanting to find. I also find a very nice timeless black wool skirt that looks like it's tailored for me. Cindy actually found the skirt but said she didn't need it. (Oh come on readers what were you expecting the two of us to wrestle for the skirt and tug it to shreds. No I will leave that to the ladies of the shoe department).
Excitedly I leave the dressing rooms and wait for Cindy to finish when I catch a glance of a jacket. It's not that exciting on the hanger. Definitely not average but I don't expect it to "pop" in any way. I try it on not thinking it will fit. Thinking I will dismiss it right away. Something intrigues me though, it has intricate gold stitching and the softest lining ever. Apparently that is what's to be expected of a Roberto Cavalli jacket. I put on the jacket and it just feels right. It forms to me but doesn't feel clingy or pull. I look in the mirror. Wow. In my whole life I've never worn something quite so chic. Hmmm. It's still a bit expensive at 70% off. I try to take the jacket off but something stops me. I leave it on a little longer. We laugh and ask if it can be further discounted......actually an extra 10% with a Saks card. I still have no desire to take the jacket off. I only have plans to wear the jacket. With no buyers remorse I buy the jacket and off we go. The four of us meet Seth and Val and cross the street to Neiman Marcus's sale. I sit with Tim on a bench inside. I can't resist looking in my shopping bag every 10 seconds to see my new purchase. I decide I want to wear my new jacket to lunch so I exchange my sweater for the jacket. Secretly I am worried I will be accused of shop lifting so I clutch the receipt tightly in my palm.
Satisfied our shopping for the year is complete we take a cab to the Boulevard and enjoy lunch before taking the train back to Pleasanton. We arrive in Pleasanton and I quickly pack and head to the airport. The next day I wake up and head to work as usual. At work I am busy running around and when I am able to pause and think I think maybe yesterday was a dream. I continue my work and when my shift is over I discard my stethoscope and head home. As I arrive home I see the Cavalli Jacket hanging in all it glory. Yes...it wasn't a dream. I try it on more time just to make sure it still fits and it's really mine. Isn't it great when your life is as good as your dreams.
As for the handling of the horrid women in the shoe department. Victoria forgot a chapter in her book. So I'll write it for her. It's titled :
How to Handle the Rude and Crude
First wear Roberto Cavalli
Here's how to strut passed the rude and crude
So long ladies .Bet you wish your boyfriend snagged the Cavalli