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Young Geoffrey

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Mystery: The Art of Shopping [Aug. 23rd, 2006|10:09 pm]
Young Geoffrey
by Young Geoffrey Dow

Shopping, as is well-known, is the Art by which wealthy Westerners in the early 20th Century most oftem entertain themselves.

As Woman gains ascendancy in an age where Man's influence wanes - the Hunter, become anachronism; the Gatherer, become Queen - it behooved me to make another effort to "get with the times" (as might have been said by someone hip 20 or 30 years ago - leave it be).

More than one acquaintances has suggested Shopping as a means of both distracting myself from my new-found singledom and of providing myself a high that, for once, involves neither a still nor an underground greenhouse.

"Buy yourself some nice clothes!" rang the chorus and so it was, today - after many false starts - I found myself entring the remarkably unprepossing doors of historic The Hudson Bay store at the corner of streets Queen and Bay.

Immediately upon ascent of a short flight of stairs, I found myself made small amongst endless displays of a curious undergament known as "jockey shorts", or just "jockeys".

Jockeys seem a most peculiar undergarment, excessive. Not only do they clearly do the job (though I confess to wondering at its necessity, outside of a playing field), providing a snug pouch into which one's manhood may be comfortably cocooned, but they also fully cover not only the buttocks but also a goodly stretch of thigh in the bargain.

Having grown up swimming naked, even a pair of Speedos strikes me as too much coverage; and having gone bareback lo several decades now, I attempted to move swiftly past the briefs.

But I found myself distracted, indeed stopped, by rack upon wrack of bath-robes and pyjamas.

Now, it is true I no longer have a pair of pyjamas, but it is still summer and I do have a rather nice robe I call my own, since it is my own, a gift from my Sainted Mother.

With an effort of will, I pulled myself from the display of night-clothes and moved on, in pursuit of my intended prey. (And here perhaps, is where my failure began; for is not the true pleasure in Shopping to be found in the search, and not in the finding?

I did not search. I barely noticed the hoisery displayed between myself and the Men's Casual department. And there I found myself at sea.

Pants, pants, everywhere!
But nary a pair
To try on.

I was overwhelmed. I looked at Dockers (so many Dockers, so many kinds of them!), and - well, and at other brands; the names escape me 5 hours later - checked sizes and sort of checked styles.

For perhaps 10 minutes, I wandered about, clearly a lost soul, a threadbare man overcome by the richness of unworn garments around him.

I did not try on a single pair of pants. I gave up on shirts after after idly picking up no more than 2 or 3 of them. "Large?" I muttered bitterly, "What the hell does that mean? What's the fucking neck size! That would tell me something!"

And so at length, I found The Bay's egress. Sweaty and bitchy, I crossed Queen to await a crowded streetcar.

Naturally, as I waited, it began to rain.
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Comments:
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: carnivalnights
2006-08-24 09:34 am (UTC)
AGREED. There is nothing worse.
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[User Picture]From: deweyintoronto
2006-08-24 03:27 am (UTC)
EGADS! You attempted to navigate the wilds of The Bay by yourself? Have you gone soft in the head? The Bay requires the skill of an advanced shopper. Once you've mastered The Bay, London, New York and Milan are your playground. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

You need start small. Perhaps Sherway Gardens if you're up for a trek. It's pricey, but soothing. And you're only going to dip a toe in the water. Maybe even Queen West shops if you can find something to your liking. Next, try Old Navy. Yes, yes, I know. Their "FASH" ad campaign IS so vile and insidious it serves as a repellent of sorts, but there are many, many deals and some truly comfortable, serviceable clothes.

Then, when you're comfortable with Old Navy, you can try The Bay again. Find the sale racks (near the elevators to Arcadian Court). They're less daunting for the uninitiated. If you can FIND a salesperson (and godspeed to you on this quest), ask them for help. The fitting room is your FRIEND (unless you are a woman and it is swimsuit season). Not sure if you're a S, M, or L? Grab one of each!

There are many women on your flist. Do not be afraid to seek our counsel. Some of us do, in fact, dream of shopping.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-08-25 03:18 am (UTC)

Egads Indeed!

Sadly, you mistake my income for a token of my wealth. The last couple of years have been expensive ones, so my idea of a spree is limited to a couple of pairs of pants and shirts, and (maybe) a suit and a new pair of shoes.

Despite the many women on my friends' list, I think I am going to chew one giant mother of a wad of tabaccy and just do it myself.

I have occasionally managed to be a hunter; surely to god (or goddess) and I can make myself into a gatherer!
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-08-24 03:36 am (UTC)

Dear Hypocritical Young Geoffrey

Isn't it true, sir, that you avoid - that you shun - those writers whose oevre is write about how dumb they, about their failed attempts to succeed at the most basic, everyday chores?

And now this! This ... travesty of "gentle humour", this abomination of all you hold dear in an informal essay.

Have you no shame, sir!
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[User Picture]From: carnivalnights
2006-08-24 09:47 am (UTC)
I agree with silkcorset and have little sympathy for you. :P

If you were a woman and had to shop, you would probably hang yourself after trying on 'your size' only to find out it is now too small and a quick gawk at yourself in the evil change room mirror. On top of that, if you are larger than a size five, good luck finding any clothing. These days, the industry only seem to cater to anorexic models.

Every time I go shopping, my self-esteem can usually be shoved into my small purse at the end of the day. It honestly is the biggest nightmare. Hence, I do all of my shopping online. I honestly do not even go into malls anymore. I cannot be bothered because I always come home depressed and empty-handed. Shopping is the devil; I am convinced.

I think my most memorable nightmare happened this year, shopping for panties. I must have been in there for about two hours. High cut, low cut, boy cut, French cut, full figured, thong, hipster, bikini, g-string, white, coloured, striped, lace, no lace, silk, cotton... what the hell? Just give me a damn piece of fabric that will cover what I need it to and be done with it! Don't even get me started on the bras. That was a whole separate trip that took me even more than two hours. Oh, and did you know that when I was buying socks, I had four isles to choose from?! Who the hell needs that many choices for undergarments?

Anyway... point being, it is much harder shopping as a female and I have absolutely no sympathy for males because they have it easy, as hard as it may be to believe.

*grows a penis*
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From: spells_disaster
2006-08-24 04:20 pm (UTC)
razorlicious,
youre right, shopping is the devil.
i've found i can not look at sizing anymore. its all differnt and with the popularity of child, prison, and illegal labour in the garment industry standards have plumeted. i have found that the worst was when the sadistic designers introduced low-rise pants, for one summer, i couldnt find any pants that had a high enough waist to cover my lower half. i understand fashion=sexy, but i am not a doll, i dont want to be excessorised, glamorized, stuffed into too tight clothing.
of course, this does little to deter people form adapting their own sense of style. in the past few months, ive seen too many women wearing all white, too tight clothing,their under-garments outlined for all to see. i used to avert my eyes, now i cringe, for many...many...reasons
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[User Picture]From: carnivalnights
2006-08-24 08:13 pm (UTC)
Agreed! Every story follows suit when there is a trend and you cannot get away from it even if you despise it. Or if you do not have the right body type to carry off the trend well, too bad you for, right? It is so ridiculous. I do not think I have found one trend in the past ten years that I liked or wanted to wear. And for that same amount of time, women's clothing has become painted on. There are some of us left in this worl who do not want to look like whores. There are! It's amazing!

It is rare that I see a woman who is dressed properly and attractively. I see those same things you see and just shake my head. Is it honestly attractive to be wearing low-rise jeans with a thong hanging out? And oh, it's for the boys, is it? Well what kind of boys do you think you will be attracting with that kind of poor fashion? Honestly. Women amaze me. They dress this way and then question the negative attention they get from men? They may not deserve it, no one does, but don't be so silly as to question it when you are dressing the way you do.

I suppose we will just have to continue averting our eyes? Heh. Especially in summer... I dread summer and being packed in this city with women wearing dental floss.
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From: spells_disaster
2006-08-25 01:29 am (UTC)
what can i say...people are freaks

i dread forty years from now, because we'll be subjected to at least a handful of people who are senior citizens reliving their youth by ...dammit, i cant even say it...lets hope their children burn their clothing
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-08-25 03:33 am (UTC)

Well, Ma'am ...

... I wasn't looking for sympathy - or even empathy. :)

For what it's worth, I am a short and less than slender man. Finding a pair of pants that fits my waist but doesn't leave my cuffs tripping up my feet isn't easy (though it can be done).

My point though, was that I just really hate the whole environment. My I should start shopping online. It's the process of shopping I dislike so much.
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[User Picture]From: carnivalnights
2006-08-26 12:03 am (UTC)

Re: Well, Ma'am ...

I know. I was just poking fun. :P

I am extremely short, on top of being full-figured (yay for me), and I have never, ever purchased a pair of pants that my grandma has not had to hem for me. She has honestly been hemming my pants for twenty-two years. Poor thing. I have no idea why there is no such thing as someone short and not thin, or someone tall and not thin, or someone short and thin. There is just tall and thin in the fashion/clothing industry. Am I the only one who finds this obscenely inconsiderate and disturbing? And this goes for both genders, not just females. I know males also have their fair share of clothing woes.

I agree about the process. I hate it. I hated shopping even as a teenage girl, and I hate it even more now. I swear by online shopping these days. I do leave the house, of course, but I just never go to malls. Keeps the blood pressure down!
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2006-08-24 10:57 pm (UTC)
You make a shopping trip to the Eaton Centre sound better than many novellas I've ever read. I admire that.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-08-25 03:15 am (UTC)

Ah Me, Oh My ...

Le purrr, le purrr.
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-08-26 03:34 am (UTC)

Re: Ah Me, Oh My ...

Hehe, he/she is right!

But Geoff, Dawling, an Improperly Clothed Male is a Male Without a Rudder. Or something like that.

Get thee forsooth to: International Male! (http://frogstylebiscuit.com/index.php?articles_function=show_detail&name=articles&id=182)

Seriously, have you got a Mountain Equipment Co-op in Toronto? My bf shops there all the time. He loves the fact that they actually try to get stuff made in Canada, or the States.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-08-26 05:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Ah Me, Oh My ...

*shudder*
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-08-26 09:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Ah Me, Oh My ...

What do you mean "shudder"? You don't like 4 piece pink pimp suits?! Or MEC?!
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-08-26 09:21 pm (UTC)

Re: Ah Me, Oh My ...

Er, let's just say it's not really me. Now if it came in purple ...
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