This morning I wandered into the men’s section of J.C. Penneys in Lakeland, Florida. I was putting in time while Kathleen shopped elsewhere in the mall. A clerk saw me and immediately motioned excitedly, pointing across the store and saying, “You’d better hurry over there; some men’s shirts have just gone on sale for $2.97. She seemed vicariously energized at the thought of my getting a great bargain.
The three racks she had indicated displayed shirts of solid, bright colors – green, mauve, purple, and peach. They were being rifled through by two men and a woman. The shirts were Van Heusens, and the three shoppers were apparently the first to encounter this fantastic sale.
One man already had six or seven shirts protected in the crook of his arm as, with the other arm, he pawed through the stacks looking for more. He was searching for size 17, he said. In an exultant manner he announced to me and the other customers that he could wear these shirts to work in the garden or even use them for cleaning rags and he would be ahead of the game.
He asked my size and began to watch for size 15&1/2s as well as size 17s, but without much success. There was camaraderie at this sale but there were few of the smaller sizes. I found one white shirt in my size, and he found two more. I surrendered the one. For me, the two would mean $2.97 divided by two. He thrust them toward me, obviously eager to help me to get in on the goodies.
Normally, I don’t shop unless I have some specific item in mind. But this situation piqued my interest. I could imagine myself sporting a Van Heusen, wrinkle free, shirt in, say, an orange color as I drove my wife to a Monday night potluck in Light and Life Park. That is, if I could get past her more refined tastes as to how she likes to see me dressed when we are together.
But buying those two white Van Heusens for about $1.50 each when they were originally ticketed at $60 in a package of two gave me an unexpected sense of accomplishment. Now I have to figure out how I can get some good wear out of them without appearing to be dressed up much of the time for a wedding or someone’s fiftieth anniversary.
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