This will be the first of two (in a series -- collect 'em all) posts today. Why? Namely, because I have the Return of the King soundtrack blaring out through the speakers at my computer inspiring me to literary greatness, but also because I refuse to do anything productive at work, especially following a "break." My sinuses and allergies are trying to compensate for me being in relative good health all summer, and they're on full-blown attack mode.
SIGNS YOUR LIFE HAS BECOME A SELF-PARODY: I noticed something this morning when I was getting dressed. (Get your mind OUT of the gutters, children.) My clothes...all the clothes I am wearing today came from Ye Olde Bananae Republike. The socks. Skivvies. T-shirt. Belt. Pants. Button down jacket (suede, to boot). Jacket. Hell, the only articles of clothing that aren't from the Banana are my glasses and shoes. This, dear friends, is the end result of having a nice outlet mall, oh, three hours from your doorstep.
Last year (almost exactly a little over a year ago, in fact), I was in Birmingham to go see Tori Amos in concert (and meet up with a friend who I was ill-fated to eventually get a crush on and blah blah blah whoa-oh-oa-oh feelings etc. ad nauseum heartache yadda yadda move on). ANYWAY, I got there a little early, and I decided to scope out the local sights that were not terribly far from the concert arena. I'd seen the signs for this "Outlet Mall" several times before, but -- since I was normally on my way back to J-town when these signs came into my life and I was not particularly interested in spending any MORE money, I always opted to not take the road less traveled by (thereby going to what I thought must be an Outlet Mall with a selection of purchaseables on par with the average Shell gas station) and just jet on back to the land of crazed college students. But, since She Who Must Not Be Named Ere I Choke Up and I were not slated to meet for an hour or so, I decided to go kill time. "What do I have to lose besides a few scoffs at these simpletons and their shopping abilities?"
And...(in Comic Book Guy voice) this turned out to be.... The. Worst. Idea. Ever.
Holy Cats -- this place was like a shopping Mecca in the middle of a freakin' serial killer's dream locale. The Outlet Mall (hereforeafter referred to as "The Bleak Discover Card Draining Zone") is located in what looks to be the outskirts of a gravel pit, down County Line Mule Trail 409 or something, next to the saddest excuse for an amusement park ever created ("Vision Land," which sounds like an optometrist's dream world). TBDCDZ has the standard Outletty things -- shoes, books (where I bought the damn funniest book I've ever seen; Juice, you're getting a copy of this from Sonny Claus, bud), and a Banana Outlet. A HUGE Banana Outlet.
-- and since I do feel the need to look my best for all the many dates I go out on (translation: zero), as well as looking good at work (translation: after being kept up all night by the jackass stunts of college students, I HAVE to compensate for the dark circles under my eyes by looking as stylish as a mofo), well...shirts at half-price? A CASHMERE SWEATER FOR $20? Belts, good nice pet-able leather belts, insanely priced at three for $30?
My car weighed a little bit more on the return trip than it did on the way over. Didn't mind a bit that I got home at three in the morning wearing a coffee stain on my left shoulder from where I fell asleep while driving.
But, y'know, the fact that I now look like a walking billboard for the Gods of Style...I am disturbed. I am bothered by the fact that I am wearing all similar labeled items. It's like Grranimals for Adults.
Now, in my own defense, I have not nor shall I be a slave to A Label. These are quality clothes that don't fall apart after three washings. The fact they're all...from the same bloody place...well. Then. Only I know, and it is my shame to carry.
And now you all know. Please feel free to mock at your own peril.