We had breakfast before leaving the house, and I can’t remember how we decided to skip lunch, but we did. We got on the road toward Milwaukee around 11:45am, I think. The trip was fairly uneventful. We talked about our plans for the day. Over Memorial Day weekend, while playing Bridge in Lake Geneva, we had met a couple in our general age range. They seemed like cool gamer-types, and so we’d been trying to get together with them for games or whatever for awhile. One half of the couple works at the Pot (where Scott goes to play poker), which is both convenient and not-so-convenient. He currently works second shift, so he sleeps during the day. We went back and forth on plans with them for awhile, but we ended up planning to go to Summerfest in the evening, taking the Pot’s shuttle to Summerfest from the casino.
I dropped Scott off at the casino around 12:30 and headed out toward Brookfield to pick up the Best Woman dress (altered) from David’s. I remembered that there was one mall near the David’s, so my plan was to shop for some much needed shorts while in the area.
I got up to Brookfield just before 1pm. My appointment was for 2pm, but I didn’t know how strict that would be since I was just basically picking up a dress. I decided to drive for a bit, see if I found a stand-alone store to kill some time, and if not, I’d come back to the David’s and try to get in early. Continuing down Bluemound Rd, I found a little shop complex that had a Talbot’s and a Talbot’s Petite.
I should mention that Talbot’s is my favorite clothing store. They are really expensive for what they sell, but I have noticed a definite difference in the quality and fit of their clothes compared to a similar item in a cheaper brand…so, in my eyes, it’s worth it. They also have a woman petites line that fits me perfectly. With their stores though, sometimes they will specifically have a Talbot’s Woman store, and sometimes, the woman things will be mixed into the regular or petite store. It usually depends on whether the area is big enough to support separate stores or not.
After looking around briefly in this Talbot’s, I realized they didn’t have the woman line. Back in my less confident days, I would just leave a store if I didn’t see my size, even if I knew the store carried my size in catalogs or at other store instances. But, sometime in late 2000 or early 2001, I started forcing myself to always ask instead of just leaving with tail between legs. Sometimes, I get surprised and find out that the area with the plus or women’s sizes just isn’t clearly labelled (Lands’ End) or that they have larger sizes in certain items but not others and they’re just on the rack with the items (Eddie Bauer). Other times, I get the “Yeah, right” look that snotty and evil thin people get when they convince themselves that fat will never happen to them and fat people are socially inferior. But most of the time, the person is completely polite and even in the case where they don’t have my size, offers either the name of another store or says something like “I wish we did carry larger sizes. We get asked all the time!” Hearing that latter comment especially makes me happy for that I convinced myself to start doing this.
I asked the saleswoman if there was a Talbot’s Woman store in the area, and sure enough, there was one at another mall. After seeing my blank stare when the woman mentioned the mall’s name, she confirmed that I wasn’t from the area and proceeded to give me directions. Now, I am brave and self-assured enough to ask about my size, but I’m still stubborn and proud enough that I don’t tend to ask for as many details when getting directions as I should. Remember that for later.
Checking my cellphone, I saw that it was just past one, and as I’d already driven a good bit down Bluemound, I decided to turn around and try to take care of David’s early. The early visit turned out to be no problem. No one even mentioned that I was there early. I tried on the altered dress. It was still gapping a little under my arms, but I wasn’t willing to make another trip up to get that fixed, especially since I’ll have my arms down through most of the ceremony, I’m sure. The seamstress noticed an issue with one of the straps that she quickly fixed, and then, I was off to the mall.
My directions from TalbotsLady were “Go on Bluemound (she pointed in a direction) to 100, then turn left. Mayfair mall will be on your right. You can’t miss it.” Sounds pretty simple, right? And given that she didn’t give any distances, I figured it must be close enough to not require them. So, I started driving east, in the direction she pointed. Went up a hill, down a hill…no 100. So, then I wondered if 100 was between Talbot’s and David’s. Drove back. No 100. Continued west in case I had mis-understood her pointing. Still no 100. But, I was determined at this point. I drove to the mall that I knew about and headed for the bookstore. I found the map section of the local B&N and looked up where I was. Turns out 100 was about a half mile further east than I’d gone.
I do feel a little bad for using bookstores like libraries, but I do it all the time. I buy a coffee drink sometimes to make up for it. That had been my plan when I went in, as I was terribly thirsty, but after perusing my purse, I realized I had no cash on me at all. And, I had left my ATM/debit card in a pants pocket at home. Oops. Fortunately, I keep a credit card in my purse, too, for use on rare occasions like this one. I could have bought a drink on credit, but I hate doing that for various reasons. So, for this one time, I freeloaded for map (and bathroom) usage off of B&N. Sorry, B&N. 😉
After leaving B&N though, I realized that I hoard change in my purse. Sure enough, I had around three bucks in change in my purse, so I bought a soda for the “long” drive to the Mayfair mall. It actually worked out well, because I was heading east, which was back toward the Pot. And, I found the Talbots, used my coupons, bought some clothes that were on sale…and then went to Coldwater Creek and did much the same except without coupons. I also got a couple of headbands from Claire’s. After that bout of shopping, I headed back to the car and programmed the GPS to return me to the Pot by way of a gas station. A few minutes later, Scott called to tell me that Colleen was on her way to the Pot also, and we could either play bingo or go to summerfest early as his poker table was sucking.
In our next segment: Summerfest and the dangers of the JoJo’s Martini Lounge