Thursday, August 24, 2006

Look But Don't Touch!

Jane telephoned early this morning and proposed that we do several things: go to Apogee Gallery, where she will have another showing this October, and help to hang some of her art; go to a department store to buy two very large umbrellas for her husband; go to a department store and buy him more shirts for work.

ALICE: Oh, no, no, no. You're NOT getting me to go and find shirts for David again after that last time! And by the way, why can’t one go to the department store and buy him two umbrellas AND shirts. On the same trip!
JANE: Never you mind! But, David made me promise that you would pick out the shirts. You know that he feels that only you can find him the softest cotton around, and you know that with his sensitive skin....
ALICE: NO! Anyway, we are not allowed in the Men's department at Hechts anymore. YOU KNOW THAT.
JANE *pretending that it's a thought that just occurred to her*: I know. Maybe we should go to Macy's.
ALICE: NO! We'll get thrown out of there, too!

Jane spends a few minutes looking at me and wondering whether she could really speak her mind. Apparently she thinks, sure, why the hell not.

JANE: Well, maybe you shouldn't take the shirts and rub them against your cheek.
ALICE: You're blaming me? How else can I tell if the shirts are soft enough for David's baby skin?
JANE: Why don't you just finger them?
ALICE Finger them? That's not going to work. They need to be caressed!
JANE: David is just going to work. At the State Department. There won't be any caressing there.
ALICE *a bit smugly*: He HATES the shirt you pick out. He LOVES the shirts I pick out. Who has the advantage here?

Jane spends another few seconds thinking this over.

JANE: Who made the salesperson come over and scold us because someone was rubbing the shirts against her body and when that someone started to argue, asked us to leave. And never come back.
ALICE *shrugging*: Bah, I was going to fold them neatly again. She was a cretin. She didn't understand skin, softness, caress, you know.

Of course, Jane did drag me to the store. She stood guard while I "tested" the shirts. I had about ten of them strewed about (neatly, of course) but could only find three that passed the skin test.

SALESPERSON: Excuse me. What are you doing?

Jane, as usual, doesn't say a word and pretends to find ugly ties incredibly interesting to examine.

ALICE: Um. Finding shirts. Soft shirts. Feel-good-to-the-skin shirts.
SALESPERSON: Did you OPEN all of those packages?
ALICE: Maybe.
SALESPERSON: OhmyGodpleaseleavenowthanks.
JANE: We'll take those three!

I was planning on putting everything back, I really was, but Jane paid quickly and pushed me out the door.

JANE *reproachfully*: David wanted five shirts. We have to find two more.
JANE: Look, there's Filene's. Want to go there?
ALICE: *cries*

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