My daughters and I were out running errands the other day, when I made an impulse decision to visit a small clothing store that recently opened in our town. There it was in a small strip shopping center, squeezed in between Paulie's Pork-Out Pizza Palace and The Prickly Pear Florist ("We specialize in cactus arrangements!").
I should have known better, just by the name on the storefront. It included the word "boutique," which, of course, is French for "muchos pesos." I don't normally shop in boutiques. I usually shop in stores whose names begin with "Mega-" or end in "-mart." So I don't really know what came over me, but we went in anyway.
It didn't take my girls long to find the rack of jeans, and even less time to see the price tags - $154.95. Now, I know there are places where consumers wouldn't bat an eye at that price, like Manhattan or Hollywood. But that's not where this store is. It's in Dirtville, Texas. This is a town that's known for its award-winning high school all-girls tractor restoration team. (I can only guess that the cheerleaders chant something like, "Turn that 'driver, turn that wrench! Get that carbuerator off that bench!") This is a town with 20 beauty shops, most of which haven't yet heard that the peacock bangs of the 80's have gone out of style. We also have four feed stores and five donut shops, but you have to drive 45 miles to buy a book or find someone who knows that the Baja Peninsula isn't a drink at Taco Bell. My point is, we don't have a $154.95-jeans-buying demographic.
So I can't figure out who's paying for these high-dollar jeans. It certainly isn't me. The only way I'd pay that much is if 1) they came with a $134.95 rebate, or 2) they had magical properties which made me look like Catherine Zeta-Jones when I put them on.
And it wasn't just the jeans. I found this cute t-shirt that had a lovely collage on the front and a saying something like "Motherhood isn't for the weak." Unfortunately, the store wanted $40 for this shirt, which was about the same thickness as single-ply toilet paper. And although it was marked as a medium size, it was TINY. I don't know any mothers in this county that could wear that shirt. When we say, "Everything's bigger in Texas," that includes women's black polyester stretch pants. The grocery store can run out of grapefruit and whole wheat flour, but God forbid the Little Debbie display rack goes empty or the Blue Bell Ice Cream truck breaks down. I've wondered if the women here allow themselves to get fat as a means of weighting down their mobile homes during tornadoes.
I'm keeping an eye on this store. I figure it can't stay in business for long, and when it gets ready to shut down, there's going to be a big sale. Then I'm gonna get me some designer jeans and wear them proudly to the next big local event, which I believe is the Miss Corn Fed Cutie Beauty Pageant. And when I say big event, I mean that literally.