Oh, hello. I have to admit you scared me just a tad. I didn’t see you there lording over your computer with that fierce gaze of yours fixed on your screen peering through miles and miles of information just to get to my wee site. Well I suppose now that you’re here you expect me to tell you something like a story of some sort. Well, that’s a alot of pressure to put on someone but I’ll see what I can do.
Today was a Wednesday like any other Wednesday I suppose, save for the fact that I was not working and I was armed with a sizeable gift card to a noted New York shopping establishment. Scratch that, it was not like any other Wednesday for the reasons previously stated. Now, I certainly do not fancy myself the clotheshorse, so if I were to do something with this aforementioned “sizeable gift card” I would need to enlist some help. However, before we get to all of that exciting detail, perhaps I should give you some backstory.
The previous night I had much trouble getting to sleep. It wasn’t until about an hour and a half of watching NYC-TV that I actually felt a veil of exhaustion come over me. Unfortunately that was at 5am. At around 9:30am my phone rang. Who called is quite immaterial, the mere fact that I was awoken from my slumber was the only substantial occurrence. The dream I had been roused from was quite the interesting one. I was dreaming that I was at the beach or maybe it was a subway station (maybe both at different times) when myself and several other civilians kept getting washed over with Tsunami waves. They weren’t that frightening as no one was getting hurt it was just a terrible bother to us folk being washed all over the place. At the end of the 3rd or 4th Tsunami there were advertisements on a billboard or poster touting the availability of HBO’s Tsunami Aftermath series on DVD. Before the dream was cut short by the phone call I thought, “I wish HBO would stop creating these Tsunamis. I mean we get it, it’s out on DVD.” That’s where the dream ended. I wonder if subconsciously HBO is still promoting.
I awoke from my second slumber at around 11:30am and took it upon myself to pour a bowl of cereal and milk and have a shower. After emerging from the wetness feeling shiny and new, I put on my Wednesday best and gave a telephonic shout to Amy G, who would be my tour guide in the mysterious land of the well-dressed. Pleasantries were exchanged but the most important part of the call was our meeting time, 1:45pm on the corner of 59th and Lexington. I said I’d be there, and be there I would, though not exactly on time. I set out to leave my apartment several times, once out of fear that my door might not be locked, the other times out of the fear that I had forgotten crucial elements to my trip, like my book or my phone.
I finally stepped out the door a hair past 12:55 and worked my way towards the Atlantic Avenue station. My iPodyssey was resumed with “Hey Now!” by The Brothers’ Gallagher (also known as Oasis) and kept on rolling through Earl Pickens “Hey Stacey”. By the time I reached the 4 train stop at 59th and Lexington the time was 1:47 and I’d gone through 7 of 11 “High” songs leaving me at Aimee Man’s “High on Sunday 51”.
When I surfaced above ground I was immediately reminded of the harsh winds I had experienced walking to the subway from my apartment. They were not very forgiving. My head was cold and my hair was doing some flapping as hair is wont to do in the wind. After giving Amy a ring she found me through the sea of shoppers that were flocking to the storied New York shopping establishment known as Bloomingdales.
There was quite the air of intimidation as I entered it’s hallowed halls. The smell of commerce and cologne filled the air. I’d find out what distinct colognes later on. The first store we encountered was the Ralph Lauren Polo store. I’m not so keen on his prep school friendly designs but I did take away a short sleeved grey polo. However, Amy asked what I was looking for and I had no idea what the response was. Truth be told, I would’ve rather had a gift certificate to Best Buy or Virgin. However, I was more in need of a wardrobe upgrade than a new CD or DVD. I’m what you might call a prime candidate for the Queer Eye Guys (Is that show still on?). Our next move was to the shoe section but any purchase in this area would have used up a large chunk of my gift allowance so I decided to move the focus back to clothing.
Amy had a tough task ahead of her and she was certainly a trooper. I wasn’t giving her the kind of guidance she needed in order to be my fashion rock. We wandered through several stores, through Tommy Hilfiger, on past Hugo Boss, Marc Jacobs and into Joseph Abboud’s corner. It was at this time that I wondered aloud, “Maybe I could go for a blazer and some nice button down long sleeves.” This would be a new look for Evan Kessler, a look he (or I) was willing to try. From that moment on it was clear sailing. We retraced our steps finding a reasonably priced, well-fitting blazer at the Tommy Hilfiger section. The jacket cost a mere $175 which paled in comparison to nearly every other jacket we saw. Most others seemed to fit snugly into the $325-$425 price range. I find it absolutely apalling that someone can slap together some fabric and throw such an exorbitant price tag on something as simple as a blazer. It’s not as if though by using Taiwanese laborers instead of Chinese, they are reinventing the fashion wheel.
The next stop was back to Ralph Lauren for dress shirts. However, all of the shirts had that privileged aristocrat swinging his polo mallet in the pocket area. The last thing I need is that aristocrat taunting me with his money and his multiple homes every time I put on a button down. Amy thought we should head back to Hugo Boss because they had some dapper looking duds sans preppy derision. On our way over to look for more shirts I became entranced by the table o’scents and began to inspect some ways of enhancing my appeal to the olfactories of my acquaintances. As I was doing so a perfume peddler proceeded to pitch to me a particular aroma. I was unable to sidestep his spiel as he came at me full force when he asked “What scent do you wear now?”. Unable to avoid his inquiry the first thing that came to mind was “Escada”. With that he began to explain to me why this particular fragrance would suit me just as well as Escada. The fragrance was called Sexúal. He went on to show me how Sexúal was sold in bigger bottles and for cheaper and how it would naturally mesh with my scent. This servant of smell would not take “no” for an answer. I felt as though I were about to be fragrance raped. Just then, a beacon of light shown down upon me as a customer asked him a question and the chains had been broken. Amy and I quickly shuffled to the other side of the fragrance counter where we were quickly questioned by a less forceful perfume pusher about buying the Burberry cologne. While this was happening Mr. Sexúal, who was clearly working on commission, made me rub some of that sweet scent on my wrist from across the counter. I just didn’t have the heart to tell him that I, in no way shape or form, could ever purchase a cologne called “Sexúal”. He was at a distance now and it would be much easier to just walk away.
Finally, after all of that hassle, we made it back to Hugo Boss, where Amy and I settled on a dark blue button down. We were dismayed at the lack of shirt selection. It was at that moment a helpful salesperson informed us that there was an entire half floor of items we had missed where more shirt styles would be thrust upon us. Amy also insisted that the helpful hand measure my arms and my neck as I had no idea what shirt I was looking for, but I preferred to be stubborn and just guess. My stubborness gave way though and I was armed with the proper shirt purchasing knowledge and upstairs we went.
In order to reach our destination we had to pass through all of the women’s cosmetics. Much to my surprised Amy was focused and she showed little interest in veering from the task at hand despite the presence of makeup counters. We made it to the shirt section unscathed and proceeded to find two shirts, only to replace one of them several minutes later. Before we purchased the shirts though we gravitated to the larger men’s fragrance section where I inhaled several different scent options. We did catch a bit of a hassle but I was determined to make my own decision and ultimately settled on the John Varvatos Vintage, which still adorns my wrist as I type this (or is that the Sexúal). Amy and I made quick work at the checkout counter and then I patiently paced behind her as she had a look around the lady floors. She could’ve walked around all day for all I cared as she had been exceedingly patient with me, but instead she showed mercy and took barely a half hour to browse and bought nothing.
Our shopping trip was a successful one and in celebration we had a snack at a local pizza place before we went our separate ways. I rejoined the iPodyssey mid “High On Sunday 51” and arrived safely at home to the strains of Pavement’s “Hit the Plane Down”, only 25 songs after the day had begun, and what a day it was. It did not end immediately as around 9pm I met up with Andrew Morton for some light eats, but aside from hearing about his holiday hijinx it was rather uneventful, but not in a boring way.
Well that’s it for Wednesday’s storytime hour. I hope you’ve all enjoyed yourself. Remember, don’t talk to strangers and always keep your gun where your kids can find in case of an unwanted intruder.