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December 03, 2006: Nearly painless

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It occurred to me, at the little impromptu rehearsal we had on Wednesday night, that with the concert coming up quickly, it would be a good idea if I knew what I was supposed to be wearing. From the pictures on the website of the group in previous concerts, I knew that the dress code was all black, but I didn't know if there were any other rules I needed to be aware of. It turns out it was good I asked, since part of the attire is a black jacket, and while I already own black pants and black shoes, I do not, nor have I ever owned a black jacket. A few of the other women noted that they just used a black suit jacket but I have so far successfully avoided the need to either wear or own a suit (and hope to continue the trend as long as possible).

I knew this weekend would be my only chance to go find a suitable jacket, and I figured that with all the holiday attire on sale right now in the department stores, I might actually have a decent shot at finding something. So on the way home from Apple Hill Richard and I did the unthinkable. We took a detour off the freeway and went to a mall. A very large shopping mall. A very large, very crowded shopping mall on this, the first full weekend of December. And it occurred to us, as we approached the crowded parking lot with throngs of other cars and a feeling of impending dread, that we have not stepped foot in an actual mall during the holiday season in years. Ever since the advent of online shopping we have done a majority of our gift shopping over the internet, and when we do have to venture forth to an actual brick and mortar store, we usually go to non-mall locations, where there's less likelihood of being overrun by impatient drivers, overtired children, and throngs of shoppers who are filled with something that doesn't look remotely like holiday cheer.

Luckily, despite our worries to the contrary, it was a nearly painless mall shopping experience. For one thing, we managed to score a parking space before we'd even completed one circle around the lot. For another, we never had to go into the actual mall itself. And for a third, and best of all, we managed to find me the perfect black jacket in the very first store we entered, and for a price that wasn't nearly as horrible as I was expecting it to be. And as if all of that wasn't enough, let us not forget the icing on the cake - the jacket does *not* have to be dry cleaned as I had feared it might, since the necessity of dry cleaning is a state which is the kiss of death for any item that is intended to become part of my wardrobe.

There is still the possibility that I may have to go brave the department store madness again, since there seems to be confusion on what color shirt we'll be wearing underneath the (newly acquired) black jacket, but I am far less concerned about being able to find a suitable top than I was for finding the jacket. And while we were there, I also brought a black shirt, just in case, since that's what's been the attire for previous concerts. After all, if I don't end up needing it, I can always return it. One of these years. When I work up the willpower to return to the mall again. Preferrably *not* during the busiest shopping season of the year.

Tis the season for Holidailies

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