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Suburban Island

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Friday, May. 30, 2003, 9:27 a.m.

Question: And where did you shop today?

What I Learned: Dressing rooms can be dangerous to your dignity.

Yesterday, I decided to stop at Target straight after work. I love Target because:

  • you never have to get dressed up
  • it doesn’t matter if your nail polish is chipped
  • you can buy the National Enquirer and nobody looks shocked
  • hot pretzels and popcorn are available
  • they have those great retro commercials where somebody sings Sweet Happy Life

While there, I tried on a pair of cropped pants that caught my eye. I popped into the dressing room, flung on the pants, and satisfied that they looked fine for running up to get a cup of coffee or picking up some groceries, I hastily pulled my suit skirt back on and headed for the register. Another job well done. I am so fast and efficient today. Nothing is getting by me. I feel especially self-satisfied as I happily grasp my bag and stride out of the store towards my car, secure that tomorrow I will have a pair of pants to knock around in that are not made of heavy winter fabric for a change. How easy is this?

A few minutes later, I arrive at my second destination. I hop out of my car and I hear someone say to me in the most dignified and polite voice – ma’am, I think you have something stuck to the back of your skirt. I reach back and there - stuck firmly to the back of my suit - is what looks to be a small peel-back adhesive backing from – gasp… a sanitary napkin. I pull it off of my rear end with an embarrassed thank you and as much grace as I can muster up. Another Target dressing room disaster has just played out in suburbia. One of the many faceless victims of such tricks of fate, I have just been rescued by the simple kindness of a stranger from parading around the mall for an hour with something unseemly plastered to my backside. It doesn’t erase the fact however, that I had sashayed around Target with a questionable sort of ad for a feminine hygiene product glued to my bottom. Nor does it make up for the fact that I had done so with a degree of confidence that I am sure even Always wouldn’t have anticipated.

Indeed, ignorance can be bliss but sometimes a little knowledge can go a long way in this life. And the next time you try something on in that dressing room, make sure you give yourself a quick once over in the mirror on the way out. It’s not vanity – it’s sanity.

DETAILS: Coffee: white chocolate mocha + Listening to: jazz compilations + Observing: flowers blooming + Thinking: I need to spray the roses + Weather: sunshine

Today’s Suburban Strategy: Got a dog? Get some advice...

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