Catalog Shopping

Yesterday, I wrote about how my mother was responsible for my neurosis with her taking my brother and me school shopping. I wrote what a terrible embarrassment and that she was personally responsible for my phobia about department store dressing rooms.

From then on, I did most of my shopping from catalogs. Among my favorites being Land’s End. They seemed to have the styles I liked and had a virtual rainbow of different colors.

But lately, I have really been confused with the way they describe their colors. I have to decide what color I want but it’s not that simple anymore. How can I figure out what color is it when the colors don’t have names that I learned as a kid and have served me well up to now. Whatever happened to the colors that matched my old Crayola box. Green, and brown, red, blue, yellow and even black?

I haven’t the foggiest idea what color “autumn haze” is. Sand? That could take in a lot of variant colors.  I have a little bit of an idea of what “mocha” “maze” and “pewter” are, but they sure weren’t in my Crayola box. What about “brick.” I have seen some nine different colors of brick – on the same house! Which one are they referring to?

Oh, here is a good one. “Oatmeal.” I kid you not! There is only one thing in the whole world that should be the color of oatmeal, and that is oatmeal. The only thing that even remotely comes close to oatmeal in color was my kid brother, and our mom took him to the doctor. Why would anyone want to dress in that color?

“Suntan,” now there is one for you. Whose Suntan? Is a California tan or a North Dakota farmers tan? Does it have freckles? And then there is “melon.” Is it water, musk, honeydew? I want to know, is it pink, orange, green? Same problem with “berry” or “wine.” Is it a raspberry or a black cherry? And as for wine, is it Claret or a Chablis, and what self-respecting man would put on a sweater colored “Blush?”

Here is still a small list of the colors out of one catalog alone: mocha, peach, plum, butterscotch, maze, rum, mustard, lemon, vanilla, nutmeg, celery, cream berry, melon, coffee, wine and of course, don’t forget oatmeal. Sounds like a shopping list doesn’t it?

But I absolute favorite is . . . “natural.” Natural what? Grass is natural, is it green? Tomatoes are natural, maybe it is red. Snow is natural too. How about white? Dirt is natural but I commend them on not naming something “dirt.”

OK, let’s assume that I have this coloring all figured out and I want to order something. Now let’s talk about sizes. My shirts are 161/2 – 33. The 16 ½ is my neck size and the 33 is my arm length. But why do I have a 16 1/2 Neck size and my hat is 7 1/4. Am I a conehead? So what do I wear over my 16 ½ shirt? Why a 42 jacket of course. I need a size 8 ½ glove but I need a 10 ½ ring to over a single finger and then I need a size twelve sock and a size 10 shoe – on the same foot.

But I think my biggest gripe is how they model these clothes. Take for instance, when I was shopping for a new bathrobe. The models are incredibly handsome with broad shoulders and eyes that are nearly mesmerizing, and not a single wrinkle in his robe. His hair does not have a strand of place, his face is shaved as smooth as a baby bottom and his teeth absolutely sparkle while a beautiful young lady, who would make Nicole Kidman look like a throw rug stands beside him in her matching robe looking absolutely adoringly at him.

Yup! That’s me, alright! Each morning I bound out of bed looking just like that. But who is that bald guy in the mirror (and even when I did have hair, each morning it looked like an explosion in a steel wool factory), The stubble growing out of his face, bags under his eyes examing his tongue with bloodshot eyes? His robe looks like a tablecloth from a kindergarten picnic.

So there you have it, and I haven’t even gotten to part the part where I have to figure out what my order weighs so can pay extra and determine what postal zone I am in on that bull eye map. It is a good thing that I have all the clothes I want.

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