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All in a Day’s Shopping


             The motto for rural communities hoping to stay alive? Buy Local. But sometimes what you want isn’t available. Fancy underwear is one of those examples. Specialist doctors are another. When the need for a physician requires a two-hour drive, one also takes advantage of department stores like Macy’s, where this tale begins.

            At the mall entrance, my significant other turned left for men’s clothing, and I took off straight ahead to lingerie, cell phones synchronized for the inevitable call one of us would make to the other: “I’m ready. Let’s go.” The curvy drive home through redwood trees and vineyards was easiest to maneuver during daylight. There was never time to dawdle.

            I found the panties I liked, the see-through black ones with off-white lace identical to those at home, but some of mine were no longer in the best of shape and needed replacement. My preference was high-cut, but these, the only pair on the shelf, weren’t labeled. Off to the dressing room, trying them on for comparison purposes over the older ones I already wore, following proper procedure according to the sign outside the door.

            “Buzz,” shouted my phone. “OK. I’ll meet you at the front door in a minute. These aren’t the correct fit anyway.”

            I slipped off both pairs at the same time, separated them, then redressed.

            Forty minutes of driving took us to our usual spot in the last town before winding roads: cheapest gas, something to drink, and clean bathrooms. Phillip pumped; I headed to use the facilities. Pulling my panties back up, I felt something strange: a small piece of cardboard.  

            Looking closer, it was the price tag attached to the new underwear. My cheeks reddened, envisioning my dirty old underwear gracing the dressing room bench. I’m seventy years old, and I’ve stolen underpants?

            “You’re not going to believe what happened,” I told Phillip when I exited the convenience store. “You know the underwear I tried on? I stole them. I’m a $27 thief!”

            You did what?” He looked shocked. I explained how it happened. He started to laugh, then stopped. “Your underwear costs $27 a pair?”

Black Lace Panties.jpg

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