Whirlygig: 102: Out on the Town

A trip to an outlet mall becomes a prime shopping excursion

Shop 'Til You Drop
I hate those moments when I question my own manliness. I had one of those moments when Jen called me up Saturday to see if I wanted to go with her to the Pottery Barn Outlet store. As soon as she asked me, I felt a little bit more excited than I wanted to. After taking a moment to suppress my glee, I told her I'd go with her only if she wouldn't think less of me as a guy if I were actually excited to go with her.

I thought the Pottery Barn Outlet store was in the Tri-County area, so I was a little surprised when she got on the highway and started heading up I-71 North. When we started driving past Kings Island, I finally had to ask her where we were going. That's when I found out that we were actually going to the Prime Outlet Mall in Jeffersonville.

The first words out of my dumb-ass mouth were, "Isn't that the outlet mall on the same exit as the Lion's Den?" In case you're not aware, the Lion's Den is what I like to call the truck stop of porn on Exit 65 of I-71. I was hoping Jen wouldn't notice my knowledge of where to buy cheap porn.

Instead she just smiled and said, "Don't worry. If we still have time, we can stop at the Lion's Den on the way home and pick something out."

I couldn't decide if this was some kind of test, so I decided to ignore her comment by lighting up a cigarette and rolling down the car window. The sound of wind rushing through a half-open window is a great way to get out of an uncomfortable conversation.

This was my first trip to the Prime Outlet Mall. The small parking lot on the front of the mall near the highway was nearly full. It took us a couple of minutes of driving around the parking lot before we spotted a family with their arms full of new purchases to slowly follow as they walked to their car. I've never seen any shopping mall that packed outside of the panic week of shopping before Christmas I normally do every year.

We spent nearly an hour in the Pottery Barn walking up and down every aisle. I didn't really see anything I wanted except for curtain rods that were incredibly cheap. I ended up buying four of them even though I have only three windows in my bedroom.

After a quick smoke break, we decided to walk around the rest of the mall to see what other stores might catch our fancy. When we walked past Nine West, I quickly realized that the Pottery Barn was just a ruse to get me to come with her on a shoe-shopping trip. As soon as Jen said, "I just want to go in here for a second to see what they have," I knew I was in for it.

It was fun at first when she was trying on different C.F.M. boots. I quickly lost all interest when she started trying on pair after pair of sensible shoes for work. What made the experience worse were the sales staff that I swear were laughing at me because I looked so miserable. Especially when after 30 minutes, Jen said, "I just want to try on one more pair." I decided to do a little more shopping on my own for a while as she tried on her "one" more pair of shoes.

After shopping at the Fossil store, a running shoe store and a dress shoe store for men, I decided to go back and check on Jen. She was standing in front of a shoe mirror with two different red shoes that to my untrained eye looked identical. She said she couldn't decide between the two and asked for my opinion.

As a guy, I picked the shoe that looked the most comfortable. As soon as I told Jen my choice, another shopper came by, looked at the two shoes on Jen's feet and said she liked the other one better. Needless to say, Jen went with the female customer's choice.

After Nine West we did more shopping at the Nike Outlet store and the Jockey Outlet store. As we were leaving, Jen asked me if I still wanted to go to the Lion's Den. I couldn't believe it, but I was actually too exhausted from shopping to go buy porn. Next time I'll eat a Powerbar before I go shopping with Jen.

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