Welcome to the wilds! New Jersey for me was like crossing the border into Tijuana. Sure, the new lifestyle was crazy, but no one would ever admit to living there. When my husband’s job was relocated here in August 2010, we both were frightened. Now we’re learning about life, love, and marriage in this strange new culture. Feel free to tag along for the adventure.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Cro$$ing$

If you live in the wilds of New Jersey, you may find yourself as I did without many clothes for the impending, harsh winter. Its only mid-September and already I was shivering in short sleeves and thin sweaters. I had to find warmth, and since it is no longer customary to kill, skin, tan, and sew a hide for fabric; I was forced into the modern woman’s version of the forest: outlet malls.

Like any good woods-woman knows, there is one rule when entering the material jungle. You never go in alone. More eyes equates to both better gathering and protection from threats like being lured to a hideous lime green sweater or poisoning your credit score by signing up for the credit card / 20% off deal that every vender spins. I knew the perfect guide for this outing: my mother. I called her and she called her mother…and soon we had a three generational pack ready to scavenge The Crossings at Tannersville. Grandmother, mother, and daughter were prepared. We fished for online coupons finding that the outlets had excellent ones to improve our bounty. We kissed our men goodbye, promising to return before sun down. And then we hit the trails with the rising sun.

Everyone has rules about catching the perfect deals. I have mine. First, class before trash. This little phrase is two-fold. It can save any woman from heartache both in the workplace and at the bars. Its most obvious meaning is that if you are down to your last pennies go for classy over trashy. We have all been there in the skimpy tank-top and skirt in the grocery store deli. It’s a bold move and a cold one. I guarantee that you will wear the classy outfit most often and will be much more comfortable in the average settings. However, this phrase also means that layering is key: find a skimpy trashy top and layer it with a classy one. People will see class before trash when you’re at work, but one less layer and you’re ready to go bar hopping . That’s called being flexible!

Second, there are certain stores that one must never set foot in. I know that sounds closed minded, but let me explain. There is a store called The Dress Barn. I ask you, “What shops in a barn?” Not a person…No, barns are inhabited by horses and cows. I am no cow. Thus, therein lies their marketing blunder. Yet, as I was walking past that store, I saw a cute, black, long-sleeve t-shirt. I was in love. I drooled staring at it. Despite my better judgment, I went to it. I lifted it from its hanger inspecting and perusing its shape and form. All around me, my pack enclosed. My mother being the fearless leader, made a raucous. Suddenly, from her lips she uttered a guttural, “Moooo!” Again, I repeat, never shop alone. She could not save me from acquiring it. I had to break the rule this once. However, it was worth it just for the memory and the laughter that ensued.

All in all the day proved successful. We ensnared so many deals, the trunk of my car was packed full. I returned home with twelve shirts for my husband, eight shirts for me, and a new pea coat. Then, my husband delighted in everything I had bought for him; except for one little teal shirt that I had to release back into the wild. It was a great day! One I must repeat for pants in the very near future.

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