Welcome to the Country New Shopping Buddy

Sometimes I feel the need the re-post. Or at least incorporate something I wrote a long time ago into one of my posts. This past week has made me feel that the time was near.
I needed a new dress this week. This is the wedding season or something, and with three upcoming weddings in three entirely different states and two countries, I felt the need to shop. Alas, all of my shopping buddies moved away, and then I moved away from my favorite stores, and sometimes, shopping is just not a solitary thing. I pondered my dilemma, then called up a woman I'd met recently, one who felt like she had the material to be a friend.
She recently immigrated to Texas from New York by way of Connnecticut, and she lives very close. The sister (whose name I promised I would not mention) just seemed to be so cool. I invited her and her spouse out for drinks with a group of folks to try and introduce them to our small community a few weeks ago. She was feeling a little uncomfortable and always seemed a second away from whipping out her Amex and hopping back on a plane. Actually, I found out that she did once, ran to the coast for a fix for a couple of weeks and then returned only because her child had to attend school. At that meeting, I knew we would be friends. You see, it was a rainy Texas evening, and when most of us have just learned to find some shelter and wait a minute (the weather will always change in a minute), girlfriend showed up at my house with a trench coat and some Pucci wellies (that's east coast for fancy galoshes). We had a great time that night, and I sort of felt like she would shop good.
And she didn't dissapoint.
I told Connecticut that I needed a dress and what for, and we headed to Neiman's.
I love Neiman's, but I have to admit that since I moved to San Antonio, I've been more of an internet shopper and have only ventured out once or twice.
Well, we walked into Neiman's, and while one of my feet was still on the escalator, Miss Thing's name was ringing out across the ladies department.
The sales folk were all over us like flies on watermelon.
I paused and picked up my bottom lip.
I had just met my shopping match.
Did they not see me here?
How was it, that I had lived in this fair city a year, and Miss East Coast had only been hear about half of six weeks and all of the sales folk in the store were rushing to her aide? What was up with that?
In ten minutes, we were invited to a fashion soiree and stashed away in a dressing room, and I was wrapped in couture frock after couture frock.
I think I frightened her though when two mature ladies tracked me down in the store and, after making sure that I was me, they told me that they followed me on the internet. Basically, they wanted to know if my What Not was Now Free.
Connecticut slunk away from em from that one.
There are some things, you just don't discuss with your Aunt, Mother, older cousin or the distinguished woman from church whom you admire, and these two womman were all of that, so she was pretty mortified that these women knew about my waxing escapades.
She must have felt scolded by her Auntie or at least busted with her credit car in her hand.

I have to tell you, for the first time since I moved down I-35, I felt at home.
I finally found something, a lovely St John number (she thought It'd bee too stuffy until I put it on), which I paired with Caovilla shoes, right before we were about to dash out the door to retrieve our offspring, and we left with plans to attend a little cocktail fashion thing the next day.


She picked me up that evening and I'm sure both of our husbands breathed a sigh of relief. They wold not be forced to stand around and eat barbeque while a bunch of stick figure models paraded through the crowd and tried to act like their heels were not sinking in the grass.
The event was on a ranch, not far from my house. We drove up the hill and down in the valleys with me navgiating (go ahead, you can shudder), because Connecticut hadn't learned how to use her wife (AKA navigation system) yet, but we got there safely.
We pulled up to the gate and couldn't spot a soul, much less a house, punched in the gate key and waited for the ranch fence to part.
The road was unpaved, hard pack gravel.
Connecticut grumbled about Texans driving trucks and having changed her license plates to Texas plates.
And then she got her REAL introduction to Texas.
A pair of zebra winked at us.
She screamed and slammed on the brakes.
"Is this the right place!?"
I laughed. "Yes, they said it was a ranch."
I didn't want to sound contrite. "You have heard that Texas is a whole 'nother country?" A ranch didn't necessarily mean horses or steer.
Should I mention that these people had a kangaroo and a giraffe too?
Her eyes got wide as saucers while I coaxed her driving moccasined foot off the brake pedal and we continued down the road.
The driveway was over a mile long, and when we finally pulled up to the valet parking attendant, she'd found her voice again and was coherent enough to remove her moccasins and slip on the Manolos I'd chosen for her from the back seat.
(Like me, her kid refused to help her chose just the right shoe because we wouldn't let them go with us.)
We stayed a minute or two, listened to the band (good band) and feigned eating barbeque (I don't eat beef or pork) as we hob-nobbed with the designer (south african, fabulous leather work). The folks from Neiman's were so glad to see us and I even resisted the urge to tip over one of the models as she struggled with her stillettos on the lawn.
When the bugs started snacking on us we decided to escape back to civilization and headed for Swig North. Neither one of us gets outmuch and we decided to take advantage of the free babysitting.
(The original Swig is featured in my upcoming book.)
I learned some interesting things and discovered the need to re-print.
Connecticut only takes the service roads so she can avoid the Texas drivers.
She's a little afraid of that El Paso slash. You know, the one where a driver cuts across six lanes of traffic at 70 miles an hour.
I think I found a shopping buddy, but I'm sure I'm going to be laughing every minute.

We had an interesting evening, but I had to tell her, "I love the east coast, and its great, but I assure you that Texas is great too and you can love it. You just have to have an open mind and bloom where you're planted."
Connecticut, this one's for you....

A Whole Other Country
A friend of mine from graduate school just moved to Texas. She didn't want to, but an offer she couldn't refuse had her packing her stuff and saddling up her horse. She came to visit first and had that thing about Texas that folks often do, you know, that TV thing that expects cowboys and indians and tough lawmen with spurs. Its sort of the same thing a lot of folks have about New York, except that all expect Gotham City.
Anyway, she got here and I felt obliged to teach her how to speak Texan and a few other things. I mean,if you are going to live here and love it, there are some things you just gotta know. Tequila speak and Mojitos and how to eat a good fajita, and even that it is okay to live in Texas and not eat beef (contrary to popular belief). She absolutely had to know where the Hill Country was and that the Colorado River does not exist here,instead we have water ways where the map says the river is that are called Lake Buchanan (pronounced BUCK-anun), and Lake LBJ and so on, because everything begins and ends in Texas. Of course the correct pronunciation of Llano is not yano, but LAH-no, and Burnet is pronounced BURN-it. And don't forget that Manchaca is MAN-shack. Every Texan, naturalized or born here knows these things. We speak when we make eye contact with a stranger, no matter what their ilk. Howdy is just the same as Hello as long as you remember to do it.
And yes, its true, everything is bigger here, hair, jewels (a must) and even the critters. Gotta watch out for those cause spiders aren't so harmless and the sting of a scorpion hurts like the dickens even if most of those that you will encounter aren't poisonous (those live in Arizona). Red touch yellow kill a fellow and honey, make sure you cut a wide path around any spider with a red dot on it. Juneteeth is a big deal, as is Cinco De Mayo, The Cowboy Breakfast and Eeyore's birthday. Texans love a good celebration.
If they tailgate you, that either means they are having a party in a parking lot from the back of a truck before a big football game, or they want to pass you on a two lane highway. If the latter is the case, drive on the shoulder a bit until they pass, then either tip your hat or raise just one finger off the steering wheel as they go by. If someone is driving down an FM road, that does not mean frequency modulation, but Farm to Market and RM is Ranch to Market. These are titles mostly remnants of days gone by, most certainly these roads took the farmer's and the rancher's young 'uns away to the cities from whence they didn't return, so now a lot of the wide open spaces that make Texas Texas are fast disappearing, being filled in, as they are everywhere else, by strip malls and housing developments. Oh, and remember, Central Market is not the market, but a fancy gourmet store with all kinds of natural stuff and over 200 kinds of cheese. HEB is more of a market(kinda, at least it feels like one), but we don't say HEEB, its initials, like H.E.B. The man's last name was Butts, for goodness sake, so trust me when I tell you that the initials are far better. As for Albertson's, hell, that's owned by Safeway now and those folks ain't even from here. Yes, its a lot to take in but the good news is, the place grows on you and you will most certainly grow to love it and hate to leave it when you go.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Another splash (imagine more scorpion blood on your shoes)....it appalls us that the Zebra showed you mercy when you were out and about in nature (because we truly believe that you'd have no problem wearing one of them on your foot if it had a Jimmy Choo label). But the poor scorpion gets your hate.

Affectionately,
P.E.T.O.S.S.A.I.B.
(the icky bug people).

PS: The economy is glad you are working your shopping muscles.
Mega Rich said…
Girl that was a novella. I'll have to come back and digest the rest later.

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