Yesterday, you heard how I got belted on the night of our 37th Wedding Anniversary. Today (the rest of the story), you'll discover how Cathy got clothed. (Author's note: the word "clothed" in American English is normally pronounced with a long "o" -- as such, the past or perfect tense of the the word "clothe." That, my dear reader, is not my usage today. Instead, I am using it as the past tense of "cloth" -- rhyming with "moth." My readers with extremely advanced studies in linguistics, namely my daughter Becki and my British friend Rachel Cotterill, will hopefully treat me kindly on this. If you can't treat me kindly, girls, please observe the sage wisdom of Cathy's mom, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." :o) )
We walked up to the checkout stand at Kohls, Cathy taking sideways glances at me and my eleven belts for purchase. "It's a bit embarrassing," she whispered.
We were third in line at the only register with a cashier (August 25th, with normal highs well above 100 degrees, isn't so much a "fast day" for local businesses.) When the the line moved up, Cathy noticed the matching table cloths being purchased by the lady in front of us. "They match our kitchen colors perfectly," she said."
"Do you want one?" I generously replied, holding the eleven belts in my hands.
"I don't know. Nah, we just use place mats anyway."
About that time, we noticed the Spanish interaction between cashier and the lady in front of us (remember, we are on the border with Mexico). There seemed to be a question about one of the table cloths. Finally, the cashier looked at us, the customers with the belts, and asked (in English), "Can you tell from the label if this is the rectangle or the oval?"
The print on that tag would qualify for the electron microscope in science lab. We both squinted through our bifocals long enough to get headaches and, with the interaction of the friendly cashier, figured that this was an oval-shaped table cloth. Obviously, it wasn't what the customer wanted and, after another brief exchange in Spanish, the cashier placed it to the side along with other items to be returned to shelves.
You should also know that other customers were lining up behind us at this point and, whether or not they appreciated the long query over the table cloth shape, two different young men kept glancing at the strange old guy with the armload of belts. Cathy, ever helpful (and fully embarrassed by me) said, "It's a great sale -- 90% off!" I saw these guys each sort of glance back toward the men's department, then resolve to keep their places in the growing line.
When it was finally our turn with the cashier, I saw Cathy look again at the oval-shaped table cloth (perfect size for our table). "Do you want it?" I asked again.
"Well, I just don't know (I thank God for a frugal wife.), how much was it again?" At this point a little drool was forming at the corner of her mouth (Ouch! She just hit me!). The cashier quickly scanned it -- it was over 50% off.
"Go ahead, take it!" I encouraged.
"You can always return it!" helped the cashier. As she began to ring up the belts, the table cloth, and the "$10 off" coupon, she tried ever so hard to talk us into saving even more by applying for a credit card. We didn't, but Cathy did surrender her email address for a discount...
...and we walked out the door to the parking lot laughing like children!