28 July 2007

7 hours in a mall, whoa!

Sawgrass Mills Mall, "Florida's largest retail and entertainment center" according to their website. I was there from 12 PM - 7 PM with my fiance today. That is an awful lot of mall time for either of us. We aren't big on shopping at these places, but when we do we try to do it right. Have the strategy of the stores we want to go to and the path we will take. Perhaps look online to see if there are sales and coupons. This place has a lot of outlet stores and you can find some great deals. I have purchased some of Christy Turlington's Nuala line from the Puma store for a serious fraction of their retail prices and those are the kinds of deals we were after today, but for him, not me.

Today's goal... find the rest of his wedding day attire. He has a jacket he bought at a Thanksgiving sale last year, but no pants, shirt, or shoes and he doesn't have anything in his closet he already likes. My guy does love natural fibers, and you can find organic fibers at a number of stores every so often.

We first had lunch, then began at the Calvin Klein store since he has a CK jacket. No dice... a bevy of other places and him mostly touching synthetic fabrics and grossing out. We cruised through a lot of stores and ended up at the Crate and Barrel outlet. My only purchase of the day was one pound of fabric remnants... 95 CENTS! Score!!!

Then a snack break at Paul's. It is a nice little French-themed place that is not over-priced. My fruit cup was $2.75. It had more kiwi, strawberries, and pineapple but I ate them before I snapped this shot of my snack.

As far as clothes my fiance only purchased a pair of work slacks and a t-shirt the whole day. I spent most of the time following him around and sitting in dressing rooms giving him opinions.

Here are some random pictures of my guy in action. Mostly goofing off.

This is a semi-serious shot. He liked the feel of these but the colors did not go together the way he wanted.

The day wasn't a bust. We hit the Super Target at the very end to get some groceries, but before that we had a pleasant surprise. There was a wine shop, Cavas, that opened earlier in the day. Their first day in business. We stepped inside and the display cases for the samples were pretty cool.

The bottles are vacuum sealed in a temperature-controlled environment. You buy a pre-paid card to insert at the top of each display and choose a sample, 1/2 glass, or full glass quantity. Once we acquired a card we were given two glasses and a plate of cheese, grapes, nuts, and pretzels to snack on. One of the employees helped us out with recommendations. My fiance asked if they had any organic varieties and the guy said no, that is not an emphasis on the store right now. However, to the employee's surprise, I did find one organic Argentine variety. However it was a lot sweeter than I prefer and I couldn't blame the employee for not knowing, it was their first day. Instead I fell for a California chardonnay and my fiance bought me a bottle.

Going to this mall is always a conflict for us. We say the phrase, "I don't really NEED..." a lot. There are so many things to buy, so many of them are unnecessary. However there are some unnecessary things we want to take care of. Some are better than others, but then where is the value placed? Altruism to find the Code Red items that Bono helps promote? Organic cotton items from a vendor that is usually not into helping the environment? Paying inexpensive prices for discounted items that the first tier retail store no longer can sell? Saying screw trying to have values and just buy pretty things? Realizing that you already said screw it by driving the 40 minutes to get to the location? Going out of our way to buy kind products by the Body Shop even though we really don't need anything from there?

For us we share this conflicted value of aesthetics and materialism versus resource consumption and keep each other in check for the most part. I think it is a topic we talk about a lot more than most couples and we challenge the motives of our purchases all the time. As far as his wedding attire he is also considering eBay (does loomstate make suits?) since we can't find a nice men's consignment shop in our area. He will pull something together that he is pleased with, I'm not worried about that. I do go out with a very wacky, stylish boy <3.

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