A Blog by Gail Cushman
They Cost How Much?
I had my eyes opened to the world beyond Boise when we were in Rome and spent a leisurely hour strolling down a street filled with shops that advertise in fashion magazines, but not AARP Magazine, which is my magazine of choice. Gucci, Prada, Rolex, Jimmy Choo, Armani, Saint Laurent, and Dior to mention a few. Long lines of people waited for the door guards to let them in, and nobody seemed impatient. This was on a Wednesday afternoon, not Christmas or Mother’s Day or any other day when people buy gifts. And people in the streets had labeled bags, sometimes several, proof they had made a purchase.
My Boise shopping habits are somewhat meager, and no clothing store is dependent on me to remain open. I can buy perfectly good T-shirts at Walmart for $4.00, if I hit a sale and my friends will say, “Is that new? It’s really cute,” which I take as a high-end compliment. Cowboy Bob is more of a Carhartt guy, and our local farm supply store carries a good supply of those pocketed T-shirts, costing more than my four-buck limit, but better quality than my Walmart buys. Needless to say, we were a bit puzzled about the shopping in Rome.
We strolled from window to window, looking at what was available and found a few dresses and shoes and purses. My euros were running low, but I thought it would be cool to walk around carrying a labeled bag, but I needed something cheap. We were walking by a Gucci store and Cowboy Bob suggested a pair of fishnet stockings. “They surely are in your price range,” he told me.
I don’t dress up often, wear jeans most days, but I said okay, and we waited in line for twenty minutes to enter the store. The guard at the door had refused a couple of people, and I wasn’t sure we could be allowed to enter. I was dressed Idaho style and Cowboy Bob looked dapper in his black Stetson. The guard gave us the once-over, but I said, “American,” and flashed my cork purse at him and he nodded, and we went in. We found the stocking department, basically a small shelf and our eyes rolled open. Get this, my Wrinkly Bits friends: Gucci, one pair of fishnets, $2,500. This is not a misprint. Are you kidding? It’s a thousand dollars more than my first car cost. I didn’t have that many euros and my credit card was overflowing so we waved good-bye to the guard and checked a couple other stores…Prada $975, and Dior $375. And people were standing in line! Have Italians not heard of Walmart? Leggs at Walmart are about $8 for two pair and fishnet stockings might be double.
It was a great trip, but I came home without my fishnets, but I have to go to Walmart this afternoon. Guess what I’ll be buying!
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