Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Yesterday I went shopping. All my sorting out led me to the stores to replace some very sad looking underwear. I spent an hour trying on bras. One might think such apparel had standard sizing. All I can say is think again! There is a plot afoot, a conspiracy even, to make women try clothes on. Expensive clothing has smaller sizes than ordinary clothes. A body can not have changed a pound and find that three different sizes of jeans fit perfectly. My version of this conspiracy theory says that for pants or jeans, the manufacturers want you to feel so good about fitting into a smaller size that you’ll buy them out of relief. I’m not sure how the theory works for undergarments but there must be a corollary because there is no standardization there either. I can buy men’s jeans and not even try them on and know that they will fit. What’s up with this?

Shopping is not a hobby for me. I like bookstores, hardware stores and fabric stores. Most other kinds of shopping are done by me out of sheer necessity. You can imagine my reaction when President Bush told us to “go shopping” after 9/11. Good grief!

After my hour and a half of flipping through the sale racks and trying stuff on, I had a few that fit and some socks. I proceeded to the checkout counter and was greeted by a most enthusiastic young man. He suggested that I apply for a store credit card to get an extra discount which I declined. Then he mentioned that if I gave them my email address I would get $5 off a future purchase. I asked how I would get the discount and he told me they’d email me a coupon which I could print out.

“Oh,” I said, “I don’t have a printer. I am trying to live in a paperless world.”

He smiled and said, “Well do you have a smart phone? You can pull up the email and show us.”

“No”, I said, “I have a dumb phone.” I pulled my phone out and showed it to him. He laughed and told me he thought it had been new two or three years ago.

Our conversation attracted some eavesdroppers from the nearby checkout counters. One women was laughing and pulled the same phone as mine out of her purse. She was about my age. Her comment was, “Hey, I have the same phone. My phone may be dumb, but I am smart enough to know that if it’s working why replace it.”