Shopping for a Hooter’s Uniform
On Monday I had occasion to be in the Commerce, Georgia, area right around shopping time at the Tanger Outlets so I stopped there to see if there were any long cold-weather dresses in my size. Everyone who knows me is probably wondering at this statement since for about the last thirty or forty years all I have worn is shirts, and khakis or jeans (on Spirit Day Fridays). If it didn’t go with New Balance tennis shoes, I wasn’t wearing it. But this past April 24 (my husband’s birthday) I had an emergency appendectomy and the experience changed my whole attitude about clothing.
Now I want dresses that don’t squeeze anything below the shoulders. No tight waistbands, nothing that feels like a tourniquet constricting blood flow and breathing while causing immense pain. Summer dresses were easy to find. Long flowy dresses, sleeveless, yes, but I could put a light sweater over them and cover up my droopy arms. So I was good until it started getting cold.
I’ve shopped the Cumming area, the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville, and North Point Mall. No luck. All the dresses for winter are short and sleeveless. Who thought that combination up? It’s going to be winter, for goodness sakes. Anyway, there I was at an unexplored shopping mecca. Perhaps I’d have better luck.
I went to nearly every shop: Eddie Bauer, Chicos, Coldwater Creek, Ann Taylor, Wrangler/Lee…you get it… with no better luck than in my own neck of the woods. Finally, I ended up at Dress Barn where there were some dress possibilities so I tried them on. Dresses 1-3 were too short and wouldn’t cover up my compression stockings (the appendectomy left me with a couple of blood clots so I have to wear these lovely old lady stockings for a while). Dress 4 was too tight and it had stripes that go around, not down—no short girl needs that. Dress 5 was long enough but cut too low.
I gave up on dresses and figured I’d have to resort to sewing if I my clothes were to fit my criteria. However, as I was hanging up the rejects, I did discover some sweaters that work for me. First of all they were long sleeve cardigans. They weren’t those little short things that make you look like a snow woman and they didn’t have any jack-o-lanterns, reindeer with blinking noses, or other holiday paraphernalia (my daughter’s rule—she tries to keep me from making a complete fool of myself in the fashion department). They didn’t have pockets, which would have been a definite plus, but price trumps pockets and they were buy one get one half off. I picked them up and headed to the check out counter.
There I found a friendly young black lady with a wonderful smile. She gave me a card for future discounts and signed me up for their e-mail sales. She asked me my e-mail address and this is when I got into trouble. I stopped to think. Not that I didn’t know my e-mail address, I did, but I have two of them. One is for friends and family. The other is for businesses that insist on having every address you’ve had since you went to grammar school. So my short hesitation seemed like I was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and I rushed to explain that I really knew my address. I told her it was like when I go to the doctor and have to remember to tell them my first name (Ethel) which I don’t use regularly (for obvious reasons) instead of my middle (Marie). We had a good laugh about how many times I have been embarrassed by that first name, but how now it is kind of funny and I get a lot of laughs out of it.
As she was finishing up the sale and I was about to leave, I said that my name was so funny these days I was thinking about going on the road with it, I could do a whole comedy routine based on my name alone at bars and comedy clubs across the country. We laughed again as I was headed toward the door.
“Yeah,” she yelled, “Hooters!”
“No,” I shouted back, “I’d have to wear the costumes.”
“You could pull it off!” she replied as I pushed the exit door open.
I don’t quite know what she meant by that!