Rods and Cones Damaged at the Inlet

A trip to a Land’s End store isn’t meant to be funny. I’m sure of it. And yet, well, today it just was.

Matt and I had the opportunity to take a day to ourselves to get some things done (thanks, Oma and Pops!), and we finally made it out to IKEA way out in Schaumburg to pick up all sorts of things that we needed for the new house.

A few hundred Swedish meatballs dollars later, we stumbled back to our heavily laden car and headed out, exhausted. And yet, I remembered seeing a Land’s End outlet – excuse me: “inlet” – nearby. Baxter just last week outgrew his favorite Land’s End pants and the only way I could get them out of circulation was by promising to get him the next size. Okay, and maybe I thought there would be something in it for me, too. There. I said it.

But what is it about that company? Can anyone out there tell me? There are always some items that are great, and so reasonably priced that you want to kiss the earnest middle-aged saleswoman’s sensibly clad feet in gratitude. And then there’s that other stuff. I find myself wanting to like it (and why is that, exactly?). It’s just kind of…dorky. And even the things that don’t actually look dorky on the rack make me look like the Queen of Dorkitude when I put them on in the tiny dressing area that has the biggest coffee stain I’ve ever seen on the floor. Oh, wait, I am responsible for the coffee stain. But whatever, that’s not the point.

On our way out the door, still giggling because I couldn’t look at our cashier without super-imposing an image of the woman from the Dilbert cartoon over her face – you know, the one with triangular hair? she totally waited on us today – I paused and pointed to a men’s red windbreaker in the window. “That jacket’s kind of cool,” I said to Matt, faltering even as the words left my mouth because I tried to picture my husband wearing it and realized that I couldn’t, “…or maybe not so much,” I mumbled.

He came to a screeching halt and stared at me in disbelief. And what he said was the funniest part of the whole venture: “Oh, my God!! You can’t even see right after being in there!!! YOUR RODS AND CONES HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED!”

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3 responses to “Rods and Cones Damaged at the Inlet

  1. Christopher

    Oh, man. That is classic. I hope your eyes have recovered. Perhaps you need to fashion some goggles out of nice sedate Gap-ish colors, and wear them for a while.

    I have a story almost as ridiculuous. I used to succumb to the siren call of the tiny “inlet” on the way from from Northwestern’s campus to the Davis St. El stop, and one day I found myself at home, showing Shannon a new polo shirt I’d bought for like $5. She burst out laughing, not only because the shirt was a bright cardinal red, but because it also had multicolored striping on the collar – the red of the shirt, plus, like, orange and yellow. The overall effect was that of the clothing worn by first responders when they plunge into burning buildings or direct traffic at an accident scene. I returned it the next day.

  2. I am laughing out loud. Of course the second I started reading this, what came to mind was the shirt in the comment above. Hoo boy….Thanks for the memory and the laugh! I think the shirt was actually orange with a bright yellow stripe? Or was it red? I don’t know; it was HIDEOUS. AND dorky.

  3. I’m just glad I’m not the only one whose rods and cones were assaulted there! I wish I could see that shirt!

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