I came to the realization the other day that I have nothing to wear if I get an interview. Have I received a request for an interview? No. But a girl can hope. I should clarify something: I DO have things to wear to interviews. They are just… Wisconsin-y things. I have a nice wool skirt and cute brown wooden wedge heels… A nice magenta sheath dress in a thick material and a grey cotton turtle neck dress… Some of these are my favorite things to wear. They say, “Fall in Wisconsin.” They definitely don’t say, “Still Rather Very Hot in Miami.”
The several times that I have been at Starbucks surfing the internet and looking for jobs I’ve filled my idle moments with anthropological observations regarding the Miami female. She is well dressed. Her “business casual” looks like a Wisconsin girl’s “dinner date.” During the last couple of trips to Starbucks I was sporting my Keens Black Flats, a foot-friendly, hippie-chic shoe. The Miami female wears 4 inch heels in cherry red, leopard print, and patent black. Those not wearing expensive heels are wearing expensive gladiator sandals. All toes are pedicured. All fingers are manicured. 9 out of 10 women have their long hair blown out. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to get used to wearing non-athletic shorts and my hair is barely tamed with a pony-tail holder. To say that we are worlds apart is an understatement. I have never felt so “granola” in my life. Although, in Madison, “granola” is the usual and I fit right in. And, I was also fairly certain that I was the most comfortably dressed female in the joint.
Thus, my desire for a pair of black high heels began. J graciously accompanied me to the Aventura Mall. What a kind and loving husband! The Aventura Mall intimidated me. Miami has its share of wealthy folks and this must be the mall that they shop at: Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Calvin Klien, Coach, Herve Leger (think dresses around, oh, $1000)… You get the picture. I actually had a nervous smile. I am not a nervous smiler, but I couldn’t help myself. I also didn’t really allow myself to touch anything. The only stores that J and I went into were ones that we had back home: JC Penny’s, Macy’s, Aldo, and Sears. It was Sears where I met my new shoes. Priced at $35 with a reasonable heel I took them for a spin and declared them mine. With the money left over from my budget, J insisted I look at swimsuits.
Now, you must know, the last time I purchased a swimsuit was in 2005 and it was about a thirty minute transaction total. I recently donated said swimsuit because it “no longer agreed with me.” (To put it nicely.) I grudgingly bought a one piece (black, to match my heels, juuusstt kidddddinngg) with a cover up. J’s new college friend might be having a Labor Day shindig at South Beach and J wanted me to be prepared. As he and my interior decorator (aka college buddy) know, I spent the last trip to the beach cranky and in the shade. He did not want a repeat. At least it was on uber sale: $12. Huzzah, now I have a swimsuit (this is said with the most sarcastic voice).
The actual shopping was not the “adventure” at the Aventura Mall. It was first, the extreme example of American materialism at its finest (and most expensive). Second, it was the ginormous burger I ate in the Food Court (again, the American dream lives on). But third, and best, were the dogs. Dogs? Yes. DOGS. J and I were walking into a store and we heard yapping. Immediately we thought, “Ooooh. Someone snuck a dog in and now they will get caught!” We walked on towards an escalator. (PS, what is the proper term for an escalator going down? A descentalator? Anyways…) A woman got on the down-escalator in front of us with an stroller. I thought nothing of it. I mildly registered that she looked frazzled.
As I was enjoying the ride, J gave me a funny look that signaled, “Hey. Look at that lady.” So, I did. She was older than I had realized her to be. Perhaps this child’s grandmother? And I took a peek at the child. The white, furry child? She had her DOG in a STROLLER. I kid you not. J and I looked at each other with wide eyes and after our ride to the ground floor we said, “They must allow dogs in this mall.” And we shook our heads and giggled at the silliness of it all. I saw three more dogs in bags. One when I went to Target. TARGET. That particular woman had a real baby in a stroller with her too. Seriously? You don’t have your hands full enough with a real baby that you bring your King Charles spaniel with you in the diaper bag too?
And that, my friends, is some insight into the Miami female, a very big mall, and folks and their little dogs. (My high school English teacher would have killed me for the conclusion of this blog post…)