Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Holiday Gift-Giving Process May Seem Unusual, but It Works for Us

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Holiday Gift-Giving Process May Seem Unusual, but It Works for Us

Article excerpt

The objective was to find a winter scarf. A red-and-black scarf for my wife, the principal of Highland High School, to proudly display its colors.

Our hunting ground on a weekend getaway was the "Magnificent Mile" in Chicago, a strip of Michigan Avenue where much of the merchandise is geared to people who make in a week what I earn in a month. Heaven forbid we would find the perfect scarf in a place where I'd need a title loan to buy it.

Luckily, red and black don't seem to be "in" colors for the gentry this year, so I escaped having to make a choice between a cashmere muffler and the December car payment.

But the fact that Karen wanted one remained on my mind a weekend later, when I was on errands closer to home. So I scoured the women's section of a chain department store in Edwardsville. In vain. But a man's scarf looks just like a woman's, so I checked the other side of the store. There, I found plenty. But not for her.

Displays of other-colored scarves were next to the men's winter hats. Anyone who sees the photo with this column knows how much a man in my situation needs a winter hat. The one I had was pretty ratty, and the price was right for a replacement.

Now, everyone knows it's bad form to wear ratty gloves with a new hat. And racks of new gloves sat right there. At a similarly good price.

The path from the hats-and-gloves section to the checkout counter took me through men's pants. And wouldn't you know, my Dockers also were getting a little ratty. So I had full arms by the time I reached the cashier. Fortunately, the receipt showed that with sales and coupons, I had saved more than I paid. That left me an even bigger budget for the elusive scarf.

Then came another store. More disappointments in the woman's department, and men's. But wouldn't you know that men's scarves were right by the underwear display and, well, I suppose you can figure out what I bought next.

I hauled in several bags when I got home, not a one containing a scarf. But as I pointed out to Karen as I clipped tags off all my new things I did try.

Worry not that Karen will be deprived. …

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