28 June 2009

Proud Shopping

After church today, Shawn and I set off for Men's Wearhouse to get him some more grown-up clothes. (We bought his wedding suit there and Shawn really liked the sales guy, service and final product.) We ran into the Gay Pride parade route on the way there - meaning we had to take the subway two stops (also the subway went up a quarter/ride, so it's $2.25 now) because the way to the store was blocked off by police barracades, even though the parade hadn't begun. We figured it would be over by the time we were finished shopping ... or that we could take a different route around it.

At the store Shawn bought a navy suit, a grey suit, brown shoes (buy-one-get-one with a pair of more casual black shoes), brown belt and free tie. The tailoring is the kicker and one of the ways this place sticks it to you - also the lure you in with "sales" and "free" ties and the selection is limited. The smooth talking salesman shows you the most expensive suits, which of course look better than anything you can truly afford. But we managed to meet in the middle and get some really nice things for Shawn. He'll be quite sharp when he puts these suits in rotation this fall.

We let ourselves forget about the Gay Pride parade and walked happily home. Every way we tried, the parade thwarted us. We were subjected to naked people gyrating with fire engine horns blaring. This is probably taboo, but what does public nudity have to do with being homosexual? I guess it's part of the lifestyle? I'm really not sure but it was adding to the frustration that there was literally NO WAY to get home - although we perhaps could have traveled back north, taken a subway to transfer, somehow crossing 5th Ave. The parade turned at 8th Street, further adding to the confusion. There were so many people. It was worse than Times Square (where we were yesterday after seeing August: Osage County, which was good and worth its own post).

I broke through a barracade while the parade was stopped, and Shawn and I crossed THROUGH the parade/marchers, in the middle of the block where there were no police to stop us, because it was just ridiculous. We were also in danger of having our bottoms smacked - we repeatedly saw strangers being smacked with the free paint stirrers that had been handed out. All very weird and uncomfortable. Was that the point of the parade?

Finally we were able to find a place to get through on the other side of the parade - but we effectively marched "in" the parade, although we were going against the traffic route. By this point we'd been walking for nearly an hour and were hot, tired and peeved beyond belief, nudity and loudness notwithstanding. In fairness, I've never seen another parade in NYC, although I know there are many that are probably just as obnoxious. It was the parade and it invading our Sunday activities that irked me -- not necessarily what the parade was celebrating and promoting.

Now we're back home, Shawn has gone to the office to "relax" with work and I'm about to tackle some organization projects I wanted to do (i.e. throw stuff into tubs or the closet to make space for my family's visit). I am glad that the tailoring required means we weren't sluffing around with the suits - at least those were safe at the store. It was enough to be walking with one shopping bag, let alone laden down with garment bags as well.

We'll pick up the suits on July 17 - and I'll try to convince Shawn to let me post a couple model shots of him in his new duds. He's SO cute. Love, love.

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