Saturday, December 26, 2015


It was 2 days before Christmas. RantWoman still had 4 people to shop for. RantWoman had time to shop either for some household good options in the International District or for clothing at the Westlake tunnel stop before heading for a destination one stop past Convention Place. Frequently at Westlake at rush hour, trying to get onto U district buses is a silly idea. RantWoman decided to take her chances...

Grey, unspectacular
Simple socks

The main thing: socks

The RantFamily has this thing about socks: when we cannot figure out what to give each other, we default to socks, and if you are getting socks, you are definitely part  of the family. After 20+ years around the RantFamily, there should not be any doubt that Brother-in-Law is part of the family, but in case there is, he got socks for Christmas.

These are not just socks. They are  purchased in person from a live human in a downtown store where RantWoman went specifically in preference to either mail order or distant malls. Actually, RantWoman thought, based for instance on past displays of Very Large Footwear, that maybe just maybe there would be some tall men's clothing. More on that but first socks for Brother-in-Law.

Shopping while legally blind can be pretty hit-or-miss as far as sizes, prices, sales, fiber content, care instructions, sometimes even color and pattern. However really flashy exuberant men's socks seem to be quite the thing, at least at the store if not necessarily for Brother-in-law. RantWoman fogged around a bit and settled on some fairly subdued designs and then headed for a checkout.

Certain members of the RantFamily like to razz RantWoman about her standards for sock durability. Razz as in dialogues like:

"You should throw those things out. They have SO many holes."

"Why? They work perfectly fine."

Truth is, Brother-in-Law's sock durability standards are even more extreme than RantWoman's. RantWoman hopes Brother-in-Law's new socks are very comfortable for a long time--or that he uses his gift receipt to get something that suits him better.

It's a wrap for one person at least
Red with gold bow

RantWoman thanks the sales clerk who received RantWoman's payment for help. RantWoman originally thought also just to buy Irrepressible Nephew socks as well. Nephew at age 15 already stands 6'3" and has size 15 feet. In other words he will be spending his life in the same outskirts of clothing size ranges as a lot of the family.

RantWoman thought to buy tube socks; the only color option that would fit Irrepressible Nephew was black. RantWoman nixed that. Then she learned that maybe black would suit his mother just fine. Then she learned that tube socks are not the thing no matter what. RantWoman thanks the clerk just for answering RantWoman's questions and is glad not even to have bothered further about the tube socks.

RantWoman decided to check out some shirt and sweater options. That is, RantWoman wandered for a few minutes in Men's clothing. RantWoman, though, had already expended her day's limit of shopping self-sufficiency and shortly opted for the "stand still with the White Cane and Look a Little Helpless approach. This approach attracted a lovely helpful clerk, another reason to skip the trip to distant malls, though some of the clerks had an air of just hired on for the holidays.

Tall sizes?

Well, we have some flannel over...

No. Definitely not flannel.
Some of our sweaters run long.


Some high school kids like this kind of baggy one....

RantWoman remembered Nephew probably likes things more close-fitting... oooh, VERY soft, Cashmere... and sleeves definitely too long for RantWoman which menas there is a decent chance they will work for nephew... And RantWoman decided just to splurge...

Nephew was thrilled. The sleeves definitely are long enough. The sweater looks to the adults a little short in the body but Nephew is thrilled so why argue?

Festive even if nothing inside
Festive Gift bags

That left Little Sister and RantMom still on the shopping list and out of time.

RantWoman decided not even to break her head over Little Sister's socks issues. Instead Little Sister got a supply of a preferred personal care product.

RantMom is getting a "experiences as well as stuff" option. RantMom needs a new wheeled backpack so RantWoman and RantMom are having a dialogue about web searches and HOPEFULLY finding something RantMom likes that we can go visit somewhere local before buying. Stay tuned.

Various additional rants and rambles:
What is wrong with mail order?

RantWoman does in fact do a lot of mail order, but sometimes there is no substitute for in-person.

RantWoman, like RantMom likes to be able to put hands on merchandise, test it out before having to think about getting it out of the house and back in the mail if it does not work.

RantWoman likes actually to know where her merchandise is, not to have to do a timing dance in order to be where the delivery person is when the delivery arrives, figure out how to receive packages without them getting stolen, and also without having to add an excursion to somewhere she rarely goes to her schedule if she misses a delivery..

But now, now RantWoman knows Nephew likes fairly close-fitting clothing AND RantWoman knows a couple mail order options that DO reliably have tall sizes. So....

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