My first wetsuit.
I was so happy to be getting it. I had been surfing without one for a couple months now, and the water never did warm up much that summer.
Anyway as fall approached, I knew I'd better start looking for one.
I had already done a little research, so felt prepared to take on the task in a forth-right and professional manner.
I started shopping by laying out a course of shops I planned to compare. I knew that for a large ticket item, comparison shopping can be a wise move.
So I planned to start at a shop close to my home.
In reality, I wanted to buy from this shop if I could, just in case there were any warranty issues, then the source of resolution would be close at hand.
My plan was to start there, with a short list I had compiled of wetsuits I was interested in.
Based, of course, on my exhaustive research. And then, price shop. Once I found the cheapest price for the desired size, brand, and style, I would go back to the original shop and ask if they would match it.
Not bad for a barney, eh? So, I began the day with a stop at the closest shop.
This particular shop is rather small. Actually, cramped would better describe it. The wetsuits, along with everything else, are pretty much jammed into their respective places fairly tight. This made browsing a little less covert than I had hoped.
I had to actually take each one off the rack to look at it, as there wasn't room to push others aside and quickly glance at them.
The retail girl wanted to be helpful, but I said no thanks. She was pretty young, and I knew what I was looking for, and didn't want to be pressured into buying at this point. I also didn't want to hear a bunch of balony about the products.
After all I had done extensive research and already knew which ones looked the coolest.
So, I picked out a couple to try on.
I did get some advice from her as to sizes, because I was unclear on that. So I took them to the changing room in the back to try them on. To call it a changing room is being very generous and there was no door on it, only a curtain.
I suppose this was good since it was so small that when you stretched out your arm to put on or remove the wetsuit, you pushed out the curtain.
Had a door been there, I'm not sure how you could have done it. I noticed the hinges still in place, indicating that there had, at one time, been a door affixed.
Likely some poor dolt got tangled up in his wetsuit, couldn't get out, ended up with a severe case of cramps, the door had to be cut away with a chainsaw, and he sued.
Just a guess, but if I tried, I could almost imagine it happening.
Although it was a bit of a stretch, it made me chuckle to myself. Well, here I was, in the "room". I peeled off my clothes and hung them on the little hook. The mirror was outside, and even though I'm not very big, I barely had enough room to slither into the wetsuit. Of course what I did could hardly be called slithering.
I asked her the price, and she read it off the tag. I asked if she could come down and she asked what I had in mind.
Great! I didn't have anything in mind, because I didn't know what they might cost elsewhere. So I just said I would think about it.
I felt my plans slipping from my grip. So, I wedged myself back into the closet to change into my clothes.
I heard her helping someone else just outside the door, er.. curtain.
I had pulled the wetsuit down around my knees and was attempting to get the first foot past the tapered end of the leg when she asked me through the curtain if everything was all right.
In that one moment of distraction, I lost my balance and fell headlong through the curtain, to land front and center, on the floor.
There stood the sales girl and some customers.
One leg still in the wetsuit to about my knee, one foot caught in the bottom of the other leg, and everything else simply au natural, wet with sweat, but au natural ( you have to say it with the right inflection, kind of French like).
Now things were not going according to plan at all. I had figured on using my sophisticated shopping techniques to obtain the best buy on the wetsuit of my choice.
And now here I lay, humiliated for a second time, on the floor, mostly naked (and red I presume).
I heard someone say, "he's not wearing his underwear".
It only took a moment, a tick of the atomic clock, to size up the situation, consider my options and lurch back for the changing broom (you read right, BROOM) closet.
As I got up, in my haste, I grabbed the curtain and pulled it off the hooks, ripping it in the process.
There I stood, with the ripped curtain on the floor, my feet stuck in the legs of the wetsuit, trying to hold what was left of it around me, looking into the bare changing cupboard (which is still a generous description), wondering what I was going to do now.
Of course, the retail girl wasn't much help, because she was rolling on the floor laughing, as was everyone else within my immediate sight.
So with what little dignity I could muster, enough to suit the occasion anyway, I picked up the curtain, wrapped it around me, gathered my clothes and said
"I think I'll take it, and a box won't be necessary. I'm just going to wear it home".
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