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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

In Search of a White Shirt

whiteIt’s not easy being a woman in a conservative world. Most of us wear pretty much what we want, when we want. We have some leeway as to color, cut and creativity.

Yet, when it comes to certain events, positions or situations, a suit and white shirt is the way to go. And so, I went on a search for a crisp, white shirt. Not so easy, not so fast.

Mind you, I know that I have one or two white shirts or blouses, but I simply can’t locate them. Also, I don’t wish to go the totally-masculine, button-down, oxford route. Therefore, off I head on my five-minute shopping spree to three major stores, since I’ve exhausted most everything online.

Nothing, nothing and nothing.

White t-shirts, yes. White sleeveless shells, yes. The former is too casual and the latter is a problem White_Women_Shirtwhen going through security checkpoints and a jacket needs to be removed. I’m feeling like Goldilocks at this point.

At last, on my whirlwind shopping tour, I locate two possibilities. Generally, I would grab and go, but I decide to try them on, sidestepping two Russian matriarch types speaking very loudly in their language near the shoes on my way to the dressing rooms.  I eavesdrop.

“Where’s the second?” one asks the other, her French perfume almost knocking me over. “I have the first, where’s the other?” she asks her perfectly-coiffed shopping mate.

fittingroomxtopIn the DC area, it’s sometimes more normal to hear anything except English, depending on the store….

Both of my shirts turn out to be fine, so I go with the Calvin Klein, no-iron, 100% cotton French cuffed. Usually $74, today it’s $24. Not bad.

I exit the dressing room just about the time the security crew descends, telling an Asian patron that she was informed once that she could only bring 10 items into the area to try on.

“But I didn’t know!” she protests.  “You never said!”

“Ma’am, I told you,” the attendant holds her ground, at last concluding as she removes certain items, “at least you know now for next time.”

When I emerge, I congratulate the attendant on a job well done when I see her still rattled over the thencounter. Heading to the checkout lines now stretching halfway to Timbuktu, it dawns on me that I gave Benedetto a recycle bag from the car and he’s at a nearby shop, dividing and conquering, buying some necessities like batteries and paper clips.

This is our fast-track life. I text him.

“Found a shirt, but have no bag….”

Within a minute, I get a text back from a girlfriend hundreds of miles away, “I don’t think you want to be texting me,” she smiles.

Six people queuing at supermarket checkout

Six people queuing at supermarket checkout

“Ooh,” I laugh back explaining my shirt-locating mission and my lack of a bag which would require me to pay 5 or 10 cents on a plastic bag which I don’t want anyway….

“Well, if you’re buying shirts, I’ll take two,” she instructs as Benedetto pops in with a cloth bag.

We hear French being spoken by another cashier and customer, and wonder if we should get the kids out of the car to try their hand at a language or two. Instead, we wait 5 minutes to drive to a Russian grocery where I sit in the car with the dogs and my husband and children dash inside to buy some fishy-fish which they love.

Within minutes, he’s back at the car, I’m working on the computer, and he’s rummaging for shopanother bag.

“I told them to chat with the clerks,” he laughs, knowing they don’t always like to be put on the spot to speak Russian.

Turns out, one of the clerks handed them a card for Russian school as they were exchanging pleasantries.

“Maybe it didn’t go so well…” our youngest summed up.

At least it did for me, my white shirt now in hand.   I hadn’t realized that white shirts are now almost a thing of the past, difficult to find, maybe not entirely necessary for a woman to own.

Do you have a white shirt that you’ve bought within the last five years or so?


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