Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Under the Spell of the Dreaded Alpaca

We visited my mother-in-law in Troy last week and decided on Thursday to take a little sojourn into Massachusetts and Vermont. After ascending and descending the twisting road on one helluva mountain, (if that mountain is unnamed, I would suggest "One Helluva" as a good possibility), we arrived in Williamstown, the quintessence of New England small college town beauty. If we in Chittenango are used to a wide range of fast food choices and too many auto part stores, the folks in Williamstown are used to ivy-colored buildings, a beautiful art museum, and equally beautifully theatre building, which is home to a world-renowned resident summer theatre.

After parking parallell-ly, on the one main business street, we walked along and checked out the stores. There weren't a lot of options. On our side there were real estate offices where the starter homes pictured in the window went for about $600,000 and antique shops. On the far side of the street, the Williams College store displayed sweatshirts and other collegiate paraphernalia. Near the end of this business but not busy thoroughfare, we entered a clothing/gift shop, the name of which I failed to note.

The first item I saw was a 3" blue ceramic pelican. It cost $60. I had a feeling that this was going to be one of those stores where I quietly chuckle at the outrageous prices. The man who ran the shop was dressed perfectly preppy, and though, he smiled when I complimented his place of business, I had the feeling that his raised chin suggested that he imagined himself living on a level, to which we did not rise.

Linda and her mother were looking at $700 sweaters. I went into the mens' clothing room. Oy! My goodness! Ay, chihuahua! What gorgeous clothes were displayed there. I first checked out a suede sport coat. I had one once. I paid $50 for it back in the late 60's. This one though, . . . the suede cloth was so light, so beautifully stitched, and the price. . .$1195. Good thing it wasn't my size. Next to it were two leather spring jackets. Beautiful, gorgeously made, and only $895. Thank goodness, neither were my size. Then I turned and saw what I know is the true essence of jacket. It was black alpaca, styled like a baseball or varsity jacket, with an amazing grey silk lining. Also, it was my size! I know that I looked at the jacket in the same way Joseph looked for the first time at his coat of many colors. I looked at the price tag. It had been marked down. It no longer cost $475 but had been lowered to $395. It was a bargain!

Just then Linda walked over. "Look at this jacket," I said.

She did and her mouth dropped open. "It's the most beautiful jacket I have ever seen," she said. "And it's your size."

Right then, we might have done one of those foolish, spur-of-the-moment things, and bought what surely is the most beautiful XL alpaca jacket in the entire world. Then, we both remembered--LUCY! Lucy, the labrador, with the great yellow shedding pelt. My $45 Old Navy pea coat is decorated with little yellow hairs that JUST WON"T COME OFF. Think what Lucy's fur would do to the most beautiful black alpaca baseball jacket ever known to man that just happened that day to be on sale. And in my size.

As Rod Serling used to say at the beginning of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, "I present for your consideration" another positive reason for dog ownership. I sometimes shake my head at the amount of money we spend for Lucy's special diet dog food that apparently doesn't work. But this year anyway, Lucy is $395 ahead.

P.S. The picture above is the sweet face of an alpaca. No alpacas were harmed in the creation of this blog.

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