Out of His Element

The mall had nothing for him.  Neither did Goodwill.  Dale was left with no other option but to take a deep breath and walk through the doors of the menswear store.

"Oh, boy," Dale mumbled as he surveyed the interior of the building.  He was a man dressed in a tank top, khaki shorts and sandals, surrounded by suits, dress shirts and tuxedos.

"May I help you?" Dale made an abrupt turn to see the man speaking to him.  An older employee of the store, dressed for the part, with a polite demeanor that left Dale feeling guilty.

"Uh, no, I'm just looking right now.  Thanks."

The employee smiled courteously and left Dale by himself.  Dale mentally breathed a sigh of relief.

"Alright, down to business.  Time to find a suit," Dale walked towards a wall lined with jackets, groaning slightly as he did, "Brandon, you and Beth just had to go all out for this thing."

Dale had to buy a suit for his buddy's wedding.  He was getting married in two weeks.  Dale had known about it for six months.

He looked clueless while he wafted through the store.  Dale would looked at an item, check the dimensions and price, wince slightly and walk away.  And despite not haveing a clue, he still tried his best to keep the employee from believing he needed assistance.

"I'm really going to have to do this, aren't I?" Dale put down a packaged dress shirt, turned about, and walked slowly towards the front counter and the employee.  There was no doubt about it, that walk was a walk of shame for poor Dale.

"Excuse me?" Dale said to the employee from an awkward distance, "I can't find what I need.  Can you help me for a second?"

"Certainly," The employee stepped our from behind the counter, "What can I help you with?"

Dale finally read the man's name tag once he was face-to-face with him.  His name was George.

"Well George," Dale stepped over to a rack with jackets, "I need to get a suit for a buddy's wedding, but I don't know exactly what I need.  He said something typical, so I guess that'd be black, right?"

"Yes, I suppose that it what he meant," George could already tell Dale did not know what he was talking about.  Dale could tell George could tell.  I'll give him credit for that, "And you needed a full suit then?  Let's see," George looked at Dale then at the jackets, "What size are you?"

"Well, I honestly don't know.  I wear size 38 jeans and a size Large shirt, so whatever those would be."

"Hmm, well, I'll need to take some measurements then,"  George returned to the front counter to grab and tape measure, and returned back to Dale, "Okay, let's see."

George did not look at Dale's face as he measured him, but if he had he would have seen closed eyes and a slight grimace.  None of us like it when some dude prods arounds us to take our sizes, but at least we'll have some dignity.  Dale acted like it was an unpleasant TSA screaning.

"Alright," George walked to a aisle with complete suits, "I we have a couple options for you.  Take a look at these."

George laid out three full suits for Dale.  Naturally Dale could barely tell them apart from each other, but didn't dare say that to George.  No, he just stared at them with forced interest.

"I guess I'll go with that one," Dale pointed at the one in the niddle with the brass buttons.  I'm sure the brass buttons were the reason.

"This one?" George picked it up.

"Yeah," Dale nodded confidentially.

George walked towards the fitting room with Dale following a few steps behind, "Alright, well, you can try it on over here," George opened one of the rooms hung the suit and let Dale in.

Dale threw on the clothes, nearly trearing the shirt, and stared at himself in the mirror.  He sighed and looked depressed.  I don't really know why, he was just making sure it fit.  Did he forget that he's tried on clothes before?  Redgardless, he shrugged, having given up at this point, put his own clothes back on, and left the room.

"Yeah, they're good," Dale handed the clothes back to George and returned the front counter.  He was ready to leave, or more exactly, get the heck out of there.

"You're certain?" George didn't trust Dale, clearly, but Dale didn't get upset.  George's skepticism was appropriate.

"As certain as I'll ever be," Dale pulled out his wallet.

George scanned and bagged the suit, "Okay, your total is $211.99."

It took all of Dale's might to keep his eyes from bugging out of his skull.  He had no idea.  He did what you would by now expect.  That fool paid for the suit and left the store without saying a word.

Once inside his car, Dale tossed the bags on the backseat, grabbed the wheel, and stared into space for a good five minutes before breaking his own silence.

"Okay, so I'll return the suit in a week and tell Brandon I'm sick."

Dale buckled up, turned the ignition, and headed for home.


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