Realizing, or at least finally coming to terms with, the fact that I only have three serviceable t-shirts--far less than the amount needed to get through a week, obviously--I headed to the mall for some shopping adventures. This resulted in several thoughts:
a) I hate the mall. There are lots of people there, and I don't like people. And I know I've been away from the mainstream for the past seven years, but really, is this what America looks like now? Maybe I'm just out of touch. But then again, isn't people watching part of the reason we go out in public sometimes? And it's not like I'm a paragon of high fashion and culture myself, I suppose.
b) Major stores are very bad at math--ahem, Younker's and Kohl's. I saw a shirt for $30 marked down 60% for a final price of $14.99, and another $30 shirt marked down 50% for a final price of $13.99.
c) I wasn't going to go into ShopKo. I don't know why I had this aversion. But it's the last place I looked and the place where I actually found a shirt in my price range, i.e. cheap. It references STP motor oil, but really made me think of Stone Temple Pilots, whom I randomly heard on the radio earlier today. (In other radio randomness, I heard Steve Perry's "Oh Sherrie" on two different stations only a minute apart. Seriously, that probably made my weekend.)
In the end, I survived my difficult venture out into that microcosm of society, though I don't know when I'll voluntarily go back. Fortunately, these days I can do almost everything from my computer, eliminating the need to interact physically with the rest of the world. But if I don't go out in public, I won't have a chance to rock my new shirt, so I will eventually step back out into that big scary world. Wish me luck.