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Today is August 23, 2017

Grin 'n' Bare It

Don’t fall for the latest trend

Kay Grafe
Kay Grafe

As I continued my spring cleaning this summer, I found a large Sears catalog dated 1984 fall/winter, with the statement on front: “Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back.”

The cover picture was Cheryl Tiegs, a popular model during those years. She was pictured on several pages of their latest designs. The most expensive item she modeled was $30 and the others were $22 or below. Her outfits were skirts and blouses, slacks and jeans. All blouses were tucked in except for a few pull-over sweaters. She didn’t wear low-cut blouses, or full tops that fell over her hips, nor did other models in the magazine.  

I crawled out of the hall closet, went outside with the catalog looking for my up-to-date husband. He was across the field where our homegrown Christmas trees once stood. He waved and drove his tractor toward me. His Bermuda shorts were shredded, stained in white, yellow and purple paint. His shirt was a holey tee, but I could still read the faded print: Azalea Trail Run 1990.

I pulled out my phone and clicked a pic of him. “This will interest my women’s Bible study class tonight. I doubt that anyone will remark that ‘Roy always looks neat,’ when they see this.”

He wiped his brow. “You’ll be sorry,” he called as I ran back through the field.

Oh, dear! He may know where all my small catalogs are stored. The ones that come in threes, several times a week. I went directly to one of my huge plastic containers I’d hidden. I began to think about each book and why I didn’t throw it away.

After I’d checked out the small catalogs my thought was: How can I deprive folks who read “Grin ‘n’ Bare It” the opportunity to order their own copies free? If they don’t have the catalogs already. Of course, the variety of items are “priced to entice.” But then again, they are delightfully tempting. A tiny voice in my head says, “All I plan to do is look. Right?”  

There are more catches than one. When I find an item I like and plan to order … I sometime forget which book. That’s a heartbreaker.

I hope you are disciplined; if not, read no further. Don’t blame the results on me.

• Catalog 1. NorthStyle (priced low)

• Catalog 2. Soft Surroundings (not priced low, but beautiful)

• Catalog 3. Improvements (unusual outdoor goodies)

• Catalog 4. The Vermont Country Store (oldies but goodies for country folks like us).

By the way, you really don’t need to order but one catalog. Once my name was on the hit list they multiplied, then I resorted to hiding them. My husband is typically agreeable. Otherwise, some husbands like mine become disagreeable. Stacks of books, papers or catalogs are not their favorite things.

Back to Sears. We received three or four each year for a small fee, but these new little devils come in by the hundreds … free.   

To be honest, I miss my Sears.

Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.

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