This evening, I went to Westfield Garden State Plaza to use a coupon at the Borders store. Ordinarily, I would just go to the Borders store in Ramsey, but it's a change of pace and the book I was looking for was only available in that particular store. I got to the mall and saw that the half of the parking lot in front of the Borders store had been closed off and they were building something gargantuan there. What a mess.
While at the mall, I remembered that I had a $50 gift card for Lord and Taylor. I don't remember what else the letter from Lord and Taylor said but I think it was a promotional item to lure cheapskates like me who haven't shopped at a departmental store in over a decade. The moment I entered L&T, I found out why they were sending out $50 gift cards. Almost everything there was expensive. Even a simple man's shirt was $70! Just for a shirt! Of course, it's a Calvin Klein designer shirt, but I don't think it is at all reasonable to pay an order of magnitude more for that than I would've paid for something similar at Ye Olde Discount Clothing Store back in my neighborhood.
Okay, so I went around L&T, not knowing what to do with the gift card, when I saw that they did indeed have a clearance rack with a bunch of creature-comfort items at 50% to 75% discounts. (The nearly-off-season special.) Ah, down-to-earth prices at last. So, using the gift card, I got a bathrobe, a non-bath robe, and two pajamas, and paid $6 for merchandise totaling around $200 at original prices. Aside from the pajamas, these are not things I would usually get. The plush bathrobe is nice though. Probably more practical than wearing a fursuit around the home when it gets cold. :) Naturally, I have to wonder how people could afford all those items at regular prices. To pay that much is obscene. Then again, my kind of mindset doesn't belong in this affluent North Jersey area.
As an aside, there is an oft-quoted piece of financial wisdom to the effect that no matter what the era, one ounce of gold will buy a nice suit. I was curious about that, so I checked the man's suit section to get some prices. Yep, it's roughly correct. L&T had suits priced from $550 to $650. (Original prices, that is. Some suits had percent-off discounts.) The spot price of gold closed at $653 today.