Babyboomers Might Find it Hard to Shop at REI

Babyboomers-reiMy husband often drags me to shop at the Sacramento REI over by Arden Fair when we’re about to take any kind of a trip that will expose us to the elements. He’s such a Boy Scout. We are visiting the southeastern area of Alaska this September. It rains a lot in the Inside Passage; it is often misty. I suspect he’s worried that our small ship will hit an iceberg and sink or the captain will die of a heart attack out in the middle of nowhere. My husband is the kind of guy who would wear a hidden passport hung by a string around his neck.

So, off to REI we go to buy shirts and jackets made from wicking material, base layers, second layers, outer layer garments that are not cotton — because you can’t wear too many layers in Alaska. The problem I discovered with trying to shop REI is much of the women’s recreational clothing at REI is made out of spandex or closely tailored. REI seemed to be more forgiving in the men’s department but not the women’s. This store fits a nitch. Targets its customers. And I think REI is saying that women Babyboomers should not shop at REI unless they are spring chickens, fit as a fiddle, right as rain and all those other spindly descriptions adults over 60 use.

Well, what do you expect from a store where the men who look like broasted chickens shop for bicycle shorts? REI sells to the camping enthusiasts, hiking and biking and kayaking guys, and many of those people could be poster models for outdoor fun in California.

You’d think the store could have a special section for us Babyboomers who don’t always have the luxury of an elliptical in the bedroom, but no. As we were about to approach the check-out line, my husband pointed out the little camping tents for cats. There was a row of miniature tents stacked on a shelf right in front of us. How ingenious. The tents were big enough for a small dog though like, oh, I dunno, a Pekingese or even a pair of Chihuahuas. Perfect for a baby, too, I figured, so parents wouldn’t accidentally roll over on the kid. It’s a great solution for young families who want to camp together. What will they think of next?

Except those tents were models of the large tents. Very funny, Adam. I guess there’s not enough room in the store to set up the big tents so shoppers can see what they look like. If there’s not enough room for that, there’s probably not enough room for a Babyboomer section. Drats.

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