Girdles, Garter Belts and Rubber Pants. Oh My!
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Got a gangster in your family? How about a dominatrix? An altar boy?
Well, good news for all of them. Starting today and running through Sunday at midnight they can buy items they desperately need like bandanas, corsets and altar clothing without paying Virginia sales tax.
You can thank your local member of the General Assembly for this largesse.
Yep, it’s the commonwealth’s annual Sales Tax Holiday weekend. Actually, it’s the “combined” sales tax holiday. Richmond recently merged the spring “Hurricane Preparedness” tax break with August’s “Back to School” event, turning this into an extravagant weekend that allows you to shop anywhere from Home Depot to Frederick’s of Hollywood. Tax free.
Combining the two holidays was smart. As someone who’s lived in hurricane country since 1984, I can tell you that absolutely no one shops for batteries, generators or even toilet paper until they see Jim Cantore lashed to a telephone pole in front of their house.
Asking Virginians to think about ‘canes five months before the height of storm season was always a stretch. Shoot, most of us will have a hard time dislodging ourselves from the beach this weekend to stock up on survival gear.
Human nature, I’m afraid.
But the back-to-school holiday has always been timely. And laughable. While it’s a huge help to families to be able to buy shoes, shirts, skirts and trousers without paying the state an extra 4.3 percent, many of the items included in the list of tax-free apparel have absolutely nothing to do with education.
Not complaining. Any savings is welcome.
It’s just that some of the items look as if they were cooked up by octogenarians who are remembering clothing of old.
Beach capes, for instance. I live at the beach. I have no idea what a beach cape is.
Corset and corset laces. I do know what these are. Either Halloween costumes or naughty gym teacher wear.
Garters and garter belts. Same.
Footlets. Again, no idea.
Legwarmers. Is “Footloose” playing somewhere?
Suspenders. The last fellows to wear those were Daddy and John Boy Walton. Perhaps this is a nod to Virginia’s favorite son, Earl Hamner, creator of “The Waltons.”
Beyond that, this is a good weekend to stock up on clerical vestments, steel-toed shoes, rubber pants - insert your own joke here - lingerie and wedding apparel.
Now get out there and start spending.