Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.



RN: Miles Standish would not have spent his Thanksgiving shivering outside a Best Buy.


CP: I feel a wider point coming on.


RN: We should be at home, ignoring our loved ones and consuming leftovers. Not hoping to score a flat-screen television for the price of a can of Festal pumpkin pie filling.


CP: But Wal-Mart is where the heart is, Rick. And I am kinda in the market for an $8 Blu-ray player.


RN: We really should be supporting the mass-market retailers who choose to allow their employees to enjoy the holiday with their families. I just may do all of my Christmas shopping at Fleet Farm and Nordstrom. In December.


CP: The day you shadow the transom of a Fleet Farm, Madonna will appear in public wearing a muumuu.


RN: For Ms. Ciccone’s sake, here’s hoping Dolce & Gabbana are in the muumuu couture business, because I have browsed the big orange Man’s Mall in the past. Swear.


CP: Of course you have. I am certain you have a deer stand in every color of the rainbow in the trunk of your Ion. As for the earlier and earlier openings, it’s hard to imagine just who would be browsing the racks at the downtown Minneapolis Macy’s at, I dunno, 3 a.m. last Friday. My guess is that most of them would blow a 0.18 or higher on a Breathalyzer test.


RN: Thank goodness Kmart opened at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving. I haven’t found a spare opportunity — other than before dawn on our most cherished national holiday — to tear through the Jaclyn Smith collection for a little velour something for Mom. And it was on sale!


CP: At Kmart’s door-buster, you could outfit Mom and all your sisters in snazzy, multi-hued tracksuits for about $18 — and have plenty left over to spend on yourself and that champagne-loving new spouse of yours.


RN: Shhhhh. I’ll never hear the end of it if he hears that I’m trolling through Ridgedale on Vendredi Noir. It sounds so much better in French, doesn’t it? Although perhaps this 80-percent-off cashmere cardigan might change his mind.


CP: So light, so warm, so cheap.


RN: Forget about the so-called War on Christmas. The real social skirmish in this country is the retail industry’s ever-growing encroachment on Thanksgiving. How ironic that this most American of holidays is being ruined by — wait for it — Christmas.


E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib