I'm not a good shopper. It's just not my thing. I don't enjoy it and I always end up disappointed. Obviously I'm not talking about grocery shopping, although I could be. But that's a story for another day. I'm talking about clothes -- the main source of stress in my life. Yes, the MAIN source. It isn't having a full time job -- it's having nothing to wear to it. It's not running four boys all over the county -- it's that I'm not properly attired to do it. Clothes shopping is the constant thorn in my side.
It could be my shopping process. I don't usually leave the house before 8:30 at night. That's when the homework is done, the showers have been finished and young children are neatly tucked in for the night. The last load of laundry for the day has been thrown in the dryer, so out I run. Of course there's travel time involved, so I have to go to a store in close proximity that stays open late. That pretty much leaves WalMart and Kohl's.
I choose Kohl's because I "expect great things." I sprint around the store, grabbing anything that appears like it may fit, but since I have no idea what size I am I grab it in three sizes. Arms loaded, hangers falling all over, I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror. Wow, this time of night the wrinkles seem deeper and the roots seem grayer! I also notice that everything in my hands is black. I hear the voices of my friends and coworkers, "Get some color." So I start the sprint again. My clothes shopping technique is eerily similar to the "Supermarket Sweep" game show style of shopping, but I've yet to get the grand prize!
By the time I hit the dressing room I'm exhausted and the announcement is going off that the store is closing in fifteen minutes. I undress quickly, but then I'm stopped DEAD IN MY TRACKS.
Surely it must be the lighting in here...That's not ME in the mirror, is it? Who designed these mirrors anyway? Clearly, it was a man or some skinny chick with a warped sense of humor. I do not need to see myself from EVERY possible angle before I get my clothes back on. I do not need to know that what I expected is actually true...a chocolate chip cookie dough diet and lack of exercise really can cause cellulite. I don't need to see that my razor really isn't as sharp as I thought it was. And are those bumps, humps and lovely lady lumps Fergie sang of supposed to be on my thighs? Because they are not quite as smooth as they once may have been. And where did all this extra skin come from? I convince myself that a tan will make it all better. I vow for the umpteenth time to eat less and work out more.
I can't take it anymore so I start to try on the clothes. The announcement rings out again-the store is closing but will reopen for my "convenience" in the morning. Nothing about this is convenient. NOTHING. I try on pants, all three sizes -- too big, too small, none just right. Can I really be no size? I try on tops-too loose, too low cut, too matronly, too "young" looking. Who makes this crap, anyway? I gather it all up and throw it in the unwanted bin. All but a pair of socks and some pajama bottoms.
By now the announcement is, "Hey lumpy white lady making a mess in the fitting room, we want to go home." I go to the register and am greeted with dirty looks. I pay and wait for the security guard to unlock the doors to let me out.
I approach the mini, the only car in the lot. I drive home avoiding the Dunkin drive thru calling my name. I enter a quiet house, greeted only by the dog. I tidy up, slide into my new pjs and get into bed. I try to think of the next time I'll be able to get to a store again, but no open date comes to mind, and I'm exhausted from this excursion anyway. But it's hard to fall asleep while I wonder what I'm going to wear to work tomorrow...
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