By: net_efekt

  My husband thinks I’m the perfect wife. Is it because I have blonde hair, bake an amazing rum cake, get tipsy pretty easily or because I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut when he’s watching a basketball game? Absolutely not. I’m the perfect wife because…I HATE SHOPPING. A lot of my lady friends will think I’m nuts for admitting this, but I could care less about designer labels, sexy stilettos or sparkly bling on my fingers. My idea of shopping is lounging on the sofa and thumbing through a Squirrels R Us catalog in search of rodent play accessories.

     The Christmas holidays are a nightmare for me, because I’m forced to go shopping to pick out stuff for OTHER people. This always leaves me feeling a bit queasy and guilt-ridden (for buying them stupid stuff like macrame pot holders) or frustrated for not saving myself some time by getting a handful of generic gift cards. I’d rather have a root canal than troll the malls like a pack mule with numerous shopping bags looped through my arms.

     I am seriously wardrobe challenged, but there always comes a point in my life when I have to go shopping, because my clothes are:

      1)  Out of style (yeah, I know, shoulder pads went out years ago when Dynasty went off the air in 1989).

      2)  Too tight (okay, I promise I’ll stop getting that extra dollop of whipped cream in my Starbuck’s coffee).

      3)  No longer intended for pregnancy (um…the last kid was born sixteen years ago, but oh, I love those elastic waistband maternity pants!).

      4)  Easily recognizable from being frequently worn. At parties, people keep telling me they like my outfit, and they notice that I must like it too, since I’m still wearing a red Christmas vest with embroidered reindeers on it in the middle of July.

      5)  Worn out. My clothes have more holes in them than a bullet-ridden Model T driven by gangsters during the Prohibition Era.

     Once the clothes in my closet look like they were salvaged from the trunk of a junkyard car, it’s time to visit the “house of horrors” I call the local shopping mall.

     Walking through  crowds of cheerful women holding armloads of dresses and men thumbing through stacks of sports jerseys, I find creative ways to avoid the clothes racks. I’ll visit the book store, grab a cup of coffee (hold the whipped cream, please) sniff a few Evergreen-scented candles and idly pick lint balls off the store carpet…before I realize how much time has passed and that it’s WAY too early to start the cocktail hour.

     First I pass the lingerie department (yeah right, like I’m going to try to squeeze myself in to a hot, pink number the size of a rubber band just to please my husband), which leads me to the aisle where all the bras are hanging like double boulder slingshots (definitely NOT trying on one of those). Shoe section, jewelry, maternity outfits…”Oh, look at those cute, faux denim stretch pants designed to hide a pregnancy bump…” I self-consciously rub my stomach…nope, no baby in there…just the jelly roll the last kid left behind.

      Eventually I pick out a few items (actually, it’s twelve, because I grabbed a sampler platter of three different sizes of each outfit). I have no idea what the size du jour is going to be, since my mouth decided that “diet” was a dirty word.

     Wishing to God that I had a shot of vodka to bolster my courage before stepping into the torture chamber (a.k.a dressing room), I loiter around the clearance rack (looking for more lint balls to pick) until a skinny, perky salesclerk approaches me. Her chipper tone sets my teeth on edge when she asks if I’m ready to try on my new clothes. Can’t she see that I am breaking out into a hot flash sweat over the moment of truth when my actual dress size will be revealed?

     I am ushered into a mirrored cubicle the size of Thumbelina’s closet and told to “have fun” while trying on the clothes. I’m too busy looking for a mini fridge with a bar in the dressing room to respond to the clerk.

     Peeling off my old, comfortable clothes is the hardest part of all. Unless you’re built like a model instead of a middle-aged mother of four children, this is where the true horror begins. Because I have to view myself in panoramic 3-D funhouse mirrors that display my front, back and sides. But unlike a carnival, these mirrors aren’t warped. My body is.

     Oh. My. God. This is when I experience THE MOMENT; those awful, first few seconds of not recognizing the reflection staring back at me. Immediately I experience an identity crisis—am I a pear, apple, or a pale jellyfish bobbing on the surface of the ocean?

     Deciding that the department store must have gotten a really good deal on mirrors from a traveling circus, I begin weeding through the pile of clothing. One floral print dress fits me like an oversized shower curtain. An orange blouse makes me look like an Oompa Loompa, while an ill-fitting pair of jeans has my flesh oozing out over the top like pale Playdough from a squeeze tube. To make matters worse, the entire act of struggling into torturous clothing designed to compact my muffin top is all done under the unflattering, fluorescent lights that mercilessly expose every fold, flap, bulge and scar bestowed upon the body from childbirth and years of yo-yo dieting.

     I quickly grab armloads of clothing that promise to lift, tuck, flatten and flatter the body…and everything comes in one shade. Black. So what if I end up looking like Batman’s grandmother or a widow in mourning for a year? At least I’ll look thinner, tighter and slightly squeezed into place like a stack of Pillsbury biscuits in a tube roll, ready to pop.

     I leave the store with a triumphant smile on my face and a bag of clothing resembling the wardrobe in a mortician’s closet. Thankfully I won’t have to go shopping for awhile. My new clothes should last forever, since the majority of them are made from Spandex…..

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32 thoughts on “SHAPELY SHOPPING”

  1. Once upon a blink of an eye, I was a size 4 and I LOVED to go shopping. Everything fit and looked great. Once the divorce diet was over and I returned to normal size which was a 10, it was still okay. Now that I am a size 14, not so much. I Dread shopping and like you,sometimes it is necessary. I will admit that 85% of my closet is black the other 15% a mix of white and navy blue (denim). Thanks for the giggles. You always make me smile!!!

  2. I also hate shopping – clothing, food, mail order, and I’m filling a void QVC shopping. Our closets are identical, which makes me wonder if I have a secret identity so secret that even I don’t know that my alter-ego name is Marcia… But when forced to perform the vile act of mall hopping, for me, every hour is cocktail hour, and the same is true of coffee – especially if it’s Starbucks, my real true love who doesn’t require anything from me but their signature gold card to make an impression…

  3. This gave me a good chuckle over my brekkie! I actually don’t mind shopping for clothes but, like most things these days, can’t really be bothered – it’s so much easier flicking through a catalogue or browsing online, glass of wine to hand 🙂

  4. You and I are sisters under the fluorescent lights. I HATE clothes shopping, mostly because I hate trying things on in the store. On the other hand, give me an Internet clothing shopping site and I’m like a kid in a ten-story toy store. I think I singlehandedly keep OneStopPlus in business. It’s a lot more fun to sit in front of a computer and look at pretty pictures than to wear your feet out shopping in real stores.

    I hate department stores. I will only go into Macy’s if you force me at gunpoint — or if you give me a Macy’s gift certificate. For free stuff, I’ll make the sacrifice. But I’ll probably end up with a new coffeemaker rather than a new dress.

    I just want to let you know that … I understand!

  5. I thought I was the only one! I hate it! I would rather have bamboo shoots driven under my fingernails than to walk through the mall. It has gotten so bad hubby has been buying my clothes for the past 4 or 5 years. When “I” buy new clothes it entails blue/black or gray sweatpants! He goes picks them out brings them home and everyone is happy. I don’t have to kill anyone and he doesn’t have to walk around with Roy Clark from HeeHaw! Compromise at it’s finest!

  6. I’m one of those women who likes to shop – although I agree with you on the horror house mirrors and lighting. Something softer and perhaps candlelit would be nice. Glad you’ve got your wardrobe set for a while :)!

  7. I am so with you on this! I hate shopping! My Husby loves it. He’ll happily troll the aisles, looking for a bargain. Me? I’m the one who looks at the first rack. Heads over to go through the ‘specials’ rack. Then announces, “Well, this store is a total loss!’ And leaves. Yep. That’s me. The fact that I got into the store in the first place is miracle enough. Leaving after buying something? Well, that hasn’t happened yet. I’ll let you know when it does . . .

  8. This is sooo true. I sweat soo bad when I try on clothes. I hate it. Thank you knowing I am not alone. Lol

  9. My family calls my style “retro homeless.” I really don’t like going shopping and do so only when absolutely necessary. What I need is a personal shopper. Anyone homeless person reading this, looking for a job?

    1. OMG I LOVE that name—I think I belong in that category as well. My kids think most of my clothing looks like to was saved from my high school days….they might be right about that.

  10. I feel you on this, I really do. I stopped into Target yesterday to “quickly” pick up a card. Note the word “quickly”. There was nothing quick about being sidetracked by the dress sale, trying on said dress and then spending 15 minutes trying to get the thing back up over my head because I’m stubborn and delusional and still think I take a ‘small’. And the lighting in there is torture chamber worthy. I’d rather be drinking. 😉

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