I was speaking with my literary agent to inform her that I'd be flying to New York and would be on live TV. She gave me a couple helpful suggestions regarding my interview. One thing she said was to wear an interesting piece of jewelry.
Hmmm, I thought. Interesting jewelry. I've got a painted macaroni necklace the kids made me. That's pretty interesting.
At this point, I realized that my wardrobe was sadly lacking in the "non" - jeans and t-shirts arena. I figured it was time I did a little clothes shopping. Now, I don't particularly care for clothes shopping. I look forward to shopping for clothing as much as I look forward to my kids coming home from school in the afternoon - it's fun for the first few minutes. I actually enjoy perusing the racks of clothing. I don't mind searching for my size from among the possibilities. Taking the clothes into the dreaded dressing room is the part I could live without.
The store I went to this weekend had this really great feature in the dressing rooms. Perhaps you've witnessed this feature yourself. It's a doorbell. A very. loud. doorbell. You walk into the room and "ding dong" sounds loudly enough for people in the next state to hear. Why is this? Why do they need a doorbell? I've never once, in my entire life, seen a dressing room attendant run to the entrance and say, "Oh hello! I heard the doorbell and thought I'd come welcome you to the dressing rooms!" In fact, come to think of it, I don't believe I've ever seen a dressing room attendant period, let alone one who would run to greet you.
So, after causing permanent damage to my hearing from the doorbell, I took the clothing that I thought looked very nice on the hangers into an open room. I pushed aside the mountain of clothes left behind by a person who apparently thought it was just too much trouble to remove the clothes from the room and hang them on the return rack. I mean, trying on clothing can be exhausting. Clearly the patron before me didn't have the strength to gather up her items and walk the four whole feet out of the room to the return rack. Perfectly understandable. Actually, other people's laziness has come in handy for me at times. Have you ever been in a dressing room and seen a top, left in the room by the previous occupant, and thought, "Wow! I love that shirt! It's my size! I must have it!"?
Anyway, amid the piles of clothing, in front of the wonderful three-paneled mirrors, in the glorious lighting that's always present in dressing rooms, I began the depressing ritual of trying to convince myself that I don't look quite as bad as the mirrors are telling me I look, and the outfit that looked cute on the hanger looks just as cute on me.
Am I the only one who takes back three identical pairs of pants in three different sizes? Seriously, I don't think there's an industry standard for women's pants. I could wear three different sizes in three different brands and I never know which will fit, so I generally bring three pairs in to try on. It's much better than walking in and out of the room looking for a different size and hearing the doorbell again and again.
Of course, I start with the largest size. (It's always a little boost to the ego to bring in a pair that you know is going to be bit big on you.) Try on the largest pair first and then exclaim, loudly enough for everyone else to hear, "Oh these pants are HUGE on me! I need a smaller size." After you've gotten that out of the way, it somehow doesn't seem so bad when you try on something so small that you require medical attention after attempting to button it.
So after pulling on pair after pair of pants and shirt after shirt, turning this way and that, examining myself in the mirror, sucking in my stomach until I felt light-headed, standing on my tip-toes to fool the mirror into thinking I'm taller, and realizing that my gray roots really need to be touched up again, I call it a day. I came home with a few items, which were on sale, by the way. I judge my shopping spree, not by what I bought, but by how much I saved on what I bought. I have a friend, Melissa, who is the Queen of the Bargain. Seriously, she should teach classes. I don't know anyone else who can come home from shopping with 2 pairs of jeans, a sweater, 3 tops, 4 new throw pillows, a necklace and bracelet set, a handbag, and 2 pairs of shoes for $10.99 plus tax.
So, my clothing finds are hanging here from the knob on my dresser. I keep looking at them, disliking them more every time I pass by. I'll probably end up returning all of it and starting over again. Oh well, at least I was able to go by myself this weekend. You thought grocery shopping with the kids was bad. Try tugging on some jeans with one hand while holding onto your toddler, so he can't crawl under the dressing room door, with the other. All the while keeping the door shut with your foot because the lock is broken and the baby keeps trying to open the door from her seat in the stroller. Now that's fun.