Last night I went shopping for the first time in... Seriously, I can't remember the last time. It's been a couple of years. Scott and I, being of the financially broke variety, never get a chance to shop for anything remotely beyond the highly necessary, and even then, it's got to be a highly warranted item before we can drop any money on it.
But last night, I was in an alternate universe - a universe created by the lovely unexpected Lane Bryant gift certificate my mom gave me (thanks Mom!) and some unexpected shoe money from my fairy godmother (thanks Son!). A universe in which I was free to shop unabashedly until the time or money ran out, whichever came first. Honestly, I was surprised by how fun it was! I am pretty atypical when it comes to shopping in that I just don't derive as much pleasure out of it as some people so I'm always surprised when I have fun doing it. I have been even worse about it since I've nearly doubled in size (feels like it) and clothes-shopping always tends to bring out all of the insecurity and body issues that seem to be bubbling on the surface, anyway. But, eventually there comes a point where like it or not, you have to drag your size BOOM-baba-BOOM-baba butt to the store, and apparently, my mom decided my time had come! I like to think that she remembers the good ol' days when I actually had style and looked better than decent, and maybe just wanted to see me get a little of that back.
Here's the trick to shopping: GO BY YOURSELF. Leave the relatives and the friends - most definitely the husbands - at home. It's easy to be tempted into thinking that you want someone there to offer an opinion and "help," but I typically find that that is more annoying than anything, and I know for a fact that I am impossible to shop with because I'm ridiculously picky, so it's no parade for my tag-along, either. They oh-so-innocently hold up a silk shirt (or "mu-mu," as I like to call it) with a built-in scarf that hangs to my knees and a floral pattern that could instantly cause hysterical blindness, and, "Hey, let's put this with a skirt since I never see you in skirts!" All the while holding up an equally hideous THING made out of three potato sacks that just reinforces the fact that my legs can NEVER, EVER be seen in the light of day, especially by anyone I care about! That is right about the time I morph into Plus-Size Demon Chick, knocking over mannequins (some of them human) and tearing through giant sweater piles with my bare hands. It ain't pretty.
That's not to say that you don't make mistakes when you do shop by yourself, but that's what the fashion show back home is for. As you sashay down the runway between the coffee table and the treadmill and do your little three-point turn in the bathroom, you realize that no, no, it wasn't just the flourescent lights playing tricks on you in the store dressing room. In the safety of your cozy little haven, your arms really DO look like Christmas hams in that sweater.
Gleefully, I did not have that experience last night, and I came home with a few great pieces (NO SKIRTS!!), and a couple of things which I'll be exchanging for more great pieces (momentary lapse of judgment on my part; thanks, honey, for helping me see the light). I love what I got, and dare I say that I feel a little style returning? "A little extra zip", as the Miracle Whip folks would say?
Hmmm. Getting closer. Nothing that a great haircut tomorrow night won't help with!!