If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

THE OLD LADY WEARING MY CLOTHES

I hate shopping. So much so that when my mother died in 1984, my aunt was actually worried about my boys having proper clothes to wear. She would even to call me and remind me to make sure their stuff still fit right and wasn’t wearing out. (Thank God she did because without her badgering me there’s no telling what they’d have gone to school wearing.) I still dislike shopping in general, but shopping for myself? Pure misery. Especially if it requires entering a mall.

This aversion to all things Mall has made me the window shopping queen of Texas. The only way I typically buy anything for myself is if I see it in the window and they have my size on a rack close enough to the door that I don’t have go on a scavenger hunt to find it. My penchant for buying the displayed outfits has led me to the very unscientific conclusion that I’m not alone in my totally non-traditional-female-person world because occasionally I run into someone else wearing the same outfit. It doesn’t happen often, but it does occur frequently enough for me to be comforted by the recognition of kindred spirits. Ever since I realized this, whenever I see a woman sporting the same outfit I’m wearing (or any part thereof), I endeavor to make a point of trying to catch the woman’s attention and grin like an idiot when she realizes that we have on the same clothes. It’s a fun game for me because I think most women act ridiculously stupid when faced with another woman wearing the same thing. So the ornery little sadist in me takes great pleasure in seeing if she’s going to grin or grimace. Yes, I know that I am WAY too easily amused!

Shortly before The Dream came to a crashing end, I was lucky enough to happen on an outfit that I really liked. Since it was in a strip center, thus requiring no mall anxiety, I took the opportunity, to actually go in and try on the outfit before purchasing it. (My other shopping-related aversion is to clothing store dressing rooms. I have nightmares about having one porcine appendage stuck in a pair of pants when a fire alarm goes off requiring me to either waddle out nearly naked or risk dying a slow, burning death while I try in vain to either get the one leg out of, or the other leg into, pants that are almost inevitably the wrong size. This has led to me having donated a massive number of brand new, price-tag still attached, clothing items because they hung in my closet or languished in the trunk of the car in the shopping bag awaiting my next trip to the mall for so long that the act of returning the item became, in and of itself, simply too humiliating. Sorry – that wasn’t where this story was supposed to go. So anyway...) I was pleasantly surprised to find that the first permutation of size combinations fit. (Remember, I haven’t easily seen my feet since I was about 13 so I always have to buy coordinated outfits. Suits with the same size tops and bottoms will NOT work.) I loved the way it camouflaged some of the more unsavory aspects of my physique so, of course, I bought it. In 2 different colors. YAY!

Until our blissfully normal shopping spree last week, I haven’t had much occasion to dress up to leave the house. I was thrilled to get to wear my new duds on our outing. We’d had a lunch and were laughing as we headed into the store. The last thing I expected to see as I was walking up to the doors was a woman wearing the same outfit already inside. “What fun!” giggled my inner sadist.

Once inside My Girl headed one direction and I took off in the direction it looked like the lady was going. She must have been in a real hurry because the next time I caught sight of her was at the dressing rooms. As we were walking in for MG to try on some shorts, I caught quick glimpse of her heading into another stall. I didn’t want to bother her while she was trying on clothes (I know I always hate having strangers try to talk to me while I’m half naked!) so I just stood there outside of MG’s stall waiting for either one of them to emerge. MG took forever because she had several things to try on, but none of it worked. She had pretty much scoured the racks the first time, so we decided to leave that store because there was nothing else that MG was interested in looking at. I was sad that I hadn’t been able to talk to the lady with my clothes on, though. When I saw her that second time I noticed that she was really too “shapely” to be wearing that type of outfit. It really wasn’t very flattering on her at all. I was hoping to be able to do my mothering thing and gently suggest that maybe she should think about finding clothing more befitting her age. But that lady must have had a load of stuff to try on because she never did show back up before we headed on to the next store.

We all know that great minds think alike, right? Well, that lady and I were seriously on the same wavelength because a little while after entering the second store I spotted her again. This time she was across the aisle looking at the jewelry. I only needed to see the side of her head and part of one shoulder out of the corner of my eye to instantly know it was definitely her because I recognized that hair. I made a mental note to also mention that she might like to try my wonderful $14 stylist if I ever caught up with her. Sadly, MG called me to come look at something, and by the time I looked back up she’d disappeared.

A little later, while MG was looking at shoes, I spotted the poor old dear again. She was over by the hats and handbags looking right at me. Seeing her pale, wrinkled face confirmed what I’d originally thought about her being much too old and out of shape to be wearing the layered tank top look. Now I also knew that I should recommend my wonderful Merle Norman dealer’s makeup makeovers. However, by the time I got across the aisle and around the mirror she was standing behind she was GONE AGAIN!

For the rest of the day I caught sporadic glimpses of her. Once I saw her reflection in a plate glass window as she stood behind me staring at my back. Another time, I caught her peeking around a corner through the glass door of the shop I was entering. The last time I saw her was in a furniture store looking at bedroom suits. I caught a peek of her reflection in the mirror on the dresser. By then, though, we were leaving and I had given up hope of having any kind of meaningful conversation with her. I’d concluded that she was, after all, a grown-up, and if she could remain in denial about her looks after spending so much of the day seeing herself in mirrors, nothing I could say would have helped.

So, the next time you bow your head in prayer, please send one up for that, out of shape, wrinkled and pasty faced, new-hairdo-needin’ old fat woman wearing my clothes. I KNOW she will appreciate all the help I she can get.

Wishing you Peace, Blessings and appropriate purchases for all the days you live to shop.

30 comments:

  1. Too funny what a great story and dont worry I'll keep that lady in my prayers wink wink.

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  2. I'm still laughing......

    You and your writing are both great. ;)

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  3. If you see her again, tell her to wear a tiara. It will make the outfit. ;)

    I'll pray.

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  4. I saw that woman hanging around my blog and she looked fabulous. I mean she was rockin that outfit. You go Damama!

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  5. OMG...I saw her, too! And she was wearing MY clothes! On the other side of that orgasmic chocolate display case in Mobile!

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  6. What a great story as always. Your writing always puts a smile on my face. If I ever see that lady, I will give her a hug and a smile and say, you look great :-)

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  7. That woman must have thought you were stalking her or something. Maybe we should call "What Not to Wear."

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  8. funny. Margie

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  9. I Love it! You had me going for a while...glad you added the mirror references or I might still be confused. I'm sure that lady looks just FINE. She is always in my prayers. Pax, EJT

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  10. I knew there was a reason I like you!

    I don't like shopping for clothes either. I once had a very bad experience in a dressing room where my toddler opened the door while I was changing. Most of the people in the store got to see.
    I also had a very traumatic experience when I took my then 5 year old daughter bra shopping with me. Without going into too much detail, I will just say that her (very loud) comments in the changing room were not appreciated.
    I have not been inside a Mall for over 3 years! And I'm proud of it!
    That same lady has been following me around also.

    Fun post!

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  11. Seriously you are so stinking funny!! Great story!!

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  12. Hubby says I need more profession nal looking clothes for work. I guess I'll be dragging out the sewing machine. I have the patterns, thread and the material. Hubby put a table in his locking workshop for my sewing machine.Maybe the boys won't break it again? They already disassembled the serger a friend gave me. I didn't get to use it before they unscrewed the knobs and lost some of the springs...

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  13. I feel just like Debbbie Yost : Who was following the other? I wonder. You play a strange little game, Damama, I see you need to find an other distraction when you go shopping!
    If I saw her, I would told her you want me to transmit her your salutation.
    Very glad to read you again.

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  14. You are so cute! You sound just like me when I have to do those stupid word verifications. I don't have it on my settings but every now and then...it pops up. Weird huh!? I hate them too.....I guess we'll both have to put our big girl panties on and deal with it......I hate it when that happens! ;)

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  15. That's great!

    She must have really liked the way you looked and wanted to be like you! Awww you have an admirer!

    That's great that you would have offered her style advice. I'd probably want to bask in knowing that I look better in that outfit then she does, lmao!

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  16. In fact, you're an illusionist, Damama. You play with truth, you throw a charm on you, with blink, and talent.

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  17. Too funny! I hate shopping too, but that's just because I can never find anything I like. Get all excited thinking I'm gonna get some new duds, and come home empty handed. (well not really empty handed, there is always kids stuff we end up getting) How sad, it's always about the kids and never about me. sheeesh

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  18. I caught on about half way through. Funny! I hate shopping too. Thank goodness for the internet.

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  19. Brandy - It is horrible to be walking around thinking you are all that and a box of chocolates and catch a glimpse of yourself somewhere causing the sudden realization that you actually look like all that should have been burried last week. Oh well, like Erma Bombeck said, "If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it." LOLOLOLOLOLOL!
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    Tammy - ME TOOOO!! ;o) Thanks, I'm flattered!
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    Brandi - ROFL!! Yep, a tiara would just about have topped it off! LOL!!
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    Robin - You are so silly. Blind, but silly. ;o)
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    Kalynne - So THAT'S where my All That took my box of chocolates!! I bet she looked better in your clothes than she did in mine.
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    AZ - Hugs are ALLLLWAYS welcome. Lying, however, will send you to hell. ;o) Glad you enjoy my lunacy.
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    Debbie - OH, PLEEEEEAS CALL THEM! I umm.. I mean SHE needs all the help we can get. LOL!
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    Angela - Thanks!
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    Margie - Wry chuckles coming from a woman who couldn't look bad if she put on a godzilla mask and a feed sack dress?? You WOULD think it was funny, you skinny snot, ya!! ;o)

    FYI, READERS: Margie has trouble keeping weight ON and is stuck HAVING to wear something like size 2s on her model-thin, perfectly proportioned body. Please wait until I've stepped aside before you start throwing rotten tomatoes at her. ;0) Love ya, Margie. LOL!
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    Elizabeth - I'm glad I was able to pull you along for a while. Prayers are always welcome but would you please make it specific for shop owners to put more, ummm... porcine-friendly selections on plus-sized mannequins in their windows so I can actually see what the clothes look like on someone in my ummm.. shape so I don't have to stalk that old lady anymore?
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    Jill - AHHH, shopping with toddlers. Does life get any better?? ROFL! It is amazing how descriptive they can get with such small vocaublaries! Your story reminds me of the little girl in the bathroom stall in my airport scenes post.
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    Utmom - I've always believed that truth is stranger - and funnier - than fiction! LOL! ;o)
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    Mommee - AACK! HIDE THE TOOLS! The vegetable bin in the fridge is a great place they will NEVER look! I'm surprised they lived through that little adventure. LOL!
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    Catherine X2 - LOL. GOTCHA! And if you ever DO see her, you better hug first and ask questions (like what the heck are you doing in France??) later!!! Glad you made it home safely. I'll be over to catch up soon.
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    Bez - You are more patient that I'd be if I told something to go away and it didn't! I'd be online with the help desk screaming "keep it up and you'll be seein' my big girl panties up close and personal when I put 'em on and stomp all over your butt!!!' LOL!
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    Army Brats mom - LOL!! IF ONLY! I'm praying to NEVER see that old broad again for the rest of my life! Unfortunately, God often answers our prayers with a resounding, "GET REAL, CHICK!" lol!

    How you holding up, sweetie.

    EVERYONE: Army Brats Mom's husband just shipped out for Iraq a few days ago. He'll be gone for 18 months (right?). Please add a special prayer tonight not only for all the troops, but a little extra for her and her kids right now. Thanks, loves!
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    Lisa - Dang kids! If I were you I'd make them be bag carriers all day long on Mother's day and not allow them to even LOOK at anything for themselves. And they can take turns pushing you so you don't have to even lift one finger on the trip. ;o)
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    Heather - I love the internet, too. My only problem is that sizes vary so much that nearly every time I order clothes I have to take them back to the real store anyway. I guess I could get smart and stick with one brand, but then I'm also stuck with that brand's prices... I know - then I should quit my griping, and, as Berezay said, put on my big girl panties and DEAL WITH IT! LOL!

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  20. They required no tools- unfortunately the tension control knobs just unscrewed. When they came off, the little tension devices and spring flew all over the room. I think I finally found most of the parts. I should just gather the parts I have and drop it off and the repair shop. The gentleman here in town works very inexpensively- It was $25 dollars to have him order the part for my regular sewing machine the kids broke off (where the cord plugs into the machine)and install it. It just took weeks for the part from singer to get to him.
    The serger has been apart for 6+years. I hadn't even used it before they took it apart. At least it was free.

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  21. Hope you are doing well :0) Hey, stop by my blog when you get a moment and read todays (Tuesday) post. I could use some Damama advice!

    And I'd never lie to you!! ;-)

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  22. So funny! At least you have some good suggestions for that poor lady. Whew. She needs help! ;)
    angelawd

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  23. The ... erm ... inexpensive (!) shops I patronise don't have space for many mirrors, and I'm expert at avoiding them.

    What I hate!!! is hubby's love of taking candid photos of me and telling me they're great. NO THEY'RE NOT!!! That wrinkly old hag can't look GREAT!!!

    Love ya!

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. From Stephen
    Hi
    http://phoenix-1985.blogspot.com/

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  27. You never fail to crack me up. Whenever I need a laugh all I gotta do is drop by here.

    You Rock!!

    ((HUGS))

    Pam and Rhett

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  28. Ugh.....I forgot to say that I am glad you are feeling better too!!

    ((hugs again!!))

    Pam and Rhett

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  29. OMG! I've seen that woman too...... or at least her act-alike clone. She's been following me around and terrorizing me. And mine's been giving me wrinkles and a scary three-way mirror phobia. *sigh*

    I see someone's sent you hugs so I'll send you puffy hearts. A little late for Mother's Day, but you can never get enough puffy heearts, to my way of thinking. :)

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