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