I hate to shop.
I realize this adds to the list of things that make me not really a girl. The list is short but hefty with evidence. For the most part it’s PG rated, but for reasons you can imagine I won’t list them all here. I could get kicked out of the band moms for at least two of them.
I don’t really deserve to have money to spend. Because when I do I just embarrass myself in my attempt to act like a woman shopper.
I had a birthday recently (see previous blog on prune juice, comfy shoes, cell phone ring tones, elastic pants and band name mispronunciations) and I had some birthday money to spend on myself, thanks to my generous mother-in-law.
My past experience with spending this annual gift is fraught with shopping mishaps. Like the time I shopped for 10 months for the perfect watch until I had used up all the money, $3.40 at a time, on the Starbucks that I bought to walk around looking at watches.
And the time I decided to use the money on all clothes made in the US. I ended up spending weeks checking tags, looking up geographic locations in a pocket atlas (just to be sure that places like “Mehedintl,” “Qiaotou” and “China” were really foreign countries and not names of townships in Ohio). Forget checking to see if it came in my size or if I could afford it.
You can only meet so many criteria. After weeks of shopping, I discovered that a) the only clothing made in America is peach, mauve, turquoise and other ‘80s colors and is ugly, the pants are too long and none of them come in my size b) if a piece of clothing is made in America, it’s made from materials that come from South America and the people who work in the American clothing factory are most likely illegals from Mexico and c), there’s no such thing as a tennis shoe made in the US. If you want American made shoes, you’re going to have to carve them out of old Goodyear tires. I ended up with a small pile of putrid-colored clothes that didn’t fit me, weren’t appropriate to wear to any place I go, and cost too much. So much for rah-rah American textiles industry.
So this past week I headed out to spend my birthday money and decided to try to buy some clothes. A couple of tops and maybe a pair of colored jeans. Apparently that’s asking too much.
I found four tops that would have been perfect for my class reunion, which was last summer and for which I could not find one decent top from mid May through the end of July. These tops magically appeared on the racks as I was yanking up the neckline and pulling down the back of the piece of crap I was wearing at my reunion.
I also found three beautiful formal dresses. All the people I know are already married or not even dating someone seriously and I have nowhere dressy to go for at least five years.
I tried on dozens of shirts with puffy sleeves, plunging necklines or so long they came down to my mid thigh. I tried on pants that were so low that the zipper was ¼” long and my butt crack showed. I tried on a sweater that was cropped to just cover my boobs but with sleeves that were so long I looked like I was in a straightjacket that hadn’t been fastened yet. I tried on dresses that I swear I wore in 1969, hot pink and brown swirls on a polyester shine background.
Apparently I’m in fashion no-man’s land, too old for the low-rise, low-cut, tight-fitting clothes that the 20-year-olds are wearing and too young for the Cathy Daniels line at Kohl’s. Basically I can narrow it down to one outfit that I like – jeans and a Susan Komen 5K race tee shirt. I’ve already got that, but it’s dirty. I guess I’m going to have to run in more races just to augment my wardrobe.