Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What do you mean, acid washed jeans aren't in style anymore?

I used to love to shop.

Back in the day my mother, sister and I would drive hours out of our way to pray at the altar of consumerism - or The Mall - all in the pursuit of fabric to cover our bodies. We'd make a whole day of it. We were warriors, Olympic athletes in the sport of competitive shopping. Endurance and stamina were key. Small waists and skinny legs helped too.

Just thinking about it now exhausts me.

These days you'd have to pay me to enter a mall to shop for myself. I'll happily shop for my girls but when it comes to purchasing clothing for myself I'll do a fly by of the women's section at Target or just wait for the clothes I already own to disintegrate off my body. Which is why my closet looks like the sales rack at the Goodwill. It takes a really special occasion to force me to enter the dressing room of someplace like Banana Republic - or the threat of public nakedness. Which ever comes first.

Maybe it's because my mom is no longer around so I don't have that familiar partner in crime to accompany me, the one who will tell me truthfully if a pair of pants does nothing for my ass. Maybe it's this new body of mine; the one that has borne two children and is more womanly, with hips and, unfortunately, thighs. I don't know how to dress it anymore. Clothes I normally wouldn't think twice about buying straight from the rack look all wrong on me now. The woman in the mirror is alien. Where is the waif I once knew? Where, dammit, where?

(Probably hiding in the closet with the moths and the ghosts of the 90's drowning her sorrow in cookies, which is how she got in this mess to begin with. Also sex. The babies didn't come from copious cookie consumption. Just a little heads up from your friends at Chick Chicky Baby.)

And the prices. Don't even get me started on the prices. It's enough to make the cheap grandmother in me run home to rub my nickels together.

I've also gotten a little... What's the word? Comfortable? Complacent? Boring. Yeah, that's it. I've gotten boring. You would fall asleep after just one look at me, if you could find me under all the drab browns and blacks I own. Which you couldn't, because that's a lot of drab.

It started when I left my corporate job for the world of dogs. There was little room for dress pants among the rows of denim in various stages of wear and tear in my closet. Pretty sweaters were pushed aside for sweatshirts and polartec and anything that required ironing was banished to the back to make way for the avalanche of t-shirts I wore day in and day out. I don't think even Stacy and Clinton would want to take me on.

(The way I worded that last sentence made me kinda hot. A What Not to Wear threesome. I bet they do it on cashmere. I know I would.

Where was I?)

I don't work with dogs as frequently as I used to but I do have little kids who throw up on my regularly and like wiping peanut butter covered cheeks on my pants so my wardrobe hasn't changed all that much. Dog poop, baby poop - it's all the same. (No, not really.) Anyone with any fashion sense would take one look at me on any given day and immediately take pity. My fetish for baseball hats alone would be enough to induct me into the Fashion Hall of Shame, if there was such a thing.

There's isn't, right? I was just kidding about that. Don't call the fashion police on me please. I wouldn't have the bail money.

But last weekend I had a tiny, ever-so-insignificant breakdown of sorts. My husband and I were going on a rare date and I had nothing to wear. And I'm not joking about that, there was quite literally nothing. There were plenty of ten year old wool sweaters with holes in them, shirts stained with different types of body fluid, and pants that pushed my muffin top up and out for all the world to see, but nothing date worthy. When I alerted Mr. C to this he scoffed. Until I put him before my clothes and told him to pick something, anything date appropriate and I would wear it AND HE COULDN'T FIND ANYTHING EITHER.

Take that, suckah. Now hand over the credit card.

So last night I had my credit card, I had my glass of wine and I had my laptop. I was ready to shop.

Five hours and a lump on my forehead from banging my head repeatedly with my computer later and I still hadn't purchased a single thing. I even asked the folks on Twitter where I should shop.

(I love the people in the computer. Without them I wouldn't be able to wipe my own ass.)

After the wine had gone to my head I impulsively clicked on some items that didn't scare me too much and offered them my credit card number. I think I promised them a kidney too. Clothes are expensive, y'all, and I am cheap.

Now I wait for the nice FedEx man to ring my bell and hand me his my package. If it doesn't fit or flatter it will be a huge pain in the tuckus to return everything but at least I don't have to parade my thighs out into the fluorescent-lit dressing room for some 90 pound sales girl named Kimmy to evaluate my fashion choices. I hate those girls. They're so perky.

But as bad as this experience was, it is nothing compared to what I will go through to find something suitable to wear to Blogher this year. I should videotape that because it should make for some choice blog fodder. Or maybe someone will take pity on me and offer to dress me.


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