I both love and hate shopping.
Grocery stores, books stores, health food stores, Target—I love shopping at these places because I can look at things that interest me and get excited about bringing them home.
Dressy-ish clothes? Not so much.
Shopping for clothes ranks only slightly above poking my eyes out with a dull butter knife in terms of enjoyable activities. Nothing fits, especially in the pants department, as I am tall with long legs and have a little waist.
(Before you short people with pert asses get all, “Oh, how horrible, she has a little waist and long legs” on me—zip it. I have no ass, no hips and no boobs—think 12-year old boy in drag.)
I know frustrating shopping experiences are partly my fault and that a solution is to either gain my 30 lbs or live in yoga pants. But until yoga pants become professionally acceptable—I deem them socially acceptable in Abbyland—I have to go clothes shopping, which is what I attempted to do this past weekend.
Five minutes in, I was ready to bail.
I don’t know if I’m just getting old, but everything looked…wrong. Clothes in the juniors department said “slutty schoolgirl” while the women’s department screamed “stodgy schoolmarm.” Considering I wasn’t really going for either of those looks (at that given time, mind you) store after store presented mounting disappointment and frustration.
This happens every time I go, so it’s nothing new.
Before I even get into the dressing room with whatever I have decided is “not horrible,” I’m already out of patience and ready to retire to Barnes & Noble or go sit and watch weirdos in the food court. Why?
- There’s the initial process of trying to find something that actually goes together. I don’t think “style” as much as I think, “Can I wear that with jeans and is it on sale?” If I do find something I like, my size is gone.
- Then you have to get undressed in a room the size of a shoebox with an overly perky associate offering to get you another size before you’re even in the one you brought in, igniting the spark of rejection you already harbored towards the clothing item.
- Add in music blasting in the background—some retail hybrid of a European disco and American Idol runners-up—and I’m good for about one costume change.
The only entertaining part is eavesdropping on the conversations of people in nearby dressing rooms or listening to the associate falsely flatter either the slutty schoolgirl or stodgy schoolmarm.
Just putting on a dress designed by Beyonce does not make you look like Beyonce—especially if you’re white and Polish.
But this time I went shopping/sulking like a toddler right after writing my Oatmeal post. The two might not seem related, but I can make it work (unlike that little number up above.)
Some people have absolutely no energy towards food, something I obviously can’t relate to at all. They will eat whatever whenever without a second thought to nutritional benefits or whether it is organically grown in a sustainable fashion. It tastes good, it’s easy, it’s done. They see oatmeal on a menu, they think healthy and move on with their day. They (gasp) hate grocery shopping.
That I can’t imagine, as workers at my local grocery stores know me by name and ask about my dog.
But some people have absolutely no energy towards fashion—at all—and by “some people,” I mean me. And it’s not just clothes. When I first moved into my house, my neighbor (think an unsuccessful drunken chain-smoking Martha Stewart) asked me what kind of theme and elements I wanted to have in my living room.
My answer? A couch and a TV.
Not quite what she was looking for, but color schemes and adding “schwag” don’t interest me. Minimal is good, especially when I’m paying for it.
But here’s where I try and bring back my initial point and tie it in with fast-food oatmeal. I don’t get style and fashion. I don’t read up on trendy looks, I have jeans from five years ago and to be honest, I just don’t care. It’s more than just finding something that fits me physically (impossible, by the way) but rather finding the energy to care about finding something that fits me.
I just don’t care. And that’s okay.
However, I do care about food (and sports, for another example) and spend a great deal of time educating myself about these things. I can’t imagine not wanting to know about these things and have genuine energy towards them.
So if I was a little harsh with the oatmeal outburst, it’s because sometimes I forget that not everyone cares about the things that I do. But food is something I care about, so I got a little defensive.
For me, things like oatmeal and greens are like the Prada of produce and grains, whereas knock-off versions and those bedazzled to excess are the cheap-ass imitations you only buy when dressing up as aforementioned slutty schoolgirl on Halloween.
The knock-off just costs less of your time and energy and we all have priorities—mine are often food-related. But I can also accept that those waiting in the fast food line for their Pixie Stick oatmeal or overdressed salads are probably smirking at my yoga pants and the faint scent of garlic wafting out of my sweatshirt.
Maybe if there was a cheap and easy fast-fashion drive-thru that could make me look “Bootylicious” and super size my style, I would be tempted. Nah. I’m still not buying it.
And that’s okay.