An overly dramatic rendition for anyone sharing my nemesis; clothes shopping. Surely I’m not the only one, right?
I start preparing myself mentally for a few days. If it’s a sudden trip, the anxiety gets high too quickly. I complete deep breathing exercises. I tell myself it will be ok.
The day arrives. I stand outside for a few minutes, eyes closed, nostrils flared. Hand on the door, I swing it open quickly and run in before I change my mind.
There it is, the enemy. It’s staring at me from all directions. I quickly scan the room. Slight panic starts setting in. What do I do now? Where do I even start? Everything looks the same, yet horribly different.
What is the style now? Why don’t I care what people are wearing? Should I notice more? Who has time for magazines? It’s like a test I never study for.
Is this shirt cute?
C.) Maybe three years ago
D.) Who cares
Definitely D, the answer is always D.
I pick my poison, do a few pep jumps, shake my hands, roll my neck. I’ve got this. Making my way to the room, my heartbeat quickens. I wipe my sweaty hands and enter.
The room with the mirrors. I quickly undress, facing the other way. I put on my choices, slowly turn around to face the reflection. It’s all wrong. It’s always wrong. Too tight, too loose, too short, too long, won’t zip. Is this one from the junior section? Would my grandma have worn this one? Starting over. Can I possibly endure it again? Yes. I am strong. I exit, determined to win.
How is this so easy for everyone else? Why do they think it’s fun? I stand in the middle of the store, the sea of racks closing in on me until I can barely breathe. I feel the tears. Not this time hanging fabric, I’m going to concur this.
I ask someone for help. Where is my section? She looks me up and down, points and walks off. Humiliating. I walk aimlessly for a long time, then enter the room again, my arms full of randomness. I’m getting angry now. Something has to be right this time. The frustration levels are rapidly rising.
Then, it happens. I hear singing, I see a soft glow shining upon the miracle hanging from my body. It fits. Something actually fits. I have won. As I’m paying, the cashier mentions how adorable the clothes are. She wants to get the same skirt. She’s at least 30 years older than me. I don’t even care. I pretend not to hear it.
I walk out, bag in hand, taking one last look at the room. It’s finally over, until next time.