No, what I'm referring to is the process of choosing clothes to try on: picking clothes that look like something I'd like and/or look good in, those that are my size; taking said clothes to the dressing room and trying on the large stack of cute, stylish clothes; then looking at myself in the mirror, picturing where and when I'd wear said clothes, checking out all angles, sitting, standing, etc.; and finally carefully deciding whether to purchase said clothing by examining price and material/care tag and fit and style.
It's a long process. Sometimes it requires a whole day to do this properly.
I can barely remember what that was like. For the past 10 years my clothes shopping looks more like one of these two scenarios:
Scenario 1: My boys are with me.
I grab clothes. Whatever is the easiest to get my hands on as I walk by. Style matters not. I hope for something close to the right size. I snatch about 6 to 8 pieces of clothing as quickly as possible and head for the dressing rooms. The clock is ticking….
When my kids were younger, I'd park them in the dressing room with me and hand them my phone to play a game. Now, they sit or stand right outside the dressing room area, close enough to talk to me and/or knock on my door. Regardless of location, the conversation would still sound about the same.
I tear off my clothes and remove clothes from the hangers at the same time…..then, I hear it…"Mom, are you done yet?"
"No. Sit down and wait."
I keep going…I get the first piece of clothing on. Does it button? Yes. Is there a gap? No. …Do I look fat? No…Is it black? Yes. Check…it passes all tests! NEXT thing!
There's a rapping on the door…"Yes?"
"Are you still in there?"
"YES! Sit down!"
OK. Jeans on…No bulges…I'm not tripping on the legs…I'll take 'em! NEXT!
In mid-quick change…"MOM! HE HIT ME!"
"Almost done! SIT DOWN! DON'T HIT EACH OTHER!"
Two seconds later…
"MOM! ARE YOU DONE YET?"
"NO!" (It's been a total of 10 minutes since I stepped inside the dressing room!)
Continue throwing clothes off and on, glance in the mirror and repeat sequence.
Grab the "OK – it'll do" pile and dash for the checkout.
At this point I have no idea if they all require handwashing and hanging to dry or if I'm going to blow my budget with the this shopping spree because there is no time to check the garment tags or price tags or weigh the necessity of faux fur vest or red wool pants. They were in reaching distance and they fit and that's all that matters right now! I'll figure it out later….and more than likely return about half after a re-try at home. Now, on to the next thing on the to-do list…
Scenario #2: I'm ALONE!
I'm actually alone in a store! I can shop without haste! It's all so shocking and unfamiliar that for the first 30 to 60 minutes I walk around like a zombie; my mind a blur, my mouth agape, my eyes glazed over. I just soak up the silence. I can't quite focus on what I'm there to do.
Finally, I gather my senses and begin to shop. Slowly going from rack to rack looking at clothes, feeling the fabric, checking styles and sizes and prices. I begin to gather a variety of pieces to try on…that's when I get the first text…
"When are you coming home?"
"I'm not sure. I'm just getting started."
"You've been gone an hour already."
I go to the dressing room. I begin to sort through the clothes to try on. Another text….
"What are we supposed to eat?"
"Whatever you can find."
I keep going, sorting into yes, no, maybe and try on again piles. Another text…
"Can you get some milk?"
I continue my slow process of deciding upon the clothes that actually fit. I contemplate going back for another round of looking and choosing and trying on. Another text…
"When do you think you'll bring the milk?"
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! I give up.
"I'm getting milk now….heading home!"
And that folks is why most of my jeans are as old as my kids and why I often wear black shirts and cardigans and scarves and hats. After all, cardigans, scarves and hats can be quickly tried on right there in the aisle.
And really it doesn't matter. I spend most of my time with my kids and other moms and their kids and they don't care what I wear. I often work in the middle of the night in pjs while sitting at my dining room table surrounded by sleeping dogs and cats. They don't care what my work wardrobe looks like either.
Surely, I'm not alone in this….
Over and out…