Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Clothes shopping doesn't come easy for me. It's something I really, really hate to do. Nothing ever fits, and if it does, I can't afford it.
Except for a couple of tank tops I ordered online and some underwear I picked up a Wal-Mart while browsing for picture frames, I haven't bought anything new to wear since I graduated from Quinnipiac and my friends from Sweden came to visit. In fact, Albie pointed out the other day that the majority of my wardrobe now consists of office giveaways and souvenirs (T-shirs can be acquired in many ways...)
Hopeful, I sprang out of bed filled with joy this morning and announced I would go shopping before Albie's planned family Costco trip. "If I leave now, that'll give me at least an hour at the mall," I said, thinking this would be plenty of time to find something new, cheap and black to wear to a wedding this weekend.
I didn't realize I never learned how to navigate large clothing stores. After trying five outfits at the Swedish H&M that were all several sizes too small, I headed over to Macy's thinking a big store must have more to choose from.
Wrong. I got lost. I found myself wandering aimlessly between tiny leather jackets and skirts that looked like head bands. A large make-up counter separated me from the other end of the store, and I glanced through the glass displays to see beyond - into the land of, perhaps, some larger sizes. I noticed a sign saying "women" near a fitting room and crossed over. When I got closer, I realized its said "petites" underneath.
"What the heck?" I said, then spun around in a circle to see if there were any un-petite sizes within sight. A black skirt with tiny white lace flowers seemed promising. It was on sale, too! When I picked it up, it said "extra large," despite the "14" printed on the hanger. I pulled out the price sticker... "petite extra large," it said. What? Doesn't "petite" mean "small"?
I ran back and forth between different sections of the store, finally realizing that everything is organized by designer - not by item, pattern, size, price or any other category that would make more sense to the shopper. I therefore spotted at least 10 racks with sale signs on them, only to realize as I got closer that all items on the rack were too small or too expensive.
Two white-collared shirts finally called my name at $13 each, and I spent the next five minutes trying to find a cash register. There were none.
My hour was up and I had to meet Albie for more urgent purchases. After 50 hot dogs, frozen fruits, Eggo waffles, snack packs and 100 granola bars had been purchased and unloaded at home, I ventured out again. This time, I went straight to the two stores I am familiar with: Old Navy and Kohl's. In two hours, I found everything I needed.
Except, of course, what I was really looking for. I still have nothing to wear to the wedding Saturday.