This weekend, my husband and I set out to do a small bit of shopping. He wanted a new bathing suit, and I wanted a pair of jeans. We stopped off at Old Navy to score the jeans because I had a coupon. I stood in the middle of the store, irritated because I couldn’t find the thing I was looking for, and had convinced myself that even if I found it, I’d look horrible in it. In short, I was cranky. I was about to leave when a happy saleslady named Kim bounded up to me.
I liked her immediately because, well, let’s just say we have a similar shape. Sometimes it’s hard to make a tiny waisted 18 year old understand that a Fluffy Girl can’t wear those skinny jeans in quite the same way. From what I could tell, Kim completely understood my situation.
She smiled and said “You should be having more fun. Shopping is fun! Have you tried this?” She pulled a shirt off the wall that I hadn’t noticed before but was suddenly in love with. I told her I didn’t have anything to wear with it.
“Nonsense.” She pointed to three pairs of pants which would match perfectly with it. I swear they weren’t there before. Then she asked if I had a plain black shirt at home. No. White? Heck no, white attracts stains.
“Do you have any basics at all?”
I shook my head, defeated. I explained that my wardrobe consists of t-shirts with sparkly bling on them, and jeans with embroidery or other embellishment.
“So we’re starting from scratch. That’s ok.”
She took my lack of fashion sense as a direct challenge, and started scooping up layering T’s and tank tops and over-shirts. By the time we got to the dressing room we had filled both our arms with items for me to try on.
I lost my husband somewhere along the way. I wondered briefly if I should call him, but then forgot about it as I put on the first shirt. It looked…horrible. I came out of the dressing room, and Kim shook her head.
“Dear, you have it on backward.”
I shouldn’t be allowed to dress myself, obviously. I scuffled back into the dressing room to turn the shirt around.
Did I mention that I only went in there for a pair of jeans?
“Your husband said to tell you he went over to Barnes and Noble,” Kim called over the door.
He must have known there was no getting me out of the dressing room with Kim standing guard. I tried on shirt after shirt until she was satisfied we’d found the right style. Every time I came out, I put my hands on my stomach to hold it in.
“Stop doing that.” She swatted my hands away. “And stop wearing clothes that are too big, they only make you look bigger.”
I’ve been wearing a size too big on just about everything for the last decade. She was right, with the right size on, everything did look better and I didn’t look as enormous as I now felt. Something about trying on clothes makes me feel like I’ve gained 50 pounds in under 5 minutes (which might explain why I buy clothes too big). The longer I’m in there, the more weight I gain. I’m convinced stores would sell more clothes if they put in a fun house mirror that makes you look tall and skinny. If it made comments along the way like “You look amazing!” and “Gorgeous, I wouldn’t change a thing.” I’d probably buy more.
Whatever they pay Kim, it’s not enough. By the time I left the store, my wallet was lighter but so was my mood, and my arms were heavy with retail therapy.
I’m now the proud owner of bright green capri pants. How can anyone be unhappy wearing a color like that?