I am a terrible shopper. My mother would agree. More often than not when we go shopping together, my frustration causes me to collapse on the floor, weeping and writhing like a salted slug, and Mom finally has to drag me out of the store by my ankle, while mothers around us point me out to their toddlers as a case study in “What Not To Do in the Mall.”
Last time this happened, I was approximately 17.
I have had enough bad experiences with shopping that I have become conditioned to develop a debilitating headache immediately upon entering a mall. I will approach the doors full of confidence and caffeine, step through them into the rush of pleasantly cool JC Penney air–and instantly grip a clothing rack and start heaving for air until whatever unlucky person it was who induced me to go shopping finally loses patience and pushes me to the Women’s Section.
From there, it’s a quick trip from hyperventilation to weeping, teeth-gnashing, and the rending of garments, which seems to be frowned upon by American society as a whole and department store managers in particular.
If clothing companies would stop using gorgeous models, it might be less painful–but as it is, I also grab a pair of jeans thinking, “Man, if I put these on, I’ll transform into that beautiful African-American girl!” Then I pull them on and look into the mirror to find the human equivalent of an Oscar-Meier Weiner.
My aversion to shopping has caused me to avoid it over the past several years, which normally isn’t a problem (I am an MK, after all, which means that I’m used to being about 9 years behind the trends). It has come to my attention, though, that at the rate at which my antiquated clothes are wearing out, by next March I will no longer have enough clothing to get me through a week in a nudist colony. I have one pair of jeans that fits me, and they are wearing through to such an extent that each time I pull them on I am in danger of losing my dignity, morality, and any hope of ever becoming President, should a paparazzo happen to be present at the critical moment. I do have several pairs of pants that fit me back when I was what one boy in my life graciously described as a “chunker”. Some people will tell you that adding a belt to jeans that are 4 sizes too big will solve all your fitting problems. Those people are not very bright. Belts, you see, are entirely pointless, as they only work on pants that already fit you. Try to put them on a pair of pants that is too big, and all you do is wad all that excess material around your hips, making it appear as though you are trying to bring back the Swaddling Clothes trend that was all the rage back in 1 A.D. This, I assure you, is not the way to make friends or influence people.
I also have about 5 shirts, which I keep on careful rotation between my social networks. “Oh, I wore that shirt to class yesterday, but I’m pretty sure the people at work haven’t seen it yet this week. . .”
My clothing situation, you see, is somewhat dire, and even I am starting to notice, which means I’m probably a lot closer to pulling a Lady Godiva than I even realize.
Enter Sarah and Christine, two of my friends here at school. Each of them is decisive, no-nonsense, and fashion-forward. I mentioned my increasingly-desperate clothing needs to them (as if they hadn’t already noticed), and they were both on board to take me out and clothe me up (possibly for their own sakes more than my own). So, dear readers, within the next few weeks, I should be working my way toward a whole new wardrobe.
Go ahead, ask me how much I’m dreading it. And stay tuned for “Shopping with Lauren: An Exercise in Not Punching Oneself in the Face.”