On Thursday of this week, we are driving to Florida, and we’ll be on vacation (a “real family vacation” as hubby says) for ten days, and this presented me with a bit of a dilemma. While the weather here in Georgia has remained incredibly mild and pleasant – cool, breezy, lovely showers – Florida is sunny and in the 90’s. Ain’t no way I’m going to be comfortable in jeans, especially jeans I can’t button. And I have, literally, NO shorts I can wear. So, off to do a little shopping. And, by shopping, I mean more than just grabbing something off the table at Costco and hoping it will fit. I actually went to The Avenue and entered an actual clothing shop. By myself. It’s been a while since I’ve done that.
The first shop I walked into, The Gap, two nice salespersons greeted me. I told them I was looking for some casual shorts with a natural waist. They had no idea what a “natural waist” was. Wrong shop; everything they had was pretty far below the belly button, just barely covering the Netherlands.
The second shop I walked into, Banana Republic, I was a little more hopeful because the sales lady seemed to be about my age, and she knew what a natural waist was. But the shorts she pointed me toward were just not going to do. She was kind enough to lie to me and say “they look cute”, but I know better.
Now I was desperate enough to walk into Ann Taylor Loft, telling myself that if I had to pay a little more for clothes that fit, I would just have to do that. I was greeted by a very nice sales lady, she understood what I was looking for, and had some appropriate shorts. But, even better, there were dresses and skirts and tops that a Real Woman could actually wear. I don’t think I’ve ever tried on more outfits in one shopping trip as I did yesterday. And, a lot of stuff actually FIT and looked pretty good, considering the shape it was covering. It was awesome.
So, here’s where the panic set in. One of the dresses I grabbed to try on, a little halter thing, was a little tight getting over my shoulders. There was no zipper up the back to undo, so I assumed that it would go on over the top (after all, it was a large, so it should fit), which I managed – just barely – to do. It was not quite what I had in mind, putting more emphasis on places I’d rather not emphasis just now (the term “tent” came to mind), so after a quick mental “nope”, I proceeded to pull it off the same way it came on. Except, it wouldn’t come off. I couldn’t get it up over my bosom, much less my shoulders (which are a bit broad for a lady). I had the skirt over my head, my arms criss-crossed in front of my face, tugging on the waistband to try to get it up, and it just was not coming up. And, it was a well-built garment, so it wasn’t giving any. I was stuck. Really.
At this point, I had a decision to make. 1) Rip the dress trying to get it off, sheepishly explain what happened to the nice sales lady (who had taken the trouble to actually introduce herself to me and ask my name), and pay for it. 2) Buy the dress and wear it out of the store, and bolt home where I could cut it off with scissors. 3) Ask the sales lady for help. While I was weighing my options, I caught sight of myself in the mirror and immediately rejected option #3. While I was struggling between option #1 and option #2, and still struggling with the dress, it suddenly occurred to me that there might be a zipper on the side. I managed to sneak a peek under my still upraised left arm and, sure enough, there was a zipper there, which I barely managed to reach and unzip. Whew. I’m not as oversized as I thought I was. And, the sales lady didn’t have to see me in my winter padding and old lady undies (and nothing else, since it was a halter dress).
As it turns out, everything worked out well in the end. I found some really nice skirts and tops and dresses that will get me through summer (and more importantly, vacation), and they were having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on the entire store, so everything was a relative bargain. And, I didn’t have to wear an unflattering dress out of the store. The Shopping Fairies were with me this day, bless ‘em.