Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Went Shopping

I often find myself thinking of my life in Far Side cartoons. Today, it was What Dogs Hear.

In the first panel of this classic Far Side, captioned "What we say to dogs," a man lectures his dog, Ginger, about staying out of the garbage.  In the second panel, under the caption "What they hear," is the same drawing with the words "blah blah blah Ginger blah blah blah...." (See the cartoon here. It's number 7.)

My Far Side moment of the day came at the mall. My friend, Jenna, heard my cry for help and offered to be my fashion advisor/personal shopper. She has a fashion sense and likes to shop, supplying two characteristics I lack that are necessary for a decent wardrobe.

We had just met up in Athleta when Jenna started rattling off a rapid fire bunch of stuff about clothes. I think skinny jeans may have been in there, but all I heard was "blah, blah, blah, blah."

Jenna helped me buy a special occasion dress a few months ago, so she was somewhat aware of my limitations. My glazed yet anxious look told her she had no idea. It wasn't that I can't dress fancy. I just can't dress. I don't even know the vocabulary.

I knew she finally appreciated her task when she told me that a particular outfit was a possibility, except that it would need a scarf to make it work and that probably was too complex for me. I love when people see me for who I am.

With lunch and some figurative hand-holding, I purchased both skinny jeans and leggings. I'm told that boots are the next crucial must-have item, but we didn't have any luck there. Damn narrow heels.

Things were progressing well when Jenna needed to leave. That left me with an extra mall hour alone before school dismissal. Scary stuff. I tried to buy boots but couldn't find my size. I decided to stick with the one thing I thought I could handle--shirts and sweaters.

Jenna had already instructed me that I had been buying the wrong size shirt. When I complained that the medium felt too snug, she informed me that it was because it fit properly. Ugh.

On my own, I purchased three cardigan sweaters--black, grey, and cream--to cover my butt. Those skinny jeans and leggings require a little coverage. Quite reasonably nervous at this point about my competence to select a garment, I texted dressing room photos of each item to Jenna for approval. (She identified each store from the dressing room photos. She has a gift.)

Dressing Room Sweaters - Flotsam of the Mind
"Going to buy this black cardigan. Maybe cream too. To cover my butt. OK?"
She didn't disapprove, but deemed them "practical" (as if that were a bad thing).

Without even seeking approval, I had purchased the plain white long-sleeve T-shirt in the above photo. It was deemed "not fun."

"Practical," I responded.

So I tried to stretch myself with colors

Dressing Room Red Shirt - Flotsam of the Mind
"A color. And has lace!"
and patterns.

Dressing Room Striped Shirt - Flotsam of the Mind
"Not a solid."
My advisor didn't respond before I purchased these shirts, so I'm still not sure if they pass the test.

The eagle-eyed among you may notice that I'm wearing my new skinny jeans in the dressing room photos. I'd been instructed earlier to change into my new pants in the Nordstrom bathroom so that I could properly try on boots. The things we do for fashion....

For the most part, I did what I was told and liked it. Someone with expertise took me to stores, beelined to the right section, and pulled things off the rack. I tried things on when instructed and purchased when I was told do so. I wasn't stressed or overwhelmed, which makes it a successful shopping experience in my book.

I've selected a pair of boots online. Wisely, I am waiting to purchase them until I receive the go-ahead from my own personal expert.

In next week's outing, we get to leave the mall. I think I'll be able to breathe easier then.

I'd better buy lunch. And dessert. And drinks. Perhaps a couple gift bottles. This advice is worth it and more.

Stay tuned to see if I learn to dress like a grown-up sometime soon.


  1. Mom ---They all look good on you. I think the leggings are neat but doubt an old lady can successfully pull them off plus I'm not going to buy boots.

  2. Cyn, you are cracking me up with this. The red top looks great on you, by the way. And I love the boots. Keep up with it -- making your wardrobe a priority really does make a difference.

  3. Cynthia, I think you did great with your shopping.

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  5. Love the red lace shirt!