Saturday, May 22, 2010

day 9: i went on a shopping spree

Along with drinking, swearing, and ogling pretty girls, shopping is another thing I do like a man: I go in, grab a few things I like, try them on, and buy the ones that look good. Then I leave. I don’t go back and try other sizes or colors. I don’t browse the discount racks for that elusive bargain. The whole ordeal takes about 25 minutes.

I also suspect my feelings about weddings are atypical. To me, weddings are like new cars – sure, they look nice, but I don’t seriously expect to get to have one of my own. I have grown emotionally detached from the idea of weddings in the same way I’ve trained myself to believe that as long as it runs and gets me from A to B, one car is as good as another. That’s why, in the event I’m still single ten years from now, I have what I consider a pretty solid backup plan to become a crazy cat lady.

I must confess, though: I am ridiculously excited about my friend Rachel’s wedding. I have known Rachel for nearly 20 years, so I want her special day to be beautiful and fantastic, and I fully expect to be teary-eyed and puffy-faced by the end of it. Today we went shopping for bridesmaid dresses, about which she is being really cool – she wants us each to pick out a plain black dress. No neon pink or peacock blue or tulle or satin here.

The task sounds fairly simple, but I’m not gonna lie – the thought of dress shopping with four other girls, even girls who are some of my best lifelong friends, stresses me out a bit. That’s why I’m surprised when I enter the store and spot a cute dress in the juniors section, and it’s like salve on my bedraggled soul.

Here’s what I learned during my shopping spree:
  1. Workouts work. Seriously. I can fit into a size four now. Not that I have ever been overweight, but a few months ago I was a size eight. I’m shrinking, and it’s awesome, and it makes me want to spend my entire tax refund on new clothes. As anyone who has been with me while taste-testing gelato knows, when I get excited, I swear loudly and uncontrollably. Everyone in the fitting room when I zipped up those shorts undoubtedly heard me exclaim, "Motherfucking size four, bitches!"
  2. Retail therapy is real, and it works. When I arrived at Macy’s, I was in the middle of a fit of self-loathing. Then I bought a bunch of crap. When I left, I felt lighter. I even sang along to Frightened Rabbit with my windows down the whole way home, and I didn’t care when this dude at a stoplight totally stared and laughed at me. 
  3. People find Jesus in their filth. After shopping we went to Barnes and Noble for coffee, and we discovered a book called Look, It's Jesus!, in which people claim to have found images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and even Buddha in common, every day objects such as a closet door or a grilled cheese sandwich. It would appear many of these religious fanatics live in something akin to squalor – one submitter found Jesus in his moldy door jamb; another found him in the brownish stains covering his white couch. It’s as if they’re saying, "Yes, I may be disgusting, but I’ve been blessed for it."
  4. Clothes can be confusing. I tried on one garment today that could have been either a skirt or a really poofy tube top. I had to ask the cashier for confirmation that it could feasibly be worn as either, and she said yes, even going so far as to suggest you could start off wearing it as a top and then pull it down and wear it as a skirt if you got bored, though it seems various parts of your body would be awkwardly and perhaps illegally exposed before, during and after this transfer.
  5. Being girly can be fun. There. I said it.

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