Friday, October 8, 2010

Adventures in Bargain Shopping

My excuse this week was that my paying gig (I’m a freelance editor) was pretty busy, forcing me to slouch off on my non-paying, but way more fun habit of writing for you, my little tiny reading audience. So, in the style of David Sedaris, I am going to include a few very short anecdotes about shopping to get you through the long holiday weekend.

Size Does Matter
I recently decided I needed a new sports bra so that I could batten down my baguettes so that I could exercise without being hit in the eye. While at the store, I decided to try on shirts. There were nine regular dressing rooms and one family-sized/handicapped one. Guess which one the itty bitty ninny used to try on her teeny weeny skinny-legged jeans? That’s right, the family one. I guess it had the best views of her ass. When she finally emerged, she seemed completely surprised that there were two kids right outside her half-door, which means she must have been deaf as well as stupid because Thing One and Thing Two were not exactly quiet as they waited. The best part of this shopping trip – the shirts I waited ten minutes to try on didn’t even fit and the sports bras didn’t come in my size. I guess only skinny people are supposed to work out. The rest of us will just have to make do with oversized t-shirts and heat-stroke inducing track pants made out of itchiest, sweatiest blend of fabrics known to mankind.

To add insult to injury, I then decided to try on coats. I currently wear either a shapeless fleece that, while toasty, isn’t exactly flattering or my men’s Old Navy pea coat that gives me shoulders like a linebacker and is heavier than it is warm. Guess what I found? First, that I actually do have shoulders like a linebacker, which makes me look ridiculous in short-waisted, wide-lapel jackets, and second, that coats that look oh so jaunty and hip on the rack just make me look and gigantic and hippy . Sigh. Over to the dreaded “women’s” section I went only to discover that the material in my size is practically fire-retardant. It was shiny and slippery and looked like they put the inner lining on the outside by accident. Why Lord? Why can’t fat people look nice too? I dream of some day owning a long, brown trench, reminiscent of Captain Mal’s. Of course, in my dream, I don’t look like a giant sack of potatoes in it, but that’s a whole other problem. In reality, I just want a coat that fits well, that keeps me warm, and that matches my Gryffindor scarf. (You know you want one.) Maybe someday, that dream will come true.

Mine! Mine! Mine!
I know many people view shopping as a competitive sport and we all know that unless it has books in it, stores don’t interest me at all. But unless you are a superstar and can afford to have a shop closed down for your own personal amusement, then share the space. Don’t park your oversized cart filled with oversized products directly in the middle of the aisle at the local warehouse store. Don’t go to a consignment sale and grab all the costumes off the Halloween rack to drag to a dark, deserted corner to go through in secret. You aren’t Gollum and the clothes aren’t all that precious. Share. You do not exist in a bubble and the world is not your oyster. (Shuck you if you think it is). If you want it, take it and move on. Don’t stand there and ruminate over the bargain bin. Trust me, if you don’t need it, then even if it is cheap, you are still paying more for it than it is worth. Don’t read all the labels in the baking aisle on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. People have been killed for less. And finally, don’t offer advice to a harried parent who is desperately trying to just get through the grocery store before the screaming, crying, whining child she is carting around self-implodes. A knowing smile and an “I’ve been there” grin will go a lot further than any “kind” words you want to offer and those enormous, difficult to maneuver driving carts she is probably shoving with all of her might through the store are going to hurt like a sonafabitch when she just gives in and runs over your toes with them.

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