Tonight I went shopping. Not shopping for groceries. Not shopping for household needs. Shopping for clothing. It's something I kind of dread these days. I'm never happy with how I look, but I pick something out and then feel bad later for spending money on something I don't even like. It's kind of a miserable process. I do totally love shopping for clothes for my children -- most of the time. But shopping for me? Uggghhh! Not so fun anymore. Any of you moms out there with me on this one?
So, I had some Kohl's Cash to spend that expired today and this evening I went there to use it. Some people close bars. I closed Kohl's. Over two hours at the store trying on stuff I didn't like. One thing that makes it not so fun is that nothing fits right. My shoulder area is a small. My boobs are in the medium range. My middle is a large. So, yeah...hard to fit.
The bottoms are even worse. I know I'm getting old because I find myself going more for comfort than style and it terrifies me to think that I'm inching my way toward my mother's seersucker button down shirts, knit elastic pants and clogs. I swore I'd never sacrifice style for comfort...but I'm getting there.
So, back in the dressing room, I find a pair of jeans that looks decent. I was feeling pretty good. I put them in my cart. They were keepers. But I tried on some others that took away that temporary jolt of confidence. Let me back up a little here.
I have a cute pair of gray suede boots. When I was a teen and in my early 20's, I loved boots. I had these white leather ones that went up to mid-thigh. I adored them and wore them all the time. I also had gray suede ones. And black suede ones. And back in the Garth Brooks days when country line dancing was big -- really, it was -- I had a few pairs of cowboy boots I'd put on to hit the honky tonks to do some Boot Scootin' Boogie.
So last year I bought these gray boots. They go up just above the ankle. Problem is...most of my jeans are not that narrow at the bottom, so they crumple up and fall over the sides and look ridiculous.
As I'm strolling through Kohl's, I notice a table of legging jeans. I picked up a couple pairs and went to the dressing room. There's no way I would wear a pair of the tight knit leggings...there was a time that I could rock a pair of spandex leggings or a tight-fitting knitted pair with stirrups at the bottom (can you say 1987???) These days, not so much. Such a piece of attire really shouldn't even be available in a size 14. However, I thought I may be able to get away with a pair of legging jeans. Denim is a little more forgiving and if I could make them work, I could wear those cute boots.
I got into the dressing room and pulled them over my ankles and up to my thighs nodding my head in a "hey not bad!" sorta way. I got them all the way up and was pleasantly surprised. They slimmed my legs all the way up and tucked in my back side a bit. Then I zipped and buttoned them. And then I laughed. As they tucked everything in, they also pushed it up. I looked at the spillage over the waist and laughed. It was either laugh or cry. I chose to have a good giggle at my own expense. Even then, I was desperately grasping at straws. Maybe if I got a really loose shirt or wore a couple layers I could pull it off. But I knew I couldn't. I can be honest and say that I wouldn't have looked like a hot 39-year-old in a pair of tight stylish jeans...I would have looked like a disillusioned 39-year-old trying to look twenty years younger in a what looked like a pair of pajama jeans that would have been more suited for shopping at Wal-Mart than Kohl's. I can face facts and know that my skinny jean body was left behind long ago before a c-section and rounds of eating kid leftovers while standing at the kitchen counter. I'm glad I have sense enough to know that and accept it.
Oh, and one other thing I have to note about my shopping trip. As I lingered in the dressing room trying on all kinds of ill-fitting garments, I heard female voices around me. "How does this look?" "Oh, I love that." I felt a little lonely. No one with me to give me feedback or to chat with. I realized that's one reason I don't like shopping so much -- I'm going at it alone. It's so much more fun with a shopping buddy. For a minute there, I felt a little empty and started thinking how nice it might be if I'd had a daughter to go shopping with. Then, not two minutes out of the dressing room, I witness a teenager having a screaming match with her mother and down the next aisle I heard a vicious teenage girl berating her mom. I sighed with relief as they were digging in the claws. Maybe shopping alone isn't so bad after all.