Yesterday, I went to the Wrentham Outlets with a plan to buy a baby gift…which, of course, I didn’t buy. Instead I bought a new outfit to give the gift in. I mean, priorities, right?
It was strange to buy clothes in a “regular” store. In fact I didn’t even go into Lane Bryant at all. (Start selling your stock now!....Seriously, I think I single handedly carried that company through the recession) Alone, I ventured into J Crew, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Ann Taylor. Usually I avoided these stores because the employees looked at me like I didn’t belong in there. But not this time.
I found a pair of jeans on the clearance rack at Tommy Hilfiger. Size 16. They looked way too small on the hanger, but they were a great deal. I figured I’d try them on…if they were a bit small, I could keep them for later. So I went into the dressing room and my new friend, Janice, set me up. She stated the obligatory, “let me know if you need any help!” and smiled at me. I went in to the dressing room with my heart thumping.
Trying on jeans is like nothing else in the world. I have a ritual for this (of course) in order to try and absorb the usual emotional blow I get with this task.
First, I started to pray. “Jesus,” I said to myself, “please let these jeans at least come over my thighs…even if they won’t button...just let them come past my thighs.” I took a deep breath and pulled. And they came up…surprisingly easily. Over my thighs…over my butt…and they buttoned, without me having to practice some king of Lamaz breathing. But did they look good? A little tight? Muffin top? I was trying to figure it out when I had an idea…and I did something I have never done before.
“Janice,” I said as I opened the dressing room door, “do these jeans look too small?”
I was waiting for an awkward pause. Knowing she would need a moment to try to think of some clever way to let me down easy. But without a second thought, she glanced at me, smiled, and said, “No way, hun! They look great! We actually have some shirts on the same rack that would look cute with them…you should check it out!”
It was so liberating that it set me off on a shopping spree.
So yes, now I have a cute new outfit for today. And yes, because of the shopping I did for myself yesterday, I will spend the morning running around to get a last minute baby gift. But to me (and my self esteem) it was totally worth it.