If I invite you shopping, tell me No. Seriously, consider yourself warned. If you invite me, that’s a horse of a different color. I’m the best when we’re shopping for you. My advice is sound and my taste fab. Plus, I’ll help talk you out of impulse buys that aren’t going to enhance your life and in to impulse buys that are absolutely meant to be. When you invite me, I’m a rock star.
But if I invite you, which means we’re shopping for me, it’s going to be a long day. My buddy Charlotte wrote a great post on the Baraza bemoaning the shopping experience as a woman. She was speaking my language, man. Unlike Charlotte, my issues with shopping aren’t just about fit. I have an entirely different set of quirks that transforms trying to find anything into one of the trials of Hercules.
- I know my body and my style. This first one may sound like a good thing, but it is not if you are a person easily frustrated. I don’t care what the trends are, I’m dressing for me. I know precisely what cuts, fabrics, and colors look good on me. Actually finding those in one garment is almost impossible. When I do find them (and my shopping buddy thinks the end is in sight) I still have to consider that . . .
- I live in my clothes. Once I’ve found something that is the right cut, style, color, and fabric, I have to look at other things. Such as, is it washable? Will paint/spaghetti/snot/coffee and whatever else I or my kids spill come out in my washing machine? Is it tumble dry? If I bend over to pick up something in my classroom, will everything stay covered? Do I have a cardigan that can be worn with it? Can I just wear normal bra and underwear with it? If I meet a new dog and have to sit on the floor to pet it, will it withstand fur and sitting cross-legged? If the answer to any of these is no, then it’s not going home with me.
- I try but don’t buy. Chances are, to make you feel better since you’ve been dragged along on this shopping nightmare, I’ll try something on. But it’s only an effort to give you false hope because in the dressing room I will start to see all the flaws (in both myself and the clothes). And I won’t show you what I try on because you’ll feel obligated to tell me, “I love it!” out of desperation as your blood sugar drops and you realize we might never find anything I’ll wear. Then, sometimes I will show you and you’ll love it and I’ll love it. We’ll head to the check out but never arrive. Somewhere between the dressing room and register, I’ll talk myself out of it, convince you and me that it isn’t that good a deal or the color isn’t as great as we thought, or it isn’t worth replacing something in my closet with it (one of my shopping rules–when I buy something new, I have to be willing to replace something already in my closet with it). It’ll go back on the rack and you’ll start texting random acquaintances, begging them to call you with a fake emergency to get you out of the shopping shame spiral.
- I have very specific tastes. My initial shopping goal may seem easily attainable: I want a new pair of black ballet flats. Easy. Most stores have some kind of black flat. Piece of cake, right? Wrong! I won’t wear pointed, or too matte, or too shiny, or wedge, or too round, or anything with big bows or knots, but I might wear little bows, and how will it look with jeans and skirts, and gross it has that elastic back, and those look like loafers (I don’t care if they’re in style), and on and on and on. It’s exhausting. I hate that I’m so picky. And ten stores later, you will too.
If you need a shopping buddy, I’m your girl. It’ll be like something out of Clueless. If I need a shopping buddy, I should take my kids who make me so desperate to get out of store before then level the place, I’ll grab the first thing I see and throw it at the cashier.