Annalisa, who is fancy and runs and knows what she’s talking about, says that 20 pounds will, in fact, change my body up. It is hard for me to believe, for some reason (see skepticism, at left)—I mean, I still have fat in my butt, and hello there, thighs, and maybe at my waist there are some inches to pinch, but really, that will go away? That seems, again, miraculous and strange, since it has taken so many pounds to get me to where I am now. Compared to that, 20 pounds is a drop in the bucket…that will take forever to drain. So I will believe it. And look forward to it, because, cool! Goodbye, thighs! In the meantime, though, I think I will be about here for a little while, and I need clothes. All of them.
Clothes shopping continues to be weird, and I continue to realize how very little I know about the world of stores in which to buy them. Which solves the problem I have every year, when my family asks me what they should get me for my birthday (incoming!), and for the holidays (incoming!). Clothing gift certificates (hi, mom!)! Brilliant! But that is about as far as I’ve gotten. Gift certificates to where? And for what clothing?
Up ’til now, my shopping technique has been “Oh, shit. My pants are too
big. Uh, more pants! Cheap pants! Skinny jeans? Sure!” I go to Old
Navy, which is comforting because I used to go in there when they still
had plus sizes and the store seems familiar and it’s only one
widely-spaced floor, so it is not too overwhelming. But it is still all
the clothes in the world, and my eye starts to twitch and I sweat and I
grab an armful of things I do not actually want or need, and by that
time, I want to throw everything at a salesperson and leave because I
realize I have no idea what I’m doing, at all.
I race through trying them on in the dressing room and then I race back
out of the store, because I have started to have a mild panic attack,
because it is too much, and money I don’t have, and I don’t know if I
look good in any of it. One size is slightly too large, one size is
slightly too small, and it makes sense to get the smaller because I
could lose more weight but I look all bunchy and do I really need
pants? Can’t I just get a belt? Can’t I just have a pony? Ponies are
nice! And then I put my head down and cry a little bit—tiny, golden
tears, because my diamond shoes are too tight.
I have tried to get over it; I went to the mall last week, and wandered
through trying to figure out which stores had clothes that wouldn’t
bankrupt me, but would still be decent quality but wouldn’t be cut for
lithe, oral sex-having teenagers with no butts to speak of and wouldn’t
make me look ridiculous and without salespeople who would look at me
and my sticking-up hair and snoot me out of the store, and I realized I
have no idea. I am completely out of touch with what is sold where and
what is good and what is meh and what I am supposed to put on my body
that will not make me look like a crazy maniac who is trying too hard
to recapture the youth she never had. Babydoll dresses and glow sticks
Recently, I thought I’d need a fancy dress to wear to a fancy party,
and I realized I had no high holy idea where to buy one of those; I
wanted a black cardigan, but didn’t want to spend $75 on it and
got terrified in Express, and got glared at in some weird little store with
a French name. I wanted to stop panicking and feeling overwhelmed,
except I fled from the mall and back onto the train, heading for home
and feeling like maybe I could just sew a sack out of a sheet and in
that way, be happy. Maybe I could belt it with a rope. Hobocore is what
I will call it. It will be a new way of life.
Forays into Forever 21 and Old Navy—where I am a full 10 to 15
years older than their target audience—are not going to do me forever.
Standing in the middle of a sea of racks and racks of options should
make me excited and thrilled, not fill me up with dread and hopelessness.
I know a lot of women have problems with the way clothes are cut, with
the frustration of trying things on and not finding things they like,
with sizing and length and shape and cut and color, and I know it sucks. But right now, I kind of want to have
those problems. I want to get to that point, to get past the feeling
ridiculous, get past the indecisiveness and sweaty terror, to have a
whole new set of problems that I will greet cheerfully and with great
enthusiasm, I swear.
In the meantime: I want your advice, please! From which store should I request a gift certificate?