Friday, April 17, 2009

Shopito, ergo sum

from Emily Bryan

"I shop. Therefore, I am."

This is my mother's core philosophy. The pic at the right is of her and my dad on a shopping spree in Juneau a couple years ago. (The chorus line number she's doing means she scored some real bargains. Notice who gets to not only pay for the goodies, but carry the bag as well! Still, Dad looks like a happy camper, doesn't he?) My mom can shop till she drops. Often she has no intended goal. She'll know what she wants when she sees it. Her day is not complete without a visit to her own personal Mecca--Walmart.

However, the shopping gene skipped a generation in my family. Whip me. Beat me. Don't make me shop. Just the thought of wandering aimlessly from store to store without an intended target for acquisition gives me the willies!

This is probably because I'm difficult to fit. My bionic boobs arrived the summer after 5th grade (just when the anorexic super model trend was beginning!). Buttoning a jacket has been an Olympic event for me ever since. Fortunately, my thunder thighs keep me from appearing top-heavy. And don't get me started on my duck feet.

Any woman who wears a W width is nodding in sympathy right now. A few months ago, I went to my local DSW(Designer Shoe Warehouse), hoping to find something flirty and fun. And was led to the tiny little W width section--all of 2 shelves. Honestly, the shoes were so hopelessly geriatric, I asked the clerk if they came with a complimentary walker.

So those are my excuses for being shopophobic, but into every life a little shopping must fall. I was trying to put together some outfits for RT and realized I might end up running around naked a few days unless I hit the mall. So I decided to try the Avenue, a store I'd noticed but never visited.

What fun! Their clothes fit me! There was a raging sale in progress. Every shoe in the shop was a W width shoe! I found a dress that made me feel like Marilyn Monroe in THE 7 YEAR ITCH! (Please notice I said 'feel' like, not 'look' like. My DH should be so lucky!) As I staggered toward the cashier with my treasures, I had an epiphany of sorts.

"This is why my mom shops," I realized. Matching the right shoes with the perfect twinset gives a woman a jolt of endorphins to rival chocolate. I had achieved Shopping Nirvana, that blissful state where you know in your heart you found the right items in the right sizes and colors. And all on sale.

Only cruiseship sex comes close to equaling this thrill.

So when you see me in Orlando next week, I'll be stylin', girls! And after I get my hair done this afternoon, I may have to see if I can achieve Shopping Nirvana again. How else will I know if it was a freak, one-time event?

Perhaps I am carrying a latent shopping gene, after all . . .

Mom would be proud.


2nd Chance April 17, 2009 at 8:17 AM  

Oh, I love Avenue! Large sizes that aren't granny clothes... I wish I had one close to me... And I always have the opposite problem...small feet.

So, you be stunning in Orlando! Cool!

Penelope April 17, 2009 at 8:59 AM  

Reading your blog just made me laugh out loud..thanks! Unfortunately, I just got back from shopping at Talbot's for my Florida trip and did not reach Shopping Nirvana. (I do, however, reach Shopping Nirvana when I am shopping in a plant nursery or antique store!)- Have a great time in Orlando!

Wordtryst - Liane Spicer April 17, 2009 at 9:14 AM  

Yes! Another convert! I do mine online, though. I'd be the most prolific writer out there if I spent those hours penning fiction...

Cindy Holby April 17, 2009 at 10:09 AM  

I have coupons, therefore I shop. My life has been joyful since I lost enough weight to fit into Ann Taylor Loft clothing. And don't get me started on shoes. I have tiny feet so I'm always able to score. If you love it get it in every color is my motto!

Leah Hultenschmidt April 17, 2009 at 10:20 AM  

It's not called "retail therapy" for nothin'. I did some online ordering and got my purchases on Monday. I was so psyched when everything actually fit. Gave me a high for the rest of the evening.

Can't wait to see all you stylin' ladies in Orlando!

Marie-Claude Bourque April 17, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

That's too funny Emily.
I have the opposite problem. When I moved to the US everything was too big (read too tall, I'm 5'2'') and what used to be a great bonding experience with my mom in my home town, turned out to be a nightmare trying to shop on my own for clothes that fit.
So my mom sends me clothes from and I am stuck with online shopping when I must do it on my own, like now!!
So spot me at RT with that dress holded up together with laces and fashion tape! LOL
(MC, also off to get the hair done!)

Genella deGrey April 17, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

I love to shop. I'll shop for anything - grocery shopping even puts a smile on my face. I'm a label reader and price comparison spaz, when I find a better deal, it sends me into orbit.

Shoes: I'm a W girl and as such, I can swim like a fish. Now if only 1920's swim costumes would come into fashion we'd be in business.

Clothes: I'd like for someone to open a Gothy shop that features a label called "Comes in Black." (No, sadly there is no such thing as a "Comes in Black" label, but there should be.)

I like flowy, Stevie Nicks-type clothes. Yeah, can't find them anywhere.

EmilyBryan April 17, 2009 at 3:06 PM  

2nd Chance--That's it exactly. The styles didn't make me feel old. I don't think I'd go as far as stunning, but how about "comfortable, but not rumpled?"

Penelope--When/If I hit the NYTimes list, I will reward myself with a trip to Talbots! I love their classic styling.

Liane--The only thing I buy online are books! I have to try everything on first. It can look darling on the hanger and frightening on my body!

Cindy--I'd hate you if I didn't already love you. Lost weight and tiny feet! Well, if I worked at it I could manage one of them. The feet I'm stuck with!

Leah--Congrats on the online shopping win. I made the mistake of ordering (wouldn't you know it?) shoes online once. Not a positive experience.

M-C--I tell everyone I'm undertall too. (Beats admitting I'm overweight.) It's very discouraging when the jeans fit me everywhere except the 6 extra inches of leg I'm standing on. Need to find a good alteration person.

Genella--You and my mother should talk. Perhaps we were switched at birth. She has never understood my aversion to shopping. LOL on the "Comes in Black." I think that's a brilliant concept.

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner April 17, 2009 at 6:01 PM  

Me nodding about the W shoes. Naturalizer online has a wonderful selection in W. I've only had to send shoes back once to them.

I'll try the Avenue. As a lush lady, I'm always looking for decent clothes that don't look like potato sacks.

I had a similar thrill when I dove into a Lane Bryant the week before RWA (and I was a Rita finalist), and found a lovely black dress that fit, looked good on me, and was on sale!!! Triple play.

Thanks for sharing yor adventure.

EmilyBryan April 18, 2009 at 8:45 AM  

Jenn--Yay for a triple play! Wish we were going to see you next week. Maybe next year. If your DH was going, mine might be brave enough to come again too! All that estrogen can be daunting for a man!

Bonnie Vanak April 19, 2009 at 5:20 PM  

Ah, shopping!

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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