Monday, April 17, 2006

Shopping with Daria
It's not that I don't like dresses. I do. I just never think to buy them. And I'm much more comfortable in jeans and t-shirts. Or cargo pants.

I loves me some cargo pants.

But over the past weekend was an event that was cause for not one dress, but two dresses. This meant I would need to call in reinforcements to dress me. This is a big deal for me.

My sister was our professional family shopper. She inherited that gene from my mom, who is the matriarch of our family shopping. The two of them have helped me find appropriate clothing on a number of occasions. When my mom and I shop these days, we think of my sister. It's not like the mall was her mecca or anything. But shopping without her seems wrong sometimes.

Me? It's not that I dislike shopping. I'm just not good at it. I'm great at bargain hunting. But not so much good at putting together outfits and whatnot. And, I prefer to shop alone. Which doesn't help with the outfits and whatnot because when I only have my own opinion it's hard to talk myself out of bad outfits and into good ones.

Sometimes I just don't know the difference.

I also get stage fright when it comes to shopping with people who can see me shop. I prefer to shop where I know I won't run into people. I think I carry a secret fear that people I love and respect will catch a glimpse of what is in my shopping bag, realize I picked it out all by myself, and they will be mortified at what I have done and promptly ostracize me from their lives because I am bad at shopping and I have chosen an outfit that people should not be seen in even if they are the last clothes on earth.

I don't even like for sales people to talk to me. It makes me nervous. I don't need their help (even though I do). But I want them to go away and pretend I am not there. I'm afraid they will look at whatever I intend to try on and immediately gather all of their salespeople friends together to point and laugh as I think about putting on the one outfit in the store that does not match itself.

Over the years, I've gotten better about shopping. I think my sister left me with a bit of her shopping ability to live on here on earth. But, when it comes to dresses or fanciness of any sort, I'm just no good.

Fortunately, I have lots of friends who are good at shopping and can make up for my shopping shortcomings. I am definitely in no short supply of good shoppers. It's the "letting them help me shop" that's usually the deal breaker. I know where to go for help, I just don't complete the task of letting them help.

A couple of weekends ago, I did finally let myself let some friends help me. Actually, I just whined enough about not having anything to wear to the wedding that eventually a couple of my firneds picked up on my plight. Friends K and JW were kind enough to take me shopping for the sole purpose of outfitting me to attend a wedding and party afterwards. Dresses were tried on, jewelry was chosen, we rewarded ourselves with a fine dinner. It was a good day.

And after all was said and done, I ended up with one fabulous dress that they helped me pick out. And then I was able to piece together another skirt-ish outfit on my own, after the afternoon of their shopping tutelage. I tend to do okay when I am shown what to do. I can learn.

Of course, Friend K said the whole thing was like shopping with Daria.

And strangely, I take no offense to that comparison. Because really, are we sure I can't just wear nicer cargo pants to a casual wedding? I mean, really.

Ok, not really. I know better than that. But still. If I'm going to buy a dress, it had better be a dress everyone likes to see me in for the next 108 weddings or so. Because I am going to wear it to all of them. And you will like it. And then in a few years when the dress is in rags and out of date anyway, we will do this whole painful adventure again.

Fortunately, both of my outfits were a smashing success throughout the wedding extravaganzas, hindered only by the ridiculous sunburn I earned the day before the wedding.

I mean, sometimes I'm just an idiot. I worked really hard all week to have perfect, alabaster-and-freckle shoulders to go with my perfect dress so that my fabulousness at the wedding would do nothing less than blow everyone away. But then I had to go and work in my yard too long in a tank top, and then all of my carefulness was for naught.

I had an obscene, blatant sunburn that could not be hidden by the fabulous dress.

But, sunburn aside, the shopping trip paid off. The outfits were a success. Topped off with shoes from Friend E, I was the picture of Cocktail Fab. People came from miles around just to see me in my dresses.

Ok, I know they came for the wedding and to see the folks who were actually married, but whatever. My story is better.

La-la la la.


No comments: