One of my very close friends got married this past Saturday. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to. Getting myself ready to celebrate their union was no easy task. Working full-time and going to school full-time left me absolutely no time to shop for something to wear. I haven’t dressed up in months, nor have I had time to shop. I had a standard black back-up dress that turned out to be a little too *ahem* tight. Moving on…
I went to several stores to no avail. Too short, too long, to shiny, too blah, and the list goes on. I started to get desperate so I went to Bloomingdale’s. I walked around the sixth floor for a while and saw a few dresses but nothing in my size. I stopped one of the sales associates and said, “Excuse me, what floor are the plus sizes on?” She looks me up and down over her reading glasses, (this petite little woman who reminds me of somebody’s Auntie who never plays around) and said, “You are not a plus size! I can tell you where it is but it would be a waste of your time! Look around here while I help this customer and I will be back!”
I look around for a while and find a few things that I like but nothing that I love. I don’t think they are going to fit but I wanted to give this lady a chance. I go into the dressing room and try on dress number one. I love the design but I’m not crazy about the color. I come out of the dressing room.
“I don’t like that on you. The color is no good for your skin tone. What else do you have in there?”
“Well I have this strapless one but it looks a little plain.”
“Put it back on and let me see.”
So I put it back on and come out again.
“That’s the dress you are going to wear and let me tell you why. It fits your shape, the color looks good on you, and it is not too plain. You just need some nice earrings and a cute shoe, and you are good to go. I’ll meet you at the cashier!”
I get dressed and laugh to myself. Am I this much of a mess? Has my schedule left me totally helpless in the shopping department? My new friend Deborah would tell me shortly.
As I pay for my dress, Debora and I chat. I tell her that I work full-time and go to school full-time so I haven’t shopped in a long time. I’ve gained some weight so I don’t know what looks good on me anymore. She clarifies.
“You forgot how to shop! You’ve been so busy that you are buying the wrong size! Poor baby you don’t know what you are doing and you are wasting your money. And you dress too old! I can tell. Don’t buy any more dresses until you see me! You are dressing too old for your age. What do you do?”
I explain to her that I’m a paralegal.
“Are you going to law school?”
“I haven’t decided yet. It is taking me some time to finish my undergraduate degree.”
“Yes you are and you don’t have any excuse. You are gonna go because you are young enough to go. My niece is handicapped and just finished her PhD in psychology. If she can do it so can you. You don’t have any excuse.”
“Well I’m kind of tired and have a lot of responsibilities and..”
“You don’t have NO excuse.”
Ms. Debora finishes ringing me up and gives me her card after adding me to her contacts.
“Don’t buy anything else until you see me. You need help! I can go to any floor and get you situated. You need a boost!”
“Yes ma’am. Thank you. See you soon.”
I guess that is why Bloomingdale’s is “Like No Other Store in the World.”
And I’m certainly going to see Ms. Debora again and with any luck I’m going to document my progress on this blog. Penelope Trunk recently posted an entry entitled, “When you’re feeling lost, don’t hide.” Well, apparently I was lost in the shopping black hole and I didn’t even know it! Now that I know, I’m not going to hide.
Wish me luck!