Yeah, it’s a bit like that.

This weekend the husband and I are attending a swanky affair in DC. The attire is semi-formal. For the past five years I’ve worked in a very casual office setting allowing me to wear jeans and sneakers to work. Consequently, my wardrobe is somewhat devoid of swanky outfits. So the other day I was forced to go dress shopping. Can you feel my pain? If not then you are probably one of those women who can pull a dress from the rack, try it on and look fabulous. Me? Not so much. I go through about thirty dresses before finding one I can tolerate. Add to that my issues with indecision, procrastination and poor self image and needless to say, shopping for clothes is not one of my favorite pastimes. Remember Jennifer Carpenter’s fitting room scene from the movie White Chicks? Yeah, it’s a bit like that.

At 10:30 a.m. on a beautiful Monday morning when I should have been dreaming up new plots in my hammock by the river, I found myself in a fitting room at T.J.Maxx with ten dresses hanging on the back of the door. Why ten? Because they don’t allow eleven. The first dress I tried on was actually tolerable. A slinky black Ralph Lauren number for under fifty bucks. I smiled and naively thought this isn’t going to be as bad as I expected. I should have stopped at tolerable. Dress number two was too short. Dress number three was too flowery. When I got stuck in dress number four my claustrophobia kicked in and I promptly tripped over my flip-flops banging my head on the fitting room door. I got an instant headache that lasted the rest of the day. Believe me when I say this was not the first time I’ve heard a fitting room attendant ask, “Are you all right in there, Miss?” I was simply grateful not to have heard the familiar ripping sound that meant I had just purchased dress number four.

Six hours, thirty-two dresses, four department stores, and two caffè mochas later I found myself standing in the checkout line of the same T.J.Maxx with, I kid you not, dress number one. Suddenly a thought occurred to me and I blurted out, “Shoes! I have no shoes!” I rushed to the back of the store and grabbed the first pair of size 6 black pumps on the rack, quickly slipped one on for size and threw those in the cart as well.  It was 4:30 and I was anxious to get through the checkout line and beat traffic. I should have taken an extra few moments and attempted to walk in those shoes before buying. Turns out I purchased platform pumps with a five inch heel. Did I mention I wear sneakers and flip flops on a daily basis?

So at the end of a very long day I came home with a tolerable dress and shoes I can’t walk in. Now I know I should return the shoes and spend another day looking for something a bit more practical but the truth is I hate shopping. Not to mention, even though I have to sacrifice a little comfort, mobility, and stability, my legs look stellar in these shoes. My plan is to wear them around the house until I can manage small distances without recreating the Sandra Bullock Mustang Sally strut scene from Miss Congeniality where she strides out of the hangar and promptly falls on her face. Yeah, it’s a bit like that.


About Susan Warren Utley

Susan Warren Utley is a wife and mother living and writing in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her stories are inspired by the unexpected twists and turns of real life and by her muse, a feisty Jack Russell Terrier who occasionally answers to the name of Lucy. View all posts by Susan Warren Utley

19 responses to “Yeah, it’s a bit like that.

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