Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Short Reflection on the Horrors of Pre-Vacation Shopping

The other day I went shopping to update my wardrobe for the next couple of seasons, a semi-annual task I detest. Yet I must undergo this torment because spring and fall are when we take vacations, and I never seem to have everything I need. Let’s just say I’m hard on clothes. Stains even Oxiclean won’t remove? Uh, yeah. The wear and tear of too many years on staple items (read T-shirts)? You see my dilemma.

One of the main reasons for this hatred, at least for me, is that the stores are too hot in the spring because they have yet to turn on air-conditioning and in the fall because they’ve turned it off too soon. And yet I suffer through this ordeal because I hate shopping for clothes online even more. Plus, I never leave enough time to order online, receive the package, reject what I ordered, return it, and still suffer in stores to get the job done. Why not skip to the inevitable?

“Are you hot, ma’am?” one checkout person asked me as one more drop of sweat fell from my forehead onto the credit card in my hand. Her question seemed an unnecessary delay to me, interrupting my anticipation of the breeze I knew awaited me outside, already an estimated four to seven minutes away. I could see the front door from my position in line, and my entire body was already in “as fast as I can walk out of here” mode.

“Yes,” I answered, not inclined to elaborate but to simply prove I was coherent. Maybe—my having already dabbed away all the makeup I’d come in with—she thought I was having a stroke. No, I was only melting. But let me just say, I left with everything I needed, because I was not about to go back lest my need for a vacation increase tenfold.

Except I still needed a new purse. Or two. And that meant I had to go back a couple of days later.

I also hate shopping for purses, but for an entirely different reason. First, some stores display their purse selections by brand, so in each section I begin by finding the purses with my requirements: medium size, an adjustable strap, the right compartments and fasteners, not too expensive (because I’m cheap with purses), and a texture that speaks to me, which isn’t patent leather or cloth. The hard part is choosing color and pattern.

Especially in the spring, a reasonable woman would want a purse that’s bright and cheery, even if it doesn’t go with everything she owns, right? I try. I really do. Once I bought a fuchsia purse and even bragged about it on Facebook, I think. But the best I can do, after a long, long and hot, hot time trying to force myself to make an interesting choice, is a sort of beige and a definite black. The melon purse is pretty, the floral bag is nice, that blue one would go with the sandals I hardly ever wear. But I am at heart a “goes with everything” woman and I don't seem to be able to change. I have to try to be interesting in other ways, I guess.

Thank goodness I don’t need to go flip-flop shopping. You see, first I'd have to…and it would be hot…

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