Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Fashion Help. Please apply soonest!

I hate shopping for clothes. Hate it. Never liked it. Even when I had disposable income before children to spend on things for ME like entertainment or the cute Ann Taylor pantsuit. Now there’s no money, no time, and my body shape has begun to succumb to the ‘pear shape’ way way way before it’s time despite my every effort at fitness and diet, thanks to menopause brought on by breast cancer diagnosed at age 39. That however, is a long and boring story which I will save for a later date. No one wants to ruin a perfectly good rant by bringing up cancer.

Now not only do I have to shop for me, there’s four children in the mix. My husband is on his own, sadly, because fashion is not his thing. He has many other gifts. He showed up to our eldest daughter’s swim practice on a Friday night wearing plaid shorts, checkered vans, and a ‘I’m a swim Dad t-shirt’. The criticism by the other fathers was merciless. While it pains me, I can at least put together an outfit that is not an example of ‘What not to Wear’. See my son’s ‘fancy outfit’ handpicked by his fashionable 10-year-old self below.

I just blew out my favorite pair of Tori Burch knock-off flip flops purchased on e-Bay from somewhere in China and now I’m down to a sad pair of Levi’s that I used to reserve for my fat pants days, a few short sleeve cotton tees (I can only wear cotton due to the relentless hot flashes and high humidity days) and some sandals that scream ‘swimming pool white trash’. Now what?

When the advent of online shopping was upon us, it coincided roughly with my being **blessed** with my third and fourth children in less than fourteen short months. I reveled in the best of the free shipping and returns deals because I knew that to darken any retail establishment with my presence and that of my brood was to ruin anyone’s shopping experience for months to come. I used to frequent CWD (Children Wear’s Digest) before my now 13YO daughter figured out that she had an opinion that actually mattered. I could put together the cutest horsie sweater/skirt outfit and accessories that would bring the envy of all the moms in the hood. Now, she’s on her own.

I spent two hours at the mall last week agonizing over the purchase of some tights or hose for my daughter's upcoming flute competition. Two hours of my life I will never get back. Here’s how it all breaks down now in order of my loathsomeness of this necessary activity: shopping for swimsuits despite the invention of the ‘Miracle Suit’; shopping for jeans; shopping for shoes for my children. That’s it. I just can’t take any more recollections of bad mall and boutique horrors.

Now that every online vendor offers free shipping and I fully take advantage of Amazon Prime, I am yet still unable to fully appreciate the fact that I can order virtually any garment from any corner of the world at any time of the day or not. All because the wrath of the middle age spread and muffin-top curse has now descended on my middle aged booty. And it makes me just a little sad.

I am open to any and all suggestions on how to ease this angst. Even if I won the MegaMillions Jackpot and had an almost unending bucket of money, would that make things any better? Perhaps I would be able to afford a personal shopper and effectively outsource the outfitting of me and my children (and my husband). Dare to dream. Herein I wait anxiously for your response.

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