Consume

Granny Panties

And fitting room depression.

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Recently I was forced to enter a mall to procure a dress for an event. I am not a shopper. I never buy anything for myself, because I have four kids and if I have any extra money after buying all the cereal they eat, I am buying them clothes or shoes or Benadryl, so I can sleep. Any clothes for me come from a local consignment shop, and I am a complete yoga pants-and-baseball-hat hag, so even those are cheap. A rare clothing splurge for me would be a vintage Ms. Pac Man shirt on eBay.

But I found a store where there were funny books and cards, sparkly jewelry, and brown and orange print dresses on the sale rack for $24.99, which is a significant upgrade from my traditional garb of free t-shirts gained by winning Thriller dance contests at local bars.

I take the dress into what I believe is referred to by women who actually buy clothes for themselves as a “fitting room.” I slide behind the pretty dressing room curtain, pulling it closed and making sure there aren’t any gaps that could accidentally reveal my fat white ass to an unsuspecting group of innocent shoppers. I hate dressing rooms. The lighting and mirror arrangement seem to be configured in such a way that cause you to appear as unattractive as you have ever seen yourself, causing a level of insecurity that seems counterproductive to your potential for spending money on clothes. Hence my yoga pants and t-shirts; neither require a fitting room.

But here I am, and I pull the dress over my head. It is, shall we say, fitted (because fitted sounds nicer than “like a sausage casing.”) I had taken off my vintage Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup t-shirt, leaving on a bra and some capris. But since the dress was fitted and was short, I wanted to see how it looked without the pants in the way; figuring I could get a pair of brown footless Spanx tights to wear with it.

So what do I do?

What any non-size-0 woman would do to see what panty lines a dress was going to give her: I dropped trou. Perhaps needless to admit, I happened to be wearing floral granny panties. So I’m checking out my reflection of the pretty orange and brownish printed dress and thinking about how the fab coral necklace on the mannequin would look with it. And then? It happens.

I realize that I am looking at the red painted toenail polish and high-heeled sandals of… a shopper.

Do you know why I can see her pedicure? Because the curtain that has been chosen to hide us while we try stuff on, thus giving a false sense of privacy/security while we twirl around and think about whether cute new dresses make us look fat? That curtain does not go all the way down to the ground.

Which means that not only can I see the candy apple red of the shopper’s painted toenails, but that she can see the bunched-up brown capris topped with floral granny panties on the floor where I have commenced an anxiety-attacked, silent hysterical fit. And I guess that’s why they call it a “fitting” room.

Then I got dressed, put my big girl panties on, and bought the dress anyway. 

Follow Mary McCarthy (@marymac) on Twitter.

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