It happened in a department store. I was doing my usual sale-browsing while trying to avoid eye contact from the various forms of male backwash that roam the local mall at night.
I decided to be bold try out the Women`s clothing section…for the first time in my life. I had experienced a sudden enlightenment…a changed mind-set… and I decided that the Women`s section couldn`t be all moomoo`s, elastic waist pants, and argyle cardigans. Somewhere in that large area meant for women-over-30, there had to be some clothes for the fashion-forward spinster or vogue-reading soccer mom.
Though what I found could definitely not be called “fashion forward”, the sweaters I picked up were functional and, if styled correctly, might even could be incorporated into a trendy ensemble.
Full of hope, I marched straight to the dressing room. As I began taking my shirt off, I caught a glance of my edgy haircut in the mirror. Then, I looked down at my oxfords, the ones I had fallen in love with from a Rachel Zoe feature in Elle. I stopped what i was doing. That haircut did not match the conservative-housewife-married to an accountant- clothing that I was about to try on! Those shoes weren`t meant to be paired with capri pants! I looked down at the sweater I was holding (perfect for a 5th grade teacher) and I felt short of breath. My heart began to pound and I started having visions of myself a few years down the road…with an over-dyed angled bob haircut, wearing sweater vests, 3/4 sleeve tops with ruffles, and capri pants, and bragging about my new Pandora bracelet. I turned around only to see that my dark skinny jeans had given me a mom-butt and that my arms were forming “bat wings” from years of gym-avoidance.
I snapped out of it and said to myself (yes, to myself), “What the hell am I doing?” Without hesitation, I dropped the sweater I was holding, threw my shirt on, and high-tailed it out of that dressing room!
I stopped to collect my breath and thankfully, the visions had cleared: the mom-butt tightened back to it`s 26-yr-old self, the bat wings had receded, and alas, there was no Pandora bracelet on my wrist. A saleswoman staring at me did the typical “Ma’am, is there anything I can help you with?” I didn`t bother to answer and headed straight for the Juniors` section.
Home at last! Colors, metal studded vests, sweaters with random objects on the front, and nothing that even resembled a 3/4 sleeve ruffled top. A bright sweater with a black diamond design caught my eye and I headed straight for it! But, to my surprise, I was intercepted by 3 girls who were clearly NOT from the Hanson-Spice Girls-Backstreet Boys generation. These girls darted in front of me, without even pardoning themselves (how rude), and began gushing over the bright sweater. MY sweater. Amidst the gushing, I could hear Taylor Swift-ish comments about boys, some mentioning of a “bieber” (whatever that is?), and I`m pretty sure I heard one of them use the word “epic” as an adjective.
It was then that I realized I was out of my league. I quickly abandoned all hopes of buying any clothes that night and left the store.
I think every adult woman comes to that point in their life where they have to forego the Juniors` section at the mall and commit (fully) to to Women`s clothing. I am just not at that point. I do believe, as is appropriate for my age, I am truly caught in the middle.