Saturday, September 25, 2010

W.W.Y.Y. B.A.S.T.

Walking, Wine, Yoga, Yarn - not necessarily in that order. Plus Biking and Audiobooks and, now I've added Shopping Therapy. These are my coping tools. I am Stressed and Cranky and Snarling this weekend - I think it's the cumulative effect of having a contractor in my house day after day, even though I do like her a lot and LOVE the work she's done - and all the packing and other shit. It's all good, positive shit, but it's still Different and therefore Stress. I feel myself getting snarly.

Bridegirl stopped by last night to show me her wedding band - so pretty and sparkly! - and pick up the dog food they'd left behind. She loves the bedroom color! Yay! It really is a pretty color, though since we have had no sunshine I have no photos in natural light. It's a Sherwin-Williams paint, but the color was Behr Classic Taupe. It really is a classic taupe - no pinky/peachy undertones at all, just crisp and neutral. It's going to be elegant as all hell with their dark wood bedroom set, and it's a great Realtor Neutral color. She's also feeling stressed - we don't always recognize that happy, exciting life changes are also a sort of stress, because it's still change, and even happy change is stressful.

I felt cranky and restless today, so I went shopping. It's like the Great Shopping Dam has burst since I ordered those cocktail dresses for the MOB Fashion Show - suddenly I am thinking about winter weather office clothing, and I'm fired up to put together a small but high quality basics working wardrobe. I haven't bought clothes (except for I think two pair of capris on sale at Kohl's before AVL, and a couple of t-shirts) in six freaking months, and precious little in the year or so before that. Target T-Shirts Do Not Count as Shopping. Nor does replacing worn out bras and walked-out shoes. Serious clothing shopping is about substance, about creating a look, a style, an image one wants to project. I haven't done that in eons.

I used to love clothes! Back In the Day, in another life long, long ago, I liked nothing better than a good mall crawl (my formative shopping years were spent in Bloomingdale's at White Flint Mall), and I actually wore clothes that had to be dry-cleaned, and everything! Somewhere in the last 15 years I went from silk blouses and pencil skirts to "Oh, forget that - it has to be dry cleaned (or ironed)." That's just SAD.

I got into a rut, and my wardrobe shifted to boring basics that would let me get dressed in a hurry and not require a stop at the cleaners more than, oh, every couple of months. That DOES have its benefits, and I'm not totally knocking that concept - but basics don't have to be THAT boring. Bottom line: I need clothes - I have to do the job interview dances again, which is exciting, but right now strikes me about like having George Clooney call me up for a weekend at his villa - I can see myself panicking and muttering, "Um, can you give me a week to get ready?" I'm ready to hang out, watch football, walk your dog and help clean your garage, but ask me to show up someplace special, and right now I got nuthin. Nuthin' that makes me feel attractive and strong and on my game.

So, today I tried the shopping therapy. I'm thinking those nutty economists may be right - the recession may be over, because the mall was freaking packed, noisy, obnoxious, and people were actually carrying bags, not just hanging out. Who knew?

I headed for Macy's (different mall/Macy's than my trip with Bride) to see if they had a different selection of pretty, not-a-glaringly-MOB-dress-I-could-never-wear-again cocktail dresses. I think you can understand what I'm looking for - a pretty party dress in a solid color other than black, not too shiny-flash-bouncing satin, in a nice rich jewel color - I get compliments whenever I wear garnet, sapphire, jade, purple. The sort of classic dress I can recycle for Boy's wedding, random parties and dates. I'm open to any jewel tone solid. I can do sleeveless and cleavage. I did see a purple Evan Picone dress that would be nice. One dress.

Serious clothing shopping is about substance, about creating a look, a style, an image one wants to project. Between the crowded mall and the lack of options in the stores, I'm ready to drop to my knees in worship of Online Shopping. I've received notices that three of the four dresses I'm testing have shipped, so next week I will have some fun, and if those don't work, back they go, and next time I'll order SIX. So there.


KatyaR said...

I'm so with you on the clothes thing--I used to be such a clothes horse when I was younger and smaller. Now days I don't have the kind of money it takes to be fashionable, I just have clothes that keep me from being arrested for indecency! And no, no pretty dress for a special occasion--if one ever came up, I'd be up a creek.

Glad to see you're doing so well--hang in there, this is good stress!

Teresa said...

Pretty much the only way I shop for clothes any more is online. You go to the malls and find only size 4s and 6s or just awful maternity looking things for normal sized people. MUCH better solutions online, and they come to your door and you don't have to suffer those dinky little dressing rooms either. I'm sure you'll find a wonderful MOB dress by doing online shopping.

As for being cranky, Lord knows you have reason! A wedding, a move, and a contractor! A bottle of wine is definitely in order! You deserve it if anyone does. Positive changes, indeed, but still stress inducing. Hang in there!

ellen said...

I had to make the mall trip a couple of weeks ago. All my basics were worn out and I am looking at job hunting next spring. I went with a short list of very basic items and was suitably shocked by current prices. It's pretty easy to drop a pile and still not buy the very best quality. Fortunately I have the market cornered in distinctive costume jewelry and scarves collected over many years.

Good MOB items in your preferred colors should be hitting the stores now as the holiday party clothes arrive now. Your luck should improve.

Catherine said...

Yes, I'm expecting the selection to expand as the holiday party dresses arrive, but even now I have a half-dozen contenders. I'm marveling at how my long-buried shopping urges have awakened, and now I want CLOTHES!

Daisy said...

I also shop for just about everything online now. It's soo much simpler, and most returns are not too difficult. BUT - you really took me back with that mention of Bloomingdale's at White Flint Mall! I too started my shopping career there, and I used to be quite the mall rat back in the day. White Flint was my hang out back then, and Bloomie's was the place to be. What fun to see it mentioned here. Good luck with the MOB dresses - I hope you find just the perfect one!