Amber's Inferno... or Four Hours at the Mall

I don't think I look BAD, but I don't have that natural ability to put fabulous outfits together, which you'd think I'd be able to, since I'm quite the makeup connoisseur. I guess, though, I really hate shopping; all my underwear is exactly the same thing in different colors, and my bras, and when I manage to find a pair of pants that fit me really well, I buy all the colors the store has in stock, all at once. (Another useful shopping technique I've relied on for years is seeing what Jen just bought and buying the exact same thing. She loves when I do that.) But, aside from Jen's constant threats to turn me over to the folks at "What Not to Wear", I didn't really realize how clothing challenged I am until Wednesday.

I needed an outfit for a party I went to last night with Damian, and the office party tonight. For some reason I can't remember right now, I had my heart set on a dress. The thing with dresses, though, is that they're designed to fit a person who's basically the same size on top and bottom. I am not. More accurately, the "girls" spilled out of the tops of the dresses that fit me everywhere else just fine. (Visions of sugarplums, indeed).

I was shopping with Jen and Najla, and thank God for girlfriends to keep you sane. We developed a technique: get to the dress department of a particular store, split up and grab as many dresses as we could in my size that looked feasible, lumber to the dressing room under pounds of fancy material, dump them, and then I would try them all on. Usually, mid-way through, one or both of them would be scouting the racks for even more clothing to throw over the top of my dressing room door (as in, "can I have a white blouse to try this on with... how about green?") It was pure insanity. You'd think we'd have found something relatively quickly, but nothing fit, and the frustration or it all, coupled with the combination of horrible lighting and dressing room mirrors giving me a full-on, unflattering view of my ass made me just about burst into tears. Which, of course, meant we had to go for Hagen Daz therapy (it's called "girl logic" feel fat, you buy ice cream. Don't try to understand it).

Our last store was H&M, which I wasn't too enthusiastic about, because it's generally "hit or miss" (hence the name?). Jen and I are half asleep at this point (we had been there about 3 and a half hours), but Najla, apparently, has enough energy to power a small mid-western town for a solid week, at least. She gathered and brought to me EVERY SINGLE black skirt in the store, along with a bunch of other stuff. So I'm trying it all on, and somewhere in the middle is a red blazer (I think Jen found it). I fell in love, and I'm walking around with it on (and nothing under it; I had lost all modesty at that point) and one of the guys who work there kind of rescued us... he went off to find a shirt to go under it for me, and it was perfect. So, I was happy, Jen and Najla were relieved to be finished, and Damian told me I was pretty.

I'm not shopping again until 2006.