If there is any activity more problematic for me than clothes shopping, well, I can’t think what it could be.
I have identified myself in this blog as a Middle Kid. Middle Kid Syndrome is a valid emotional condition, though not a clinical disorder. When the family contains three children, the second child — not the oldest (medical marvel) nor the youngest (sweet baby) often feels invisible and neglected. Usually for very good reason. Middle Kids tend to be easy going, go with the flow, play the peacemaker, be the ‘good’ one.
The middle children of my generation never had the pressure of choosing patterns or fabric for Easter outfits. Shopping for school clothes was never a problem. Clothing decisions were made by older siblings. Middle kids wore hand-me-downs. I never learned to shop for myself.
Another difficulty (for me) is that I have no natural sense of style and color — which has nothing to do with my birth order but, still. Some people can buy an accessory just knowing it will match that outfit hanging in the closet back home. I may coordinate an outfit in my bedroom only to find it clashes in the bright light of day. I think I originated the one-blue-sock-one-black-sock fashion statement.
I probably inherited this attribute from my father, since after my mother died he started wearing plaid pants and striped shirt with a paisley tie. But I digress.
Over the years I have learned to play it safe and wear mostly solid colors — a lot of black. I have five pairs of black pants and an obscene number of tees in various colors. Long sleeved turtlenecks for winter and short sleeved round neck for summer. No bling.
Occasionally, I think I would like to change my look. Maybe buy some brown pants. Maybe a shirt to wear over the tee. So, after receiving a gift certificate for a recent birthday, I took myself shopping. Okay, I went to one store.
First of all, no brown pants of any size anywhere in the store. What’s up with that?
Next, the choice of garments in my size was very slim. Which I’m not by the way. That particular store is a treasure trove for the skinnies out there. Or else women of my girth have already purchased anything I would consider appropriate.
I found a cute tunic — only to realize it was a dress! There was also a collection of skirts in my size. But have you noticed that most of the skirt material nowadays is see-through? And I don’t know if they even make half-slips any more. Not from what I observe. I am not going to wear a shear skirt without a slip. No one wants to see that.
Well, while “window shopping” inside the store was fun, it wasn’t very productive. However, I didn’t leave empty-handed.
I bought a black tee.