Fitting Room Therapist

prettyI hate shopping.

Unless it’s for Christmas decorations, special baking ingredients, or helping my kiddo pick out something he really wants, I’d rather be a zillion other places.

The stop at the shop was a fly-by on my way home from day twenty-something in a row at work.

In the harsh direct lighting of the fitting-room cubicle, I was left alone with my naked self, and worn out panties.

There’s something about being naked with myself that shakes me down.  All of a sudden, I am face to full-length face with a three-quarter, panoramic view of my bare tushie. It makes me sweaty and anxious. Not ideal.

I wear suits to work, and jeans at home. Rarely do I do anything any more that doesn’t involve work, sports-mothering, or getting cozy with my keyboard, and literary obsession.  When it comes to love-making, unless I’m in a relationship, sex-o-the-day seems like a waste of wardrobe. Light candles and answer the door naked is my philosophy.

But I’m getting off-track darlings. Let’s go back to the stale air of the fitting room cubicle. I have to travel next week. For work. It’s a casual environment, but not so casual I can wear my yoga pants and Parrothead t-shirts.

In the harsh light, with one knee high rolled half-way down my calf, and my spare tire glowing in the fluorescent lighting, I let myself admit just how tired out I am.  “I’m dehydrated, tired, and coming down with a cold“. Immediately my internal therapist gave me permission to go home and rest.

Years ago, it would have been a very different internal voice.  years ago, I would have berated myself for not living up to the physical ideal that we know all ‘worthy’ women hold themselves too.

Years ago, I made a quick stop into the mall between work and going home. I had the rare, single-parent luxury of working late  (please don’t miss the irony in that statement). So depressed about my own body image, I made myself stop for a glass of wine.

I was so tired out, the wine made me tipsy, and when I get tipsy, I get happy and giggly. Suddenly all was right with the world, and the shopping mall I was in. I was feeling so good that I meandered into Godiva and treated myself to one of my favourite things in the world; a milk-chocolate covered marshmallow.

I then made my way to A favourite store. When the unsuspecting saleswoman asked if she could help tipsy ol’ me, I took her on a tour of the shop, pointed to everything I liked and instructed her to bring it to me.  All in XL.

I sat my naked body down in the fitting room and savoured every bite of my milk-chocolate covered marshmallow. When the saleswoman timidly asked how madam was doing, I managed a slurred and sticky, “Splendid”, between licking the last of the melted chocolate off my fingers.

I’ve become a whole lot more comfortable in my own skin since then. That drunken evening of not-giving-a-rat’s-petunia in the fitting room was a turning point for me.

If you’re a happy drunk, I highly recommend tipsy-toodles shopping as step one in your quest for fitting-room-freedom. It’s a whole heck of a lot better than berating and hating yourself.

Today I happily  made my purchase (sober), and then drove home with the windows rolled down and the dulcet tones of Willie Nelson blaring full-blast. I’ve come a long way since that day I felt so sad and unworthy that I needed some hooch to get me through the whole fitting-room ordeal.

Who is that blonde-haired, well-turned out woman with the awesome taste in music,” I could hear the man in the jeep next to me thinking as he eye-balled  the Willie-Nelson-mobile while we were stopped at red light.

She’s a woman who’s come a long, long way“, I thought to myself as I stepped on the gas. It was time to go home and rest. This old bod has been good to me, and it’s time to love it back.

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