Shopping: My Personal Thoughts on it

Some people like shopping, some people love shopping, and some see shopping as a necessary evil. Some see shopping as a total waste of time and hate to ever shop. To those in this last category – this article is not for you as you have deferred to have all your shopping and purchasing power to a devoted loved one or you have never left the cave. Me? I am one that likes to shop. I have to be “in the mood”. When one is forced to shop, like when it is part of a job, then it may not be a very pleasant experience. And trying on clothes is not always enjoyable. The dressing rooms can be busy, they can be messy, smelly and sometimes – even dangerous – I mean not life threatening – but have you seen all those numerous sharp metal pins on the bench, the floor, or even in the clothes. I mean they can put out an eye – well highly unlikely, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but you can definitely get stuck. It is surprising that we haven’t heard more about ‘Changing Room’s Revenge’  – being impaled by a stick pin (it is a famous syndrome which I just made up).

Another problem with changing rooms, is one has to change directly in front of a mirror. The full body mirror is the chief nemesis of “Cathy” of comic strip fame. Women, when looking at the changing room mirror, look at everything, at all parts, from all angles. But, men, in the dressing room, in front of the mirror, the method and focus is different. Men tend to look at one thing. Yes, that’s right. Ladies, you know what I am talking about, we are looking at…the gut. Once, you take off the shirt, it is obvious, it is right there. And whether you are wearing pants or shorts, no matter, the waistband lifts up the fat from the sides and makes it look three times larger than the unsightly blob it actually is. I’d much rather look at myself with nothing on at all (that’s right – naked), than with just a pair of pants on, because the gut looks more normal.  They talk about a muffin top, but I think it is does not adequately describe this phenomenon. I think it is more like a tremendously large scoop of ice cream crammed into a too small sugar cone – the Baskin-Robbins effect.

I had a thought: if I didn’t wear clothes around the house and put up lots of mirrors, then I would always see that unwanted protruding stomach. And, out in public, I could be one of those people that wears bright colored Spandex shorts and one of those too short T-shirts that leaves the midriff bare. This would give me the motivation to eat correctly and exercise. But, I am not one of those people that can wear that stuff. And I am too old for that look. ( I define old as anybody that is older than myself [with the exception of my wife]). I do realize that my plan of short term motivation will stall and is doomed to eventual and inevitable failure. I know that after a few weeks, instead of being motivated, I will be more disgusted by my unchanging shape. So, I would paper over all the mirrors and put on a muu-muu.

I just had a novel idea, maybe one of enlightenment. We have always been taught that clothes were developed for warmth and protection against the elements. But, how about this – clothes were invented by older people  to hide their lumps and bumps, because they could no longer compete with younger hardbodies. Then, they invented fashion, so they could show off their riches and demonstrate that they could provide for their families. Just a thought.

So, where were we? Oh, yes, the dressing room. So, anyway, I go into the dressing room. I change in front of the mirror to see my unwanted plumpiness over and over again, just to make sure the clothes fit just right. It is too bad there is no acceptance of Spanx for men (they are available – check out Nordstrom’s) or the return of those high rise pants that went right up to the rib cage that once were popular in the 1970’s. Maybe they can develop a software program that accurately puts your computer replica of the clothes onto the computer generated simulation of your body. Then maybe they can then eliminate the dressing room altogether. Now that would make shopping more pleasant.

“The leading cause of death among fashion models is falling through street grates.” – Dave Barry


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September 2011
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