My sisters-in-law told me a story of how they spent 8 hours together at Nordstrom. Theirs wasn't a tale of horror. No, no. They were proud of themselves. In fact, that was one of the happiest and most glorious times of their lives, shopping and lunching and shopping . . . for an entire day.
I, on the other hand, consider 8 hours trapped in a department store the worst kind of torture. Forget about waterboarding. Take those Gitmo prisoners and send them into Nordstrom without any money, and I guarantee you they'll come out after 8 hours begging for a map so they can show you the exact coordinates of Osama bin Laden's cave. Anything to keep them from going back in to face the skinny ladies behind the counters, dressed in black with their perfect makeup and manicured fingers.
You want to know where weapons of mass destruction are hidden? Take a terrorist to the area in front of the brightly-lit dressing rooms, where fashionably-dressed customers hold their armfuls of designer clothing with ease and confidence, like there's nothing at all uncomfortable or horrifying about the fact that they're waiting in line to get naked in front of mirrors. Stuff that suicide bomber's pasty white body into a pair of trendy jeans that hits him so low on the waist his muffin top looks more like a super-sized bagel, and then make him come out in front of everybody to use the full-length 3-angle mirror. You'll get your information.
I recently went shopping for shoes. They're the one item I can't order online, because sizes and styles vary too much. The beautiful high-heeled pump with a satin bow pictured on my monitor ends up looking like a witch's shoe on my foot, all pointy and pinchy and wobbly. The hard, cold reality is that I have to go inside the walls of a store and actually try on footwear. It still involves mirrors, but at least I don't have to take off my pants.
I started out my adulthood with size 8 feet. Not bad for a 5'10 body. After my first pregnancy, I moved up to 8-1/2. After my second pregnancy, I had to start wearing size 9 shoes. After carrying twins, I began buying size 12E. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but while pregnant with the twins, I actually did have to purchase a couple of size 10 slip-ons. I was so heavy, I guess, that my feet flattened out.
Since giving birth to the girls three years ago, I've gone back to wearing all of my size 9 shoes. I have so many pairs! And they're so cute! But, hoo boy, do they hurt. Especially the dress shoes. I finally admitted the truth to myself this past Sunday after church: I'm going to have to start buying shoes in 9-1/2. My strappy sandals are just too uncomfortably snug.
So it was off to the mall to try on shoes.
All of the black shoes were either ridiculously high-heeled, too trendy, or old-ladyish. Where'd the classic black pumps go? I ended up buying some boots to wear with my slacks. Er, trousers. Dress pants? What do you call those things I wear out to dinner that aren't jeans?
Big, black boots. They're the new strappy sandal.
Dinner last night: chicken pot pie