Perhaps it's best to begin with Mom, who sent me an early birthday gift with the explicit instructions to go shopping for new summer clothing. No, Mom can't afford to send me money, but she did and wouldn't take "no" for an answer, therefore I set out to do as she asked.
First, on Saturday, I went to get a haircut because my mane is way overgrown and resembles something like a worn out mop with weirdly cut bangs. (Hey, I got sick of them and chopped them!) At best, I get my hair cut only once or twice per year, and because of that I used to "splurge" at a real salon and pay $35-40 plus tip. I figured, hey, for as little as I get it done, why not? That way I knew I had a good cut, they'd style it and I'd look awesome and my hair smelled great all day!
Well, given my financial situation, I gave up my salon "splurges" in favor of the cheap places. Fantastic Sam's did an OK job and I thought to go back to them. But while running errands on Saturday I happened to be directly across from Great Clips. Even though I swore I'd never go back there again, I decided to suck it up and go inside. Once there, I had to pay extra for the hair wash (ok fine), and decided on a whim to take off even MORE hair than I had planned initially. You see where this impulsiveness is going, don't you?
I hate it. I don't mind the length, but I've discovered my hair is now curly and it's terrible because I broke a rule a friend in my past laid down for me. I used to go to her for my cuts when she was at an Aveda Salon where she was trained. She told me to never let anyone, and she meant ANYONE touch my hair with those nasty layering shears (whatever they're called). She said my hair had to be layered with a scissors and the tool would wreck it.
She was right. It looks awful, won't do what I want and now I just look like a worn out mop with the frizzled edges cut off with a dagger of some sort. Although my bangs look better now.
Well, that's what you get for $20.00, I guess. (Interestingly enough I got a better cut for less at Fantastic Sam's, although it wasn't anywhere near salon quality). *sigh*
Oh vanity, my vanity!
Background info on what is to come....
A few weeks ago I went to the eye doctor for the first time in about 4 years because I received the notice to renew my driver's license. I have terrible vision and live in holy terror that I won't be able to pass the vision test, so I thought it best to stop in at the doc and pay for new glasses or contacts if needed. Coupled with eye strain of late, I was sure I was due for a new prescription. Over $100 later and no real update. Great. And I'm paying most of it, maybe all, out of pocket entirely without hope of reimbursement.
The good news is that instead of getting those nasty dilator drops on a really bright impossibly sunny day, I decided to go for the retinal scan, and that was the COOLEST thing ever! And the doc can see more, and now if I and murdered and disposed of in a weird way my remains can be identified by my retinal scan if my eyeballs are still intact. How awesome is that!?
But I digress....
One of the reasons for my slum-salon visit on Saturday, of course, was this big buildup for my visit to the DMV to renew my driver's license. I figured that if my photo is going to look horrible anyway, I really didn't have to have bad hair, too.
Joke's on me, I guess. Bad pic and worse hair than if I'd just gone in with my self-cut bangs and frizzed out barn mop.
Although I passed the eye test, no problem. *whew* !
Today, and Today Alone
My first stop today was the DMV to fulfill that dreaded task, then on to the rest of my list.
I'm not like other women: I hate shopping with a passion, but I knew I must obey my Mom especially given her sacrifice, so took myself to Kohl's with sincere hope of finding something.
Please allow me to be clear: I hate hate hate summer-wear shopping with a greater passion than at any other time of the year because the stuff on the racks is tiny, even the things with sleeves are not really sleeves, and, well, let's face it: clothing doesn't look good on me at all. I'm no fashion bug and if I were rich I'd hire a personal shopper/ private investigator because I'm sure even the highest end stores on the planet wouldn't have anything I could actually wear. In fact, I'm certain they'd forbid me to wear their for fear I might tell someone the name of the store and they'd lose all their business. Designers would flee from me in utter horror.
The only reason I wear clothes is that I'd look even worse without them and more than Designers would flee in terror. They might run then come back with harpoons and throw nets at me while calling me "Moby".
Meanwhile, back at the chain store....grabbing a few items of interest, certain they wouldn't fit but bound and determined to give my shopping experience the good ol' college try, I headed for the fitting room to try them on. Somewhere in the middle of my rejected and soon-to-be-rejected pile, a woman and her daughter came in and entered the stall next to mine.
I heard the daughter say, "Mom, you know that door has a handle."
The Mom: "And how many grimy dirty hands have touched that handle today alone?"
Daughter (pause) "Ew."
The Mom: "Yeah. Exactly."
In my growing irritation and crabbiness I had to bite down hard on my tongue to keep from saying aloud, "Gee, I wonder how many people have tried on these clothing items before we did? I sure hope everyone who comes here showers before trying on clothing, and hope they don't have mites or scabies or lice or syphilis..."
But I remained silent and rolled my eyes at the germophobe instead.
Dang it! Why do I feel so itchy all of a sudden?
So, having no luck at Kohl's, I was cranky and crabby and sad and wanted only to be home reading a book and avoiding people. So I went to Goodwill. It couldn't possibly be a worse experience, right? I had to find SOMETHING, and with my go-to place a bust I needed a shot in the dark.
Well, I did find a couple things at Goodwill and bought them, but they weren't the kind of things Mom had in mind, although they will be useful to me this summer and will probably impress my co-worker with my fashion prowess resulting from her artistic influence. That has limited scope, though, and is not going to pass the Mom-test.
(As an aside: Goodwill is the only place I've ever been where my charm doesn't earn me eye contact and a return in charm from the cashiers. They all behave as though they are working in a naughty store and are ashamed of themselves for working there and for the shoppers who come there. Having been in a naughty store, I can tell you those employees were much more "customer friendly" when they should have been avoiding eye contact at LEAST as enthusiastically as the people of Goodwill try to do. Just sayin'.)
So after failing once again to charm the mysteriously ashamed employees of Goodwill, [and seriously, even the DMV employees were more joyful and personable - isn't that an oxymoron?] I headed to the Library and nearly tripped on a boy heading back in from the bathroom, carrying a huge key and walking along in shoes at least two sizes too large for him. He scuttled (or galumphed?) past me through the door and I couldn't help but watch his gait in those big athletic shoes, wondering what his mother was thinking by providing shoes like that. He was going to wreck his knees!
Then I just shrugged. Hey! Who am I to judge? I just came from Goodwill with my own version of poorly-fitted clothing!
My last stop was the grocery store. For at least two weeks I've been craving a root beer float but without the ingredients, my hands were tied. I didn't feel like dealing with Dairy Queen, so I looked for a small container of vanilla ice cream. Nuthin'. Seriously the only vanilla I could find was in half-gallon and above! With a sigh I bought the cheap stuff and a small bottle of A&W and paid for that and the other items on my list.
Now I'm back at home, staring at a livingroom covered with cotton from the latest toy to have its innards removed by Apollo the foster dog. I'm looking at stacks of junk mail that needs to go away and old things that need to be shredded. I have a sink full of dirty dishes from the last thing I cooked yesterday morning before I rushed off to Mass and work.
Today, in spite of the fact it's my day off, thanks to my failed and hated shopping expedition, from which I have emerged only to have to explain to Mom that no amount of money in the world will provide a good photo of me well dressed for her, I'm crabby and sad and bitter and angry. Maybe now she'll take back the amount I didn't spend between Saturday and today, and give this up as a lost cause.
I think maybe it's time to put on my worn-out cross-trainers, put new batteries in my CD player, grab some tunes, and go for a long walk while daydreaming all sorts of adventures and impossibilities.