I decided to take a stroll around the mall after getting my hair cut last week. The booth where they were tweezing people’s eyebrows by wrapping pieces of string around each hair was particularly fascinating. I don’t go to the mall that much and it’s always funny to be reminded that there are so many retailers that manage to eke out a living despite the fact that I’ve never heard of them. However, I had heard of Forever 21 from a friend who says their bargain-priced knock-offs of the latest styles are her guiltiest pleasure, even if they are somewhat cheaply constructed. You get what you pay for. As I was passing their glass display windows I had to tell myself, “Hey, PQ, you could go in there and shop now and the sales ladies won’t give you furtive judgmental glares and wonder what a fat ass like you is doing in their store. You don’t really have a fat ass anymore.” Then I thought, “Self, you are totally right. Even though the thought of shopping at a store called Forever 21 makes me feel somewhat ridiculous (though not as much as a store called Dress Barn) I shall look at their clothes (even though 21 wasn’t a particularly great age for me and I would much prefer to be Forever 26). I will do it just because I can.”
So in I went and it was fun looking at all their dresses and blouses and thinking, “I could buy this and wear it if I had any money! How much can you get for blood plasma these days? Is their a blood bank in the mall? If not, there’s empty store space in the E wing!” I think I might be at a point where I could even wear their pants too. Wobbling around 180 pounds these past few months has been a bit annoying, but it has saved me from buying new jeans. The size 14 Venezia jeans from Lane Bryant I wear are starting to look a bit baggy, so I need to either gain back some weight or go buy new jeans. I’m opting for the latter. I’m not really looking forward to it though because Venezia jeans always fit me pretty well. Now I will have to go try on different brands of jeans at other stores until I find a style that is cut to flatter me. Even though I often resented the fact that I could only shop at Lane Bryant, it did make shopping easier because I just picked what was available in their shop and I was done. I prefer having more choices, but with that comes its own set of annoyances. See, even thin-ish people have problems.
I left the Forever 21 and also checked out The Express. I spent so many years wishing I could walk into these stores and shop without fear, but the funny thing is I was disappointed by how cheaply constructed most of their clothes were. The fabrics weren’t calling out to be fondled and I doubted the T-shirts would last that many rides in the dryer before disintegrating into the lint filter. I always assumed the stores that sold misses sized clothing were like Valhalla, minus the Vikings and beer. But they are just stores, and while I’m sure there are other stores that sell quality made clothing, some of them sell cheap crap that maybe aren’t worth all the idolizing I used to focus on them. Now I can buy cheap crap too! It’s like meeting your favorite band and finding out they’re assholes. But I will shop at more stores and hopefully I will find out that one of my favorite bands is even cooler than I thought they were.