Golly, I'm REALLY out of practice buying clothing. For so many years I've been getting things specially made, or ordering things, that I've forgotten what it's like to really go out and SHOP. I envy the women -- esentially ALL women, give or take -- who can just wander from store to store and try things on. I could do that too, but it would mean bringing all the "accessories," and even so I wouldn't look "right."
Shoes are the worst, because they're expensive and if they don't fit...well, you're screwed. Today I went to Fairview Park Mall to look for tan fishnets and houndstooth shoes (as part of my "Scare The Bullies at Abstract" plan for tonight). I came up empty on both counts but I did find myself staring at three extremely cute pairs of shoes at "Spring," and I was instantly confronted by a salesperson.
In shoe stores I tend to just buy the size 10s. Rarely do I go wrong, though to buy a shoe without trying it on is virtually unheard of. So if the saleslady isn't insistant, I'll bite the bullet and buy size 10s...but if she is basically forcing me to try them on -- to be nice, or to just treat me like any other customer -- I'll go along with it, though this is weird in a store packed full of 14 year old girls.
So there I was with my leopard-print heels, blushing and taking a few steps while the salespeople smiled encouragingly, with a thousand small eyes on me. And wouldn't you know it, only the size 11s fit.
Why don't I like this situation? Because I don't like to confuse salespeople, and I don't like being in "1/10th drag" in public (I have nightmares about that), and as I get older I get more anxious to avoid these situations. But I got a good pair of shoes regardless, and managed to replenish my collection of cheap black/white/red earrings. And the saleslady was very sweet and acknowledged that -- yes -- houndstooth shoes are in short supply.
The other frightening thing about Fairview Park Mall is the bus ride. Sometimes the person next to you will insist on telling you about their glory days at the Coronet, and yeah it was a rough place full of bikers but if you knew the rules you wouldn't get beaten up. Or you'll get a nice old lady who wants to tell you about her grandchildren. Those types of people are all okay, but sometimes you'll get the crazy people -- or simply be SURROUNDED by the crazy people -- because both downtown Kitchener and Fairview Park Mall are most visibly populated by the adult offspring of crack addicts.
All this explains why I avoid that mall -- and the bus ride there -- at all costs.