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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Predictable Patrons of the Ladies Dressing Room.

Although I’ve never worked in retail, I’ve noticed a growing number of the women’s dressing room population falling into one of the below categories:


The Compliment Fisher. It may be safe to say she frequents public dressing room areas when in dire need of a confidence boost. By the dressing room AREA, I mean just that. She’s not confined to the tiny, enclosed personal room. No, she walks down the open area toward the full size mirror at the end, innocently complaining to unassuming strangers. “That dress looks cute on you,” they say. But that’s not enough for the Compliment Fisher. Perhaps she wants to hear that her hair looks smooth and healthy, her skin looks glowing and radiant, her eyes are an incredible color that others only dream of having. This feat is difficult to accomplish considering she’s merely trying on a sale rack shirt, but she’ll stand scowling in the large mirror for full minutes at a time until her subtle eye contact with strangers entices them to praise her.


The “I’m Fat” Girl. Similar to the Compliment Fisher in that she voices her insecurities, but avoids all flaws other than her weight. Because really, no one can even see beyond her fat rolls to notice her too-pale skin. The “I’m Fat” Girl has countless areas on her 92 lb body she really wishes would stop bulging. Her stomach, her cheeks, her arms…sometimes her knees look too big in dresses. She’s tried every diet, she claims, but nothing has helped slim down her thighs. “It’s a shame to have such awful genetics,” she whimpers as she slinks out of the dressing room in jeans I may have only been able to fit in when I was 13.


The Mother/Daughter Duo. Oh yes, a classic. This loving pair’s dressing room visit involves both parties aggressively persuading the other to accept her savvy fashion sense. The daughter never “knows what looks best”, and the mother “just never understands her, like, ever.” Both tend to leave the fitting room empty-handed and exasperated (as is the rest of the dressing room community).


The (ahem) Confused Woman, aka The “Larger” Woman Who Thinks She’s Thin. The easiest fitting room specimen to identify. This particular spandex-suffocated dressing room inhabitant promenades into the room with an armful of clothes that point to her being culprit of robbing her twelve-year-old daughter’s Miley Cyrus wardrobe. The fitting room attendant mentions inconspicuously that she’d be glad to help the thief-in-question find other sizes if needed. Yet, somehow, the hefty woman manages to smash her legs through unyielding denim, and then tucks the rest of herself in enough to button up the top. She can’t exhale without the button threatening to rip off and shatter the mirror in front of her, but that’s manageable. Besides, the little hearts on the back pockets of Juicy Couture’s new jeans look great. No one would ever know she’s 53.


The Agreeable Friend. A common companion in the dressing room. She raves about every shirt, every pair of pants, EVERY frock her friend tries on. Like a loyal dog, she waits in the dressing room for hours to babble on and on, rattling off lists of compliments. “Oh, your eyes look great!” “What a cute skirt! The stretched out look is really in right now.” “No, it’s okay, those jeans don’t even need to button! You look amazing!” Supportive friend or enemy with a dark agenda? An unsolved mystery of the dressing room.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

xO.

V-day had more of a "D-day" ring to it the past few Februarys as I prepared myself to lose my best friends to their significant others for the day, and direct my efforts to avoiding the awkard just-happens-to-be-Valentine's Day-but-let's-hang-out dates. Which was fine, as long as roommates brought me back some chocolate or cookies ("Do you know how many calories are in that?" is an effective line).

Anyway, just wanted to share my favorite passage from POSSIBLY my favorite essay by my UNDOUBTEDLY favorite writer, Mr. Ralph Waldo. Emerson's description of love will forever be unparalled by any stupid movie or Nicholas Sparks book.

Whatever your relationship status, Emerson will speak to you. Promise.

From his essay, "Love."

"I have been told, that in some public discourses of mine my reverence for the intellect has made me unjustly cold to the personal relations. But now I almost shrink at the remembrance of such disparaging words. For persons are love's world, and the coldest philosopher cannot recount the debt of the young soul wandering here in nature to the power of love, without being tempted to unsay, as treasonable to nature, aught derogatory to the social instincts. For, though the celestial rapture falling out of heaven seizes only upon those of tender age, and although a beauty overpowering all analysis or comparison, and putting us quite beside ourselves, we can seldom see after thirty years, yet the remembrance of these visions outlasts all other remembrances, and is a wreath of flowers on the oldest brows. But here is a strange fact; it may seem to many men, in revising their experience, that they have no fairer page in their life's book than the delicious memory of some passages wherein affection contrived to give a witchcraft surpassing the deep attraction of its own truth to a parcel of accidental and trivial circumstances. In looking backward, they may find that several things which were not the charm have more reality to this groping memory than the charm itself which embalmed them. But be our experience in particulars what it may, no man ever forgot the visitations of that power to his heart and brain, which created all things new; which was the dawn in him of music, poetry, and art; which made the face of nature radiant with purple light, the morning and the night varied enchantments; when a single tone of one voice could make the heart bound; when he became all eye when one was present, and all memory when one was gone; when the youth becomes a watcher of windows, and studious of a glove, a veil, a ribbon, or the wheels of a carriage; when no place is too solitary, and none too silent, for him who has richer company and sweeter conversation in his new thoughts, than any old friends, though best and purest, can give him; for the figures, the motions, the words of the beloved object are not like other images written in water, but, as Plutarch said, "enamelled in fire," and make the study of midnight. "