I don't know whose bright idea it was to install tanning-bed grade lights in dressing rooms, but we all feel the heat of them. It's uncanny the number of times I've found myself in a 2x2 ft cell of a dressing room, in the undressing process with an article of clothing awkwardly stuck on top of my head, with my arms still in the sleeves forced into a completely stiff upward arm posture, rendering me completely helpless. And as if the claustrophobia of wondering if I was ever going to get out of this shirt wasn't enough, my every move is being highlighted by the multiple light bulbs tracking me from the ceiling. And assuming some perv isn't watching the cameras as I put on this completely involuntary show, the spotlighting serves no purpose other than to make it so I have sweat threatening from every pore just waiting to turn me into the likes of a drenched, hairy, over-weight 40 year old man. All of this exertion and heat just to get a shirt/dress off of my body.
It's awkward. Frustrating. And stinky.
Maybe this is why I don't love shopping.
Or maybe this is why I'm converting to internet shopping where I then turn my own bedroom into a dressing room. And call me old-fashioned, but we stick with the 60 watt bulbs in our house and I'll have you know they don't cause unnecessary sweating.
And speaking of sweating, I got roped in to a regular sweat session. I was out boot shopping a couple of months ago when my dissatisfied eyes found refuge as their gaze landed on a pair of brown boots. I immediately asked the clerk to fetch my size, por favor. He returned and handed me one boot, and then the other. I sat down and started to slide the boot on. A boot that had the most beautiful distressing. I was soaking in my infatuation when-- the boot just stopped. The sliding was done. I started doing the wiggling and wriggling, trying to get my heel in. I looked at the sales associate who kinda smiled and was all, "Yea they're hard to get on at first but after like a month they loosen up." So I kept wriggling and turning, hoping this boot didn't combust right in front of my face, and more importantly the sales guy's, leaving me with a fat tab and no boot.
But after relentless determination, it was on. And just as I had guessed.....they were perfection. Like gorgeous. Like the exact pair I didn't know I was looking for. Fate has a way of working itself out like that. And so I broke the cardinal rule- I bought them even though they were a total pain to put on. Like a 7 minute pain. And who's got 7 minutes to put on shoes? Certainly not the girl who tries to get ready in 15 minutes. But I'm trying to change my ways, ya'll. So I marched my booty up to the cash register sent Yosh to buy them. Without looking
at the price tag. Because sometimes you can't let price sway you, right? At least says the naive shopper. After all, perfection is perfection, and I wouldn't suggest trying to put a price on that.
But-- buuuuut... if I were to try, perfection in the form of boots comes in at about a $$$$ rating.
And if them being perfectly gorgeous wasn't reason enough to wear them, paying that price tag would guarantee they found their way to my feet more often than not. And anyways, like the sales guy said, I could always put a plastic grocery bag in my boot as I was putting the boot on and simultaneously pull out the bag as I was pushing down my foot to get a good, sliding motion to rush the process. After all, that's what his grandpa did to get his cowboy boots on. And if that didn't work, I'm sure I could sell them to a legit cowboy for a pretty penny.
Now fast-forward a few weeks when one of the BFFs sicced the Wardrobe Curator on me. "Happy Birthday, Gay! 4 months late, of course. I hired someone to tell you that your closet sucks and you should throw at least half of it away."
To be fair, that's not really what she said. But, despite exact words and what she knew or didn't know....
that's what she was saying. So two hours later, my closet housed a pile as tall as Dallin B, filled with misfitting shirts, saggy-crotch pants that should've been returned promptly upon purchasing them, t-shirts with holes that did nothing more than fill my closet. Now let's be honest, it was no news to me that these specific articles of clothing belonged in that pile. But sometimes I prefer to live in denial purely out of laziness. I'm not a huge fan of making more work for myself.
So out went the huge pile, leaving me with a very skinny closet. Which, FYI, does tons for my minimalistic soul. Despite that fact, the Curator informed me of the gaps in my "wardrobe" and...I was off, armed with a solid fattening up list.
me and The Curator
You have to know that as I was getting ready to go shopping, I was still kind of on a high from this purging process and I was all kinds of amped up to start dressing better, i.e.: not wear workout clothes, and was wanting to impress the Curator, so with all this feeding of false supernatural ambition into my veins, I fell for it. I put on my perfect boots with my skinnies, knowing that the thought of taking them off and putting them back on again would discourage me from trying on a single thing that required their removal. See, these are the pickles that expensive, non-efficient purchases get you in to. Yet, I still consciously chose to wear them, committing to try go through the 7 minute wrestle at the expense of trying on whatever I wanted. After all, wasn't that the deal I had made when I bought them?
And with that self-made pinky promise, I made my way over to Nordstrom Rack, filled up my dressing room, took the boots off and got to work, going through those clothes, one hanger at a time. I lived up to my commitment and tried on everything I would have wanted to try on had I worn flip-flops, the smartest shopping shoe ever. After making my selections, I couldn't put off the task of getting those boots on any longer. It was time. And I was ready, as I had prepared for this moment. But there was one factor I hadn't considered. That had slipped my mind in a moment of weakness, of unwarranted excitement. I had forgotten about....the dreaded tanning bed lights under which I would be performing this girl vs boots wrestling match. My two nemesis tag-teaming to take me down.
Now, make no mistake, this is no small detail. This is the difference between being forced home to take an immediate shower or being able to continue on in public venues to complete my errands. Remember, we're talking 40-year-old fat man sweat here. I'm not about to be roaming around the city looking, better yet feeling, like that. Huh uh.
But one thing you should know about me...I can't be outsmarted that easily. You're gonna have to throw me a bigger curve than that. And that's when I decided that this wrestle was going to have take place...topless. That's right. No shirts allowed. Nothing allowed to cover my most at-risk body part, aka the arm pits. All in the name of winning, ya'll. I wasn't going to be taken down by those boots or those lights. So off went the shirt and thus started round one. Where I started on the little corner bench. And was quickly brought to my feet, for a one-legged hopping jaunt. Before I returned to the bench for some more wiggling and wriggling, followed by some stomping and twisting. I'm telling you, a full cardio workout. But on came the left one, the more stubborn of the two by a long shot. A milder round two resumed before the right one was on. I stood up, did a two-armed fanning motion to make sure the pits were nice and aired out before I threw my shirt back on and walked out of that dressing room, leaving my identity of boot wrestler behind the slammed door. My shirt exposed no proof of the struggle, not donning a single sweat mark.
Schooled them. The boots and the tanning lights.
ALl night long, baby.
All. Night. Long.
So you can sleep easy tonight, I'll have you know that we are down to about a 30 second wrestling match to get the boots on. All in good time, my friend.