Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nightmare in Target

I went with Anna to Target today (whoa! big surprise there!), because her very existence depended on her finding something new to wear and my very existence depended on my tracking down a certain skirt I spotted on Big Mama's Fashion Friday - a skirt that would actually reach almost mid-calf. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't think most women in their forties look too good in skirts that show their knees, or that wrinkled skin above the knees, or (heaven forbid) their thighs. Just sayin'...

So, anyway, I found the skirt (miracles never cease, and if you go looking for it, please note that the sizes are way off - size down) and headed for the dressing room, where the old ladies in charge look at me suspiciously every single time I walk in there with (gasp!) clothing to try on. Entering my little cubicle (it's time to start the scary music now), I did not realize, as I prepared to try on the Skirt of Wonders, that there were 2 (count them, 2) full-length mirrors in the room, facing each other. (Crescendo)

Folks, I believe this room would be perfect for concerned relatives to hold Weight Watchers interventions for family fatties. I was treated to a full, uncensored view of the backs of my legs and butt (and boy, am I grateful for this blog's "no-photo" policy); 6 pregnancies have not been kind to the veins in my legs (to put it very mildly), and apparently, no one has notified the backs of my thighs that I am near my goal weight. In desperation (and avoidance), I moved my eyes upward for relief and saw the backs of my arms - only, they weren't my arms, they were some old lady's arms. If I hadn't been half-naked, I would have run out of there screaming at that point.

Where did all those folds of skin above my elbows come from? Was there some sort of exercise I was supposed to be doing all these years to prevent those? Why didn't somebody tell me?

The skirt looked nice, though. Thank goodness for clothes - it is beyond me why anyone would want to live in a nudist colony. Oh, and you ladies know that trick where you sort of pull the skin up on your thighs to see if you'd look better with a little liposuction? It makes the veins stand out more.

At that point, if I hadn't had my new haircut to save some tattered shreds of my self-esteem, impaling myself on one of those cheap plastic hangers would probably have seemed like a good idea....

I would like to stop discussing this now. Instead, I will wonder why, when David and I finally visited our (grossly neglected) community garden plot yesterday evening and discovered a veritable jungle of weeds, the words "poison ivy" never popped into my head. Because I am certainly thinking them now, as I sit up at 4 AM, blogging and trying to ignore the way my forearms are itching. I'm not sure weeding that plot by hand will be the way to go this year. I'm thinking a flamethrower may be a reasonable alternative. That is, after we subdue the growth a bit with a (long-handled) machete. And some napalm...


  1. Well, I guess the good news is that you got to size DOWN! And even if it might be a sizing trick from the clothing industry. . . a smaller number is a smaller number!

    I'll take happiness however I can, because I know all too well about those double mirrors in Target dressing rooms.

    God bless.

  2. I swear they do something with the lighting and those mirrors that make you look WAY worse than you do in a mirror at home! When I see my thighs in the dressing room mirror, I can't fathom why I would ever wear a swimsuit, skirted or not. At home, in the clear light of day, not so frightening, though admittedly a long way from my teens. Is it me?

    I have always thought, no face lift for me...but if they come out with a thigh lift, I'm in!

  3. Oh, yea, Shortman AND Mr. Hot both had poison ivy last year from that sneaky stuff.

  4. Poison ivy is awful! But even worse is those mirror in Target dressing room. And the harsh lighting, creating shadows, accentuates the backs of my thighs and butt making everything look like a ski run of moguls sized for Polly pocket dolls.

  5. jenn - Believe me, I hadn't planned to. It was that second mirror that caught me unawares.

    anonymous - I did die about a thousand deaths thinking about how I must have looked in my skirted swimsuit last year. I think I'll go for the wetsuit look this summer.

    bia - I can always count on you to find the bright side.

  6. I cant find clothes to look good for the life of me, but if someone gives me hand me downs, they always fit great. Not sure why.

  7. I do see my mom's hands when I look down at my own. I loved my mother's hands dearly (because I loved her dearly) so I don't mind. Now, even though I loved my grandmother dearly, I'm still dreading the day I look down and see age spots (liver spots?) on my hands.

  8. I hate Target. I am a Wal-mart lady myself.

    Poison Ivy. Whoo hoo, what fun. I remember when I got poison ivy on onehalf of my face. Seriously there was a line, right down the middle of my face. Dont know where I got it, or how I got it. But I did.

    Then the time when I had it on my hand, and didn't know it, and was working in the yard, and scratched my um.. Ahem, my boobs. That was extra fun. I spread it all over my boobs, and when I had surgery later that week, I had to explain it.

    You got some goodies on my blog. Come check it out :)

  9. My favorite is when they don't have any mirrors in your personal dressing room but you actually have to leave your dressing room to use a common mirror. Yes, way fun.

    Glad you found the skirt!

  10. I hate to hear how unhappy you were with the reflection, as I come to terms with the fact that I've seriously neglected my body for far too long and realize that I need to do a major intervention with myself.

    I bet you look fantastic.

  11. mamma bird - Yes, public humiliation really rocks!

  12. I bought the exact same skirt this last week. It was so cute I got it all the colors. You're right, size down. Even then, there's still room to shrink in a dryer... or eat a great big meal which is far more fun.

    Sorry about the poison ivy. Somehow I think you will find the humor in it and I am looking forward to your next update.

    Until then, happy scratching!

  13. Old Navy has the same twisted mirror system.

    I'm still recovering from my shopping trip yesterday.

  14. From the Department of "It Could Be Worse" --

    (1) At least you didn't have Anna in the dressing room to comment on your butt, thighs and veins.

    (2) At least you're not pregnant. Whatever is so toxic in poison ivy reacts with extra virulence to HCG. No, I'm not kidding, and yes, I'm speaking from experience.

  15. I HATE dressing rooms. They always, without fail, make you look worse. That's why I never use them. I just try them on right there in the aisle.

  16. You now know the reason why I don't buy new clothes or grow a garden.

  17. Ha! Double mirrors are evil. Or maybe it's reality that's evil. One of those.

    There is an awesome double-shower in the house we're renting, but it's right by a full-length mirror, so when you are showering, if you turn around, you have to look at yourself, naked in a full-length mirror. I'm not sure what they were thinking, but it is NOT erotic. At all. Ugh.

  18. For me, the worst place is the beauty parlor, where I remember I should have had my tooth bleached, should get my lip waxed, need to drop 30 pounds and haven't put on make up's like instant uglification as I sit waiting for the man to cut my hair.

  19. Even we skinny mamas sag and droop, post baby --or babies! The Matron weighs a miniscule amount and wears a size 2. Still. Because her breasts have shrunken into two small acorns, her tummy is bigger than her boobs. Last night, her five year old said: "You look pregnant."

  20. Oh I HATE trying on clothes and looking in the mirror. Mirrors are just no fun at all. Especially when looking at pale winter skin.

  21. melissa - Well, my pale legs are rather colorful, what with all those blue and purple veins on them...

    minnesota matron - size 2? I think I may have to stop reading your blog. Nothing personal.

    sherrytex - I so understand this.

  22. I discovered my elbow wrinkles no long ago. What the hell?

    It's been years since I've either encountered or had a reaction to poison ivy. But I remember some really bad episodes with it. You have my sympathy.

  23. Oh my gosh, I can totally relate. Target dressing rooms are the worst. Although at least you don't have some sort of internal magnet that attracts throngs of 18-year-old supermodels to whatever dressing room you are in. This happens to me every time.

    BTW, did you ever see this post by Simcha (who has seven kids)? It reminds me of this one. Hilarious.

  24. You have my admiration. I've never been brave enough to try on anything in Target. I bring it home and wait until I'm the only one home.

    Thanks for writing such a fun entry! I had to wipe away the tears of laughter! I could relate a little too well, I believe! :)