Yesterday was a looong day of shopping.
Which is unfortunate because 1) I actually really loathe shopping and 2) We had the girls (a.k.a. crazed maniacs recently released from the zoo) with us.
First stop was the Verizon store for new phones. My phone has literally been broken for months, but I’ve been too cheap to fix it or buy a new one. But because I’m flying to New York this weekend, so the time had come for me to bite the bullet and get a phone.
An internal war was waged a bit at the store as Ben and I struggled with the smartphone decision. Should we try to be cool for once in our lives and get the iphone? How about a cheaper Verizon version? Could we really shell out $60 a month for data and be ok with it?
After gazing longingly at the sleek and beautiful iphone 4, admiring the crystal clear streaming video, and proclaiming over the wondrous apps it contained, the cheap and practical side of me won out.
We went with the basic phones, but did up our cool factor by getting the most basic, 75 MB, $10 a month plan you can get. So at least, should the urge strike, I can check my email while I am grocery shopping. Cool mom, yes I am.
Next, came jean shopping for Ben, a once-a-year occurrence because the man hates shopping and furthermore, requires jeans from only a certain store that I never visit. *Coughprimadonnacough*
Finally, hours later, with two tired and cranky kids promised a trip to the mall play area, it was my turn to shop for the afore mentioned trip to New York. (In case you are wondering, I am going to New York to speech at a school, something I do as part of an awesome non-profit organization that works on promoting pregnant and parenting resources on college campuses. Holla.) I needed a confidence-boasting outfit that would minimize my spare tire, as the truth is, I dread public speaking.
The problem of course, is that I knew I was operating on a tight timeline. Ben took the girls to the play area as I tore through the first store I saw, piling outfit upon outfit on the unsuspecting saleswoman. In the filled-t0-the-brim dressing room, I hurried to undress and made the unfortunate mistake of catching my reflection in the mirror.
You know how when you’re at home, you can come up with all sorts of justifications as to why your reflection looks so awful? You know, like, oh, I’m just bloated from the burrito I ate last night? Or, this shirt just looks too small because I’m standing at this weird angle? Or, that cellulite is just a reflection?
The dressing room mirror gives no such mercies.
I saw myself in full and horrific glory.
Honestly, I’ve really avoided shopping after Mya was born. And there is a reason. Each and every dimple of cellulite stood out as if illuminated from the single florescent light above me; I had one of those darkish things on my leg like old women have; my stomach took on a life of its own, threatening to turn me into one of those overweight women, who should they need a c-section, actually have to have their fat stapled up to their shoulders so the doctor can get to them. And then, there were the things that I’m pretty sure used to be my boobs, the final insult that one is permanently bigger than the other, causing me to have the saggy, lopsided breasts of a ninety-year-old woman.
I’ve never been so depressed in my entire life.
Until that is, I tried on the first dress I picked out. Sure, it was a little snug, but it’s not like I couldn’t zip it up. I couldn’t breathe and my stomach pooched out like it was taking aim, but still, it was on.
The problem of course, came in trying to get it off.
The zipper became stuck at exactly halfway down. Just far enough that I could move the dress around, but still too far up for me to pull the dress down my cellulite, or up my granny parts.
I made heroic attempts to part with the dress. Up and down we danced around the dressing room, the fat cells protesting as I prayed and shoved against that stupid zipper.
10 minutes into it, sweat pouring down me, I took another look at myself in the mirror, this time, sobbing at the sight I thought couldn’t get any worse, now magnified times a hundred. And it was at this precise moment that my phone (my new phone!) rang.
“Chaunie? Where the heck are you? Mya pooped and she’s going crazy. We gotta get out of here.”
The sound of my poop-filled child’s screams reverberated through the airway as I looked at the diapers and wipes firmly lodged in my purse.
So I doubled my efforts. With no success. Desperation filled me as I tugged on the zipper, hearing that unmistakable sound of fabric ripping.
10 more minutes passed. My phone rang again.
“Where are you??”
“Ben, I am stuck in the dressing room! I am literally stuck in here, I can’t get my zipper down!”
Silence on the other end of the phone.
10 more minutes of struggle ensued before I threw in the towel. I attempted to make myself look more presentable, pulling my sweaty hair up, throwing on a tank top over my top half before I did the inevitable.
Timidly, with more mortification than I have ever experienced in my life, I stuck my head out and called out the saleswoman, “Um, excuse me? Would you mind helping me? I’ve been stuck in the dress for half an hour…the zipper seems to be broken.”
More than willing to help me, she crowded into my full dressing room and did the ol’ up/down zipper move to try to get it unstuck. Puh-lease. Did she think I had stood in there for thirty minutes without trying that?
“Hmmmm,” she said, “Wow, that is really stuck. You know what?” leaning in closer to examine the zipper, “Actually the zipper itself is broken….hold on.”
I braced myself as she pulled on both sides of the fabric with all of her might, busting the zipper with her hands like a sumo wrestler, the little pieces ricocheting off the walls like missiles.
I slinked out of the dressing room and thanked her, my face burning with shame.
“I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life, thank you for your help,” I blurted it out.
“Oh, no problem,” she said with a toss of her perfectly-coiffed head, “Actually, I thought it was pretty funny.”
My thoughts exactly.