Can’t buy me love…
…but you can buy me smaller clothes.
Gone are the days of wearing big men’s size 72 pants and 6XL shirts, or woman’s plus size 36 with fabric designs that would make your grandma’s 1970’s drapes cringe. Today I went shopping and you will be pleased to know that no drape like items were purchased.
I am well aware of how important it is to spend time with my mom, I am committed to making memories with her that I will cherish as she grows older and hopefully I have grown wiser, learning from losing my Dad at a young age that you can’t get the time back once it’s in your rear view mirror, and today was spent making a great memory. The sun was out and it was unusually warm for the first day of December, the perfect day for a shopping adventure to look for a dressy winter coat.
First stop was Layne Bryant, I had a stellar coupon so I thought I would give it a whirl, and while perusing the racks there was a very limited selection of coats, and just one style that was close to what I was looking for, and I almost slipped into my old mindset of well it fits you should buy it. Then my wise mother said “Let’s walk down and check out Dillard’s for a coat”. Hmm I can’t say that I thought much about that option but I was grateful for the suggestion. Looking around the store on the way out I did find a great black velvet jacket that I loved, so the coupon went to good use! Before heading down to Dillards we would stop at Eddie Bauer, a store that I love and if you will remember it’s the store that my amazing co-workers at the Cincinnati Opera presented me a gift certificate for at the end of the 1st year of the dog-lbs project. I walked in, and turned left heading to the men’s area but quickly changed course, as I don’t have to shop there anymore. I looked at a few ladies sweaters that I liked, and at the bottom of each stack I pulled out a xxl, holding them each up I had my doubts and it must have shown on my face because my mom said “go try them on, go on”, so being a good daughter I headed toward the dressing room where a very nice lady helped me out. I put the first on and it fit….it fit really well. I thought maybe it was just a fluke, maybe that one was made bigger for some reason. I slipped on the other one and it fit too! Hmm maybe they both happened to be made bigge….shut up Lori, I thought to myself.
I pranced around looking in the mirror, laughing at how happy I felt standing in the dressing room of that store feeling like Christmas morning had already arrived. I proudly took my purchases to the counter and walked out of the store feeling like a million bucks. We headed to Dillards and making our way through the crowds and up the escalator not too sure where the coat area was, we asked an employee if she could tell us which direction to head. “C,mon, I’ll take you there myself” we followed her brisk pace dodging shoppers and baby strollers until we reached the coat lined racks. “Thank you so much”, I replied. “Oh, I am not going anywhere child, give me your bags let’s put them behind the register and let’s find you a coat” she said.
Ohhhh, I get it. Well hello to you nice lady who is meant to walk with me on this part of the linoleum tiled department store path. I am telling you this was not an accident., and she may or may not have been a coat angel but she was the person who was going to give me the experience I was about to have. She handed me the first coat, a ash grey pea coat that I liked very much it was a size 24 and I was leery this was going to even go around me …as I was buttoning it up. Hmm. Okay, well that fits. I walk to the mirror and decide I will take it. I should have known the decision was not mine, not really. The lesson had not been learned quite yet.
She hands me a different coat, then another I try on several until I spot one that I really like. The sales lady grabs a coat off the rack, here try this one on. I look at the label….size 22, my heart sinks as I know there is no way I am going to be able to button up a size 22 coat. I stand there holding the coat, looking at the number. “Well?” two sets of eyes are upon me as this powerhouse of no nonsense stands next to my sweet mother waiting. I swallow hard and put one arm through, then the other, it does not feel tight. I find myself shaking my head as I button it up. It fits, perfectly. The smile on my face said it all, and it is clear we have a winner.
It was more than a shopping spree, for me it was freedom. Seeing my mom with tears in her eyes looking at me with such love and pride is a priceless memory, a gift that does not come wrapped in red santa paper with a big bow left under the tree, but rather a timeless gift of hope for the days when I am feeling lost.
I can’t wait to wear my coat….. tomorrow’s high….62. I will gladly wait.
Here are a few pics….more to come of me in the coat, I tried to take one of myself and sadly it was just a black blurr with buttons!