Today I was on a mission. A shopping mission. A mission to find the most perfect outfit to wear to my dh's company holiday party on Saturday.
[Yes, some of you may have noticed that I tend to do all my shopping only a few days before the event I need to wear the clothes to. Life would be too boring if I could plan ahead and get out with more time to spare. ]
So off to the mall I head, with all three children with me. Yes, a baby in the stroller, a 4 year old and a 7 year old. They came with because they needed some clothes as well. Okay, that's a lie. They came with because I couldn't get a babysitter and I wanted to go shopping soon in case it was hard to find something.
So off we set to the mall. We met my mom there, ate lunch and bought clothes for the children. It was all good. Then I announced we would be looking for some mommy clothes. All of a sudden the 4 year old was "too tired to walk anymore". The 7 year old was "hungry". And the baby who had been peacefully napping in his stroller awoke with a start.
But I was insistent that everyone shape up because we were shopping no matter what! Tiredness, hunger, wanting to climb out of the stroller and run free around the mall - those things would not stop this mission.
So we visited Gap. They had nothing that remotely fit the description of what I wanted. I didn't want formal, but I didn't want jeans and t-shirts.
Next stop Express. They have nice trendy items in their store. In high school I shopped Express a lot, so I thought it would be worth a shot. I picked out a few tops and tried them on. That's when trouble hit. A sales rep offered to help me. Poor thing. Didn't know what she was getting into. About a dozen tops and 3 pants later she asked another sales rep to help me out. What exactly does that mean when the sales rep passes you off to someone else? She said it was because the pants weren't fitting me properly and she didn't know which size to put me in. I think it was because she was tired of hearing me say "It doens't fit" or "Not my style" or "It looked awful on me!" Sadly, she agreed with a few of my it looks awful assessments.
So along came sales rep number 2. She brought me a few tops and a pair of pants. Told me I'd probably need any pants hemmed since they were all too long (yes, I am short). Then asked me if I had to wear pants. "Why no. Actually, I prefer skirts to pants anyway." Oh. No one ever asked and I forgot to mention that before then apparently. So away she went again and came back with a bunch of outfits.
Now - during all this trying on and taking off of clothes, my oldest danced around the entire store. My 4 year old asked if htey had any clothes she could try on. My baby almost feel out of the stroller, attempted to wipe snot on all the black pants I was trying on, crawled out of the dressing room under the door when I was mostly naked, 2 of the kids had cried, I nursed babyboy once, my 7 year old loudly announced that one shirt made me look really fat and another one showed too much of my boobs and basically felt like I was loosing my mind.
And then she came with a whole nother round of clothes to try on. I instantly pulled out a few outfits that would require strapless bras - which do not IMO work when you want to discreetly nurse in public. And was about to tell her thank you for trying but I give up and I will take my loud children who are wandering around your store with me before one of you kick me out for good, when I noticed an outfit in her hand that I decided I needed to try on. So I calmly turned the children and said "I will only try on one more thing. If it doens't work we will go home right now. Please, just be patient while I try on one more thing." and took it out of her hands.
I tried it on - a tank top, a shirt over it, a suit jacket, and a simple black skirt. Eh. Remove suit jacket. Hey now. Oh. I like this! Ask 7 year old - she liked it. Ask 4 year old - she liked it. Look in mirror again. I liked it.
Sales rep comes back and I tell her I love it (yes, in a mere minute I went from liking it to loving it). However, I don't like the jacket with it. That it's just not "me" but I love it without the jacket. She nodded, but had that look that said she didn't think I was making a wise decision.
Then I checked the skirt price. Yeah. I lied. I told the sales rep "and to top it off, I have a black skirt at home very similar to this that will look fabulous with the top!" She was excited about that.
So I took my tank top and shirt up to the register. I apologized for the kids being loud, for trying on so much and buying so little, and came home with a smile on my face.
My dh actually also loves the shirt, which is good. Sometimes I love something and bring it home, and he hates it.
But then I realized. I don't really have a black skirt here. Oh. Guess I'll have to fix that by Saturday at 3 pm ... but I won't pay 70 bucks for whatever black skirt I wear. No way. I may want to look good, but I am still cheap deep down inside!