FITTING ROOM NIGHTMARE
By the time you hit 40, you’re pretty clear on what suits you. You know to avoid the shop hangers dripping with flesh-eating leather leggings and the spandex vests that cling like a limpet to each body outline. It’s clear that a gentle V neck jumper will disguise your EE bust, flowing fabric will waft over the post-baby stomach and you’ve long replaced the suicidal stilettos for ‘sensible’ footwear that avoids you splaying down the staircase when you’re late for work.
So why don’t all clothing shop assistants get this too?
You’ve gone into the change room with the maximum number of garments, received the plastic deli ticket and the first discovery is no damned mirror supplied in the cubicle. It’s brutal. You’ve got to try on the outfit, then parade your chosen item in the public arena to check it fits.
Of course it never fits. It’s two sizes too small, the zip you forced over your rolls is biting into your flesh and you can’t even do the button up on the cuff because your tuckshop arms are gravity-forcing your arms to widen around the wrists.
Then the shop assistant approaches. “That looks stunning on you, it is just your colour.”
“I don’t think it’s right.”
“It’s perfect. You just need a belt to finish it off.”
In front of the growing retail audience the shop assistant proceeds to girth you like a horse, pulling bits of fabric over a belt she’s had to wrench to reach the loosest notch. She stands back again and lets out a sigh of admiration. “That is gorgeous. The belt’s made all the difference.”
“I’m not sure. Do you have it in a bigger size?”
“Well I’m not sure if this designer goes higher, but I can check.” She swishes her hair over her Size 6 shoulder and sets off on her quest. You retreat to the security of the cubicle cursing that the curtain still leaves a gap when you pull it closed.
She pushes the replacement through the curtain. Seconds pass as you struggle to pull the new one over your head.
“How’s that?” she calls through the curtain.
“I’m not quite in it yet.”
“Would you like some help with the zipper?”
“No,” you yelp.
“I’ve got a brown jacket that might look good with it.”
“No thank you.”
“It comes in green too.”
It’s too much. You grasp at the baggy tracksuit you’ve lived in for a year and scoop up the pile of rejects.
“I’m sorry, I don’t think any of these seem to work.”
She doesn’t hear. She’s turned already to the beautiful woman blessed with the model’s body who has just chosen two complete suits without needing to try them on.
You exit the shop and cross the road to the Krispy Kreme outlet. That donut is the best fit of all.