Retail Therapy… A contradiction in terms, perhaps?

Posted on: 16/02/2011

So, today for the first time in about two years, I got out shopping.  Not for anyone else.  Just for me.  Usually I resort to ordering online, but an upcoming party outfit required a certain type of bra, and where bras are concerned you do kind of need to check your fit if you are anything larger than a C cup… (it’s been nearly two decades since that letter appeared anywhere in my bra size).  So a trip to the nearest significant metropolis – or perhaps I should say mall-opolis – ensued.

I had smallest one with me.  Thankfully she had her halo on all day, and the buggy handles came in extremely useful as my bagged delights started to stack up.

Now it’s been about eighteen months since I’ve worn anything except a maternity or nursing bra.  They tend to be a bit ambiguous size-wise, since you can be ’empty’ one moment and ‘bursting’ the next.  As a result, today’s fitting was surprisingly fun.

Wow! A bra that fits properly.  I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed that sense of real support.  Even more necessary as I seem to be an F cup these days. (Who knows if I’ll stay F post-lactation, but for now it’s quite exciting.)

Magic knickers too… I thought I was going to break them as I wrestled them on, but what a difference!  All blubber firmly contained.

Grown-up conversation with fitter, too.  Really, I’m getting a lot out of this shop.  A bra and knickers set that makes me feel like I can jump without half of me catching up two seconds later, AND stimulating chitchat from someone who is over the age of eight.  I could have gone into sensory overload, but instead I just lapped it up and left the shop with a big grin on my face.

And as I went on to the other shops, picking up things that I had been waiting for an opportunity to get out and buy, but not quite important enough to merit a trip in their own right, the grin on my face grew ever bigger.

I even found a pair of jeggings that suited me and were natural waist and didn’t make my bum look too huge.  I couldn’t believe my luck.  I told all the shop assistants I possibly could how excited I was to find a good pair of jeans after literally years of making do, though I’m not sure at which point they stopped being pleased for me and started nodding politely, privately hoping I would shut up and go away.

courtesy of Idea go /

I lost count of the number of bags dangling off the back of the buggy, but there was a sufficient number to be concerned that smallest one would tip backwards the moment I let go.

Now, I’m telling you all this, because this is most definitely NOT my normal shopping experience.

My memory of shopping is as follows:

  • Traffic jam getting to the shops. Stress levels rise with each ‘are we there yet?’ called from the back of the car.
  • Extortionate parking, and you still have to walk for ages to get to the shops themselves.
  • Heaving crowds at the shops; you spend the day trying to get from shop to shop without being trampled on by the other shoppers.
  • Whining children who find the whole shopping malarkey so tedious you have to leave early just to escape the words ‘I’m bored‘ being said for the hundred and twentieth time.
  • Nothing fits quite right, and you leave each shop utterly deflated.
  • You realise it’s 4.30pm and not only have you failed to purchase anything on your shopping list, you have not eaten lunch and you are ready to kill someone.  Especially anyone with a whiney tone of voice.

How that can EVER translate as retail therapy is beyond me.

So, today’s lack of crowds, good atmosphere and success on the purchase front really did make for an up kind of day.

If only you could predict that kind of shopping experience to expect every time, then it really would be therapeutic.  You could sell it at Christmas as a luxury experience and all. People would pay hundreds for it.

Even men.


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