Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Shopping...It Used To Be Fun.

The dining-out angst has been simmering nicely on the back burner that is my brain for the better part of the week now. For those of you not up on the comings and goings of this Sheep About Town, I have committed myself to an evening out with co-workers this Friday. Out. With people. I will have to wear shoes. With other people. I may have mentioned it once or twice...but I don't get "out" much. I am more of a "curl up on the couch with a Hot Pocket and the TV Guide" kinda gal.

This has led to a lengthy examination of my life...and my wardrobe. While I am pretty content with the former, the latter is now the focus of my new "be social or die trying" motto. I needed to shop.

Fortunately, I am "blessed" with a young, hip and stunningly beautiful staff person who works in my classroom and against whom I can compare my drab, middle aged and cosmetically dependent self. If there is anyone whom I can observe for a few days for some pointers, then it be she. After stalking the poor girl mercilessly, I came to the conclusion that I do not have the time or the plastic surgery budget for the look I'm shooting for. Ze Sheep...she weep.

But not for long. For with age comes a bigger paycheck than that of the young, hip staff person. I might not be 27. But I can use retail therapy to make me feel better about it, by gum! To the Department Store!

My mission: a pair of brown pants (flat front, back pockets, mid-rise...), a pair of dressy jeans that can be worn to work (same styling as the brown pants) and, bear with me here, a pair of pointy toed shoes. That last item was the one thing from the cute little staff member's look that I thought I might be able to pull off. I like the pointy toed shoes. When I'm not sauntering about the town in all my fashionableness, I can play "witch." This is functional fashion. And could look neat with a pair of striped handknit socks.

Going into a store with such specifics in mind is poor strategy. I know this now. There were sizing issues. The dream will never be realized in a mid-price department store in rural Maine. By the time I grew weary of the whole process, I had tried on a bazillion pairs of pants and ended up buying a brown pair that is nowhere near what I had in mind. This necessitated the purchasing of a new turtleneck to offset their not-so-muchness. The jeans were located but are really too big. I'm just going to pretend that I've lost weight...

Clearer heads prevailed with regard to the pointy toed shoes. I am not a pointy toed shoe Sheep. We'll give that one a bit more thought before investing the dollars. I'm not sure that the ability to play "witch" is worth the pain of having your toes squished into what looks like the end of a ball point pen. I've got enough stress with the dining out thing going on without having to worry about how long you have to wear the shoes before your toes permanently meld together and you have to be carried around like those girls who had their feet bound in the way-back-when.

I'll figure out some outfit combo with this. How hard can it be? And it is one less thing to be worrying about at this point. I really need to put some quality time into reading the Dining Out For Dummies manual. And practicing sitting up straight. And carrying on meaningful conversations about something besides knitting. You know... with people instead of felines. The felines have been getting enough of me lately what with Great Shoe Debate and all.

Seriously...sometimes I could just scream.


trek said...

The furball sure has a lot to say about this shopping and dining thing. Perhaps she is jealous of you going out?

Beth said...

I know what you are going through. Shopping is a major pain. I never seem to find what I need or want. Then when I do, I get a spot on it or accidentally shrink it.

Have you ever watched What Not To Wear? It's on TLC on Friday nights. I've learned some great fashion tips on that show. I haven't used the tips yet, but I learned 'em.

G said... can be good therapy!

Never underestimate the joy of pants that are TOO big!!! Much better than the alternative at the other end of the size spectrum.

Relax, you will be the most interesting/witty/fun person at the table, just be yourself. And do wear shoes on the hooves!!!

Huggs, G

Sheila said...

I too, watch TLC's What Not To Wear (great show), and it was there that I learned that your toes don't go into the tapered part of a pointy-toed shoe, you buy 2 sizes or so up, or if they are really pricey shoes I think the extra length is already figured in.
They have had some really life-changing episodes (the guests' lives, not mine), and I often find myself, at certain times of the month, crying for joy at the emotional and physical changes these people go plastic sugery involved, just a bunch of super-talented people.
Anyway, I'm sure you'll look fantastic. I always feel special when I wear one of my hand-knit shawls, doesn't have to be worn in a traditional way, just draped over me somehow. I guess it is because I know that no one in the restaurant will be weraing the same shawl.
Keep us posted on the outing updates!

Kate said...

You'll be fine. Clothes are not made for us 40 somethings. They are made for teenagers that think dressing up means the belly baring t-shirt with sequins. I went out tonight. We talked about children, Madonna, mice in the house, and yarn. (I was the only knitter in the bunch, but we talked about yarn). The kind of stuff we all talk about everyday only live and in person. You'll be fine. You'll have fun.

Mel said...

TJ Maxx is my savior. And the LL Bean outlet stores. But then, I also don't get out much.

cursingmama said...

Internet shopping is the only way to go - once you know your size. It can be done from the couch with a hot pocket in hand. I love the spaciousness of my home dressing room and the wonderful array of shoes with different heels & shapes that can enhance the pants in question or point out their failure. I also like that the size -4 sales person isn't knocking on the door asking if I'd like it in a bigger size.

Debby said...

The really trendy stuff looks silly even on the high school girls, and can maybe only be carried off if you live in the city. I think you were smart to go with classic clothes (brown pants, etc) that are timeless and elegant and say "good taste." :) You have such a great sense of humor that I am sure you will keep your dinner companions laughing -- nothing to worry about, dear Sheep, except what the furries will be doing while you are out!!

April said...

Uh, Sheepie? We need to talk.

I clicked on your link for "Perchance To Knit" thinking it was a BLOG.

Instead I was directed to an Etsy shop.

You owe me $19.50.

catsmum said...

At least you will be able to walk at the end of the evening which might have been debateable had you bought the pointy toed ones. Are you are planning on flinging one of your wooly creations over or around this ensemble ?
photos... I want photos