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“You must love shopping,” a friend said at lunch. She’d asked what I was wearing to my granddaughter’s wedding and, before she could stop me, I told her the long story.

You see, I love to shop for clothes. Years ago when I was teaching nursing, I learned that the most cheerful pick-me-up on wintry Midwestern Saturdays involved a visit to the mall. I loved the bright lights, the tall ceilings, the room to breathe, all the colors, and all the textures—I love to feel everything between my fingers, from synthetics to cotton to wool. Now that I’m retired and just happen to live next to a Macy’s, I find the same excitement year around. Plus, wearing a Fitbit, it’s a way for me to get my steps in if I’m running short.

So, you see, when my granddaughter announced her engagement last spring with a late summer wedding, my Fitbit told me to ratchet up the step count. And soon after, luckily, I went to visit my daughter who loves to shop as well as I. She worked retail at one time, so knows her way through the rounders. No kidding. I told her I wanted a dress with ¾ sleeves, which touched my knees. At 73, I have to admit my upper arms are not exactly photogenic, nor are my thighs, so it’s best to keep them covered up at occasions where I can expect to be photographed.

IMG_4439Swirl the rounder, separate each hanger, analyze, repeat…. In no time my daughter called over to me in another aisle. “Mom, look at this, sleeves below the elbow, and it looks long enough.”

It was perfect—even though it was navy, and navy is not my favorite color. But it was on sale—I love bargains—and it looked nice.

I was set, months early. Except then I decided to lose weight—more about that another time—and as the weeks went by, the dress got baggy. No problem, I’d just look for it in a size smaller. Which took hours of searching online, only to finally find one right next door jammed on a rounder at my Macy’s. On sale! Wow, I thought, I must live right.

One problem, though; in the smaller size, the hem rode up higher when I sat down. Did I want my granddaughter and her friends to see my thighs?

Two, with jackets, that went back!

Two, with jackets, that went back!

So, off I went shopping some more—buying dresses, returning dresses. Racking up my step counter and getting hooked on the Fitbit message that I was an overachiever.

Then just five days before the wedding, I found the original dress at my Macy’s, but in black. Not on sale. In the baggy size. But black is my favorite color. I had to try it on.

It was almost perfect. A bit roomy, but I could walk down the aisle without that fat pad visible above my elbow, and I could sit down without displaying my thighs.

I bought it. At full price. But, after returning the two navy ones and using a $20 coupon, I paid only $10.00. What a deal! And I could report to my daughter that the problem had only been the color all along. I just couldn’t do navy. Her response? “Good grief.”

I’ll let you know how it turns out…if I don’t find another dress yet. I have a few more hours.


Photo added August 18, 2015.

At the wedding with my daughter

At the wedding with my daughter!