Clothes shopping for me, is either a dreaded affair or a delicious treat. I often dread it because I’m just not very good at it. I know a lot of people who can go into Winners or H&M, and come out with armloads of beautiful clothes, whereas I walk in, take a look at all the racks and I’m defeated. Nothing makes me more frustrated than delving through a rack labelled my size, finding a gorgeous piece, only to discover that it’s the wrong size. People please, put things back where you found them. I just might be coming in after you!
Sometimes shopping’s a treat because it seems that items I love just jump out at me without having to sort through a bunch of ugly to find one pretty. And here’s my favourite treat; every now and then, everything I try on fits to perfection and looks good on me. That makes Renelle a happy girl.
Lately, it has been too frigid to walk outside and my new treatment makes me very sensitive to the cold. A nice brisk walk, which used to be one of my favourite activities is now verboten. When I left my chemo treatment the other day, my eyes kind of froze walking from the hospital to the car parked directly across the street. That was horrifying and gross – they felt a bit like marbles. I pictured myself telling Jessica “Honey, I hope you don’t mind that I don’t have eyes for your wedding, but I’m told that my new wig looks great!”
From now on until it’s warmer out, I’ll have to cover my whole face with a scarf and hang on to Franco for dear life. But back to walking. Sometimes, in desperation, I try mall walking. This really doesn’t work too well for me. I start off at a good pace and try not to look around me too much, but pretty soon, as if by teleportation – thanks Scotty! – I find myself inside a clothing store. Well, this exact thing happened to Virtignia and I a couple of weeks ago and there I was, holding a hanger which was supporting a very stylish and elegant jumpsuit. The garment was all black with some white piping and featured a not too deep vee cleavage and a racer back top. I really liked it. I could tell it was slim fitting, which is a look I’m always happy to see come back into style, because it suits my build. However, I wasn’t going to get caught up in this because for one thing I had no need for an item like this as I already have dress up clothes that I rarely get to wear. Also, I was mall walking and not supposed to be shopping. So I hung the jumpsuit back where I found it and rather than find temptation elsewhere, Virtidge and I just walked straight back home.
As I walked home, my mind strayed back to the jumpsuit.
Me: I don’t need it
V: It’s on SALE
Me: I have nowhere to wear it to
V: What about Jessica and Tony’s engagement party?
Me: That party is more casual than that
V: You’re the Mother of the Bride! You can wear whatever you want!
Me: Black is not a very happy colour
V: You could wear your red, red. red shoes with it, red is happy, happy, happy!
Me ! : And I could buy a great flowery red pashmina to bring it all together
V: You don’t really need it Renelle.
Me !! : It’s on SALE!!
…and so on. I’m an adult, I don’t have to have everything I want. I’m an adult with cancer, if I don’t buy what I want now, when will I? My mind is playing games with me and I don’t like it one little bit. I’m being manipulated by my own silly greed. When you have cancer, you’re allowed to be greedy, in fact, it’s encouraged. It is not! I would so love to wear my red shoes to the engagement party.
Now I have it all planned out. I get my ever-patient, handsome chauffeur to drive me to the mall. Of course I’m referring to Franco; who else? I’ve already added a red purse to my list of accessories. Mexx has a huge going-out-of-business sale (may I get a moment of silence for Mexx?), so I check there first for the pashmina and purse. No joy, but I know these items are easily found. I already own the shoes, so back to Le Chateau and walk straight over to where the jumpsuit was displayed. And there it is – GONE! I hurry to the nearest clerk, knocking over a display of silver shoes in my haste – ooh they’re nice too. Stop it! I explain to the clerk exactly what I’m looking for. She can’t remember. It was here two days ago and there were like twenty-five of them. Is she new? In a great moment of clarity, she recalls that there are some black jumpsuits hung up behind another display of black jumpsuits. We rush over, well…I rush over, managing not to destroy any displays this time. Eureka! It’s there. We take out several sizes as my size has been changing quite a lot due to my enlarged liver, which is forcing my other organs to compete for space. This makes for a very unattractive, wide abdominal section. Thanks Roamin Carcinoma! I make the mistake of using the word “bloat” with the clerk and she gives me one of those looks. You know the looks I mean right? Please tell me it’s not just me. Anyway me and my illusions enter the change room and try on my usual size and it fits quite nicely on the bottom (quite nicely – I’ve still got it goin’ on in some areas), but of course, the top won’t zip up for love nor money. That’s okay, we’ll go one size up. Now, I manage to zip up the top part, but the bottom looks all baggy and I hate it. The whole thing looks hideous. No amount of red accessories is going to change this fact. And so ends another dismal shopping trip. I guess I’m going to be shopping for two-piece outfits from now on. Stupid cancer!
The good news is: I found another outfit that was perfect for the engagement party in my existing wardrobe. The red shoes didn’t go with it, but c’est la vie! The bad news is: on the morning of the party, I woke up sicker than four sick dogs put together. All day I hoped for even a minor improvement; just enough so that I could drag myself into a shower, throw on my clothes and get there. It failed to happen and at about five p.m., Franco and I were forced to concede to the fact that we weren’t going anywhere. I missed my daughter’s engagement party…I still can’t believe it. I despise cancer…
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