One of the worst things about going through a break up, in my opinion, is the general grayness that seems to settle over your life. Nothing looks as good, nothing tastes as good, you’re tired all the time and—worst of all—you don’t even want to shop.
I knew it was bad when I went to Macy’s and couldn’t find a single thing I wanted to try on. I don’t usually shop at Macy’s because it’s expensive and I’ve been on a second hand clothing kick due to my increasing dislike of capitalism, consumerism and all of the other evil “isms” we’re forever discussing in my Anthropology 101 classes, but this time was different: I had gift cards.
Several hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards, actually.
“Sexy underwear,” I thought, “Sexy underwear will make me feel better.”
But I just wandered around the lingerie section like an automaton, feeling about as sexy as compost bin.
“Shoes,” I thought, “I’ve always loved shoes!”
But the shoe department at Macy’s is always crowded and I couldn’t muster the energy to elbow my way through the crowds.
“Make up!” I thought, “Then I will look better, even if I don’t actually feel better.”
But to buy makeup at a department store, you have to talk to people. And I didn’t want to talk to anyone.
I wandered around for the better part of an hour, halfheartedly entertaining the notion that black skinny jeans would solve all of my problems in life. But the thought of having to look through multiple kiosks displaying multiple black skinny jeans manufactured by multiple designers was just too daunting. In fact, by the time I finally left, I was practically foaming at the mouth in my rage over the layout of not just this particular Macy’s but department stores in general.
That was just a day or two after TWD and I had broken up. I really had no business shopping, but I had an hour to kill before catching the train and figured that dropping a few hundred bucks on crap-I-didn’t-need would make me feel better.
But it didn’t.
A few weeks later I went shopping with my mom and the same thing happened.
“What about this?” my mom asked, proffering an ugly blazer. “It’s retro.”
“You’d look cute in it.”
“No.” (The subtext of which was, of course, “Are you crazy? I am not cute, my life is over, and I will not look cute in anything ever again.”)
When I relayed the story to a friend who was visiting from London last weekend, she lowered her voice and said, “You don’t want to shop? Oh honey! That is bad. That is when you call someone!”
An hour later, we were on our way to Jomars. And half an hour after that, I had a new linen skirt (pink), a pair of silk capris (bright pink), a long black dress and two pairs of white pants.
Some might call this over-correcting. I call it progress.