Thursday, May 28, 2009
The Neurology of Shopping
Far more intimidating than talking to ghosts, according to the cosmology of Reya, is shopping for clothing. I have never been good at it, not ever. Not only am I completely overwhelmed by all the choices, but also by the dressing room experience, during which there is no way I can ignore my appearance. I have no choice but to stare at myself in ill fitting clothes, my skin green from the fluorescent light, completely exposed by the three way mirrors.
I'm built for styles from the 1950's. Everything designed since then looks terrible on me. Even at places like Lucy, where the salespeople say they make clothing that "looks good on everyone," the clothes do not fit. I refuse to blame my body type for the way I look in clothes. It's not my fault, really it isn't.
I'm thinking about clothes shopping this morning because, after a thorough examination of my sparse wardrobe, I realize I literally have nothing to wear tomorrow night when I have dinner with Prince Charming, an old friend who always dresses to the nines. He LOVES to shop and looks good in everything. How I wish his talent and enthusiasm would rub off on me. Or that someone would nominate me to be on What Not to Wear.
Over the years I've begged friends who are Master Shoppers to show me how it's done. Recently one of these friends said, "The truth is, Reya, you have to LIKE it." She's right of course. I do not like it at all. In fact, the experience is always slightly traumatic for me. Is that sad or funny?
I'm certain that there must be a strange neurological quirk that could be blamed for my problems with shopping, something beyond the overwhelm, the ill fitting clothes, even beyond the humiliation of the dressing room experience. Where is Oliver Sacks when you really need him?