Today, I went mad in the mall. But because I’m a grad student living off of the kindness of my family, I popped tags in JC Penney, Target, and Burlington Coat Factory, as opposed to Chanel, Barney’s, and Henri Bendel.
One day…one day.
I don’t even like shopping for myself. My mother used to take us shopping for fabric on Pitkin Avenue when we were younger. Pitkin Avenue was the pits: it smelled like fish, and I spent what felt like hours running around fabric stores with my siblings in hot weather. I passed my hands over the fabric, learning the difference between brocade and velvet, silk and linen. I looked at dress patterns and foolishly thought that only Christian women sewed clothes, because every woman I knew was a Christian who sewed.
We graduated from Pitkin Avenue to bigger malls on Long Island, where my mom handily negotiated clothes sales with ease. But I still don’t really like shopping, because it takes too long, the lighting in the dressing room is always utter crap, and a size 10 for one dress turns into a size 12 for another, making it impossible to accurately pick up clothes in an efficient manner. And I love shoes, but at size 11, it is almost impossible to find shoes that fit me well.
I had to get over my hatred of shopping. I love clothes. I love having clothes magically appear in my closet. But I don’t like looking for them.
But I had to go shopping. Soon, a close friend of mine and I will be headed to Martha’s Vineyard, and I didn’t want all the uppity black folk already there to shrivel up in distaste at my 2 year old swimsuit.
Tonight, I tentatively strolled through the mall, picking up and putting down clothes with the disdain of Tim Gunn. Burlington Coat Factory could get an award for the sheer volume of terrible clothes.
However, I’m faithful to it, because I once found an in-season Calvin Klein summer dress for $30. A few months later, Macy’s carried the same dress for $120. See? I just can’t let that store go. I love a sale too much.
Tonight I found a one shouldered black jumpsuit. Not as lovely as the one photographed, but I am enough of a diva to pull it off.
I picked up a few cute dresses + a swimsuit at JC Penney. But my real moment of triumph came when I was in Target. I found an adorable tribal print dress. And yes, I know tribal is played out, but I didn’t care. I put that dress on, and I didn’t want to take it off. I wanted to run out and find sneakers–yes, sneakers, not heels–to match. I wanted to pretend I was as skinny as Solange and already had my braids in.
But I wasn’t bout to pay no $25 for a cheaply made dress. I may have loved it, but I know fabric. All that time in fabric stores taught me that that dress wasn’t worth $25. I sighed. And I prayed.
“Lord. You know I don’t want to pay $25 for this. That’s a bag of groceries!”
“Rachel, how much do you want to pay?”
“$15.” I paused. “Well, Lord, if you’re asking, I’d take it for $10.”
Now I know that Target is not a flea market, and I can’t bargain them down and negotiate a price at the register. But I was praying, because the tag said $25 and I didn’t want to pay all that.
Don’t you know the salesgirl scanned it and it came up as $12.48?!?!?!
Yes, y’all. There was no sales sticker. It wasn’t even on a special rack.
It had me like:
Jesus just loves me. And He likes it when I go shopping…
…as long as it doesn’t become a problem.
Everything in moderation, right?
pop tags (responsibly),