Girl Talk in the Break Room

At work last week, one of the Attendance clerks was wearing the prettiest blue top you ever did see.

But when I was in the Break room with her, before the school bell rang, she admitted something. The top was brand-new; she bought it at Ross. Brought it home, was cutting the tags off and… what do you suppose she found? A maternity tag!

Here she was so thrilled with how it fit, and come to find out, it was a maternity top!

Augh! Continue reading “Girl Talk in the Break Room”

Meltdown in the Dressing Room

Bent over, dress over my head, I question all my life choices.

AKA: The Little Black Dress From Hell

It was a simple, unassuming dress. Nothing fancy or sexy. Not even particularly Little black dress with sleevesinteresting, truth be told. But it looked useful, in that work-appropriate-and-currently-on-sale kind of way.

I decided to try it on.

This was my favorite consignment store and they were having a huge sale. All blue-tagged items 90% off! Ninety percent! All around me women were carrying heaps of clothing, all with blue tags.

“Just one? ” the dressing room attendant asks me.
“Just one,” I reply.

I go to my usual stall, last one on the left. I undress quickly and take the dress off its hanger.

Hmm. The zipper is in the side seam. I hate that. Zippers do not belong in side seams.

I look at the price tag again. With the discount, it’ll be $3.00. I put the dress on.

It’s over my head, so far so good, bust line is loose, but then I don’t have a bust, so whatever. Sleeves are a bit tight. That’s weird. Pull the dress down all the way, hip & thighs fit with room to spare. Amazing. Zip up side seam and look in mirror.

Okay, so the length is good. Not too short, not too long. Wow, these sleeves are tight. What’s up with that? Waistline is loose, could use a belt. I pull at the sleeves. Maybe I can remove them? Cut the seam and add a thin strip of ribbon?

Hell, for three bucks, I’m willing to make it work.

I unzip the side and start to pull the dress off, only the sleeves are resisting. As in, full on revolt. They aren’t budging.

I’m bent over, dress over my head. I hear women on the other side of the curtain:

“Grandma, that looks great!”
“The color is a bit much.”
“It looks good on you though!”
“People would stare, wouldn’t they?”
“We don’t care what people think. We’re Gypsies.”

Silently I cheer on the Gypsy women. Inwardly I curse the idiot who designed this dress. It had to be a man. A man who hates women.

I tug harder. If anything, it feels tighter. I think my arms are swelling. Swelling in protest of the monster who made this dress.

What does one do in a situation like this? Call out for help?  Would anyone hear me from the last room, bent over with a dress over my head?

I hear more voices:

“What do you think of this?… Oh, I’m sorry! You’re the wrong Paula!
(Laughter) “That’s okay. I think it looks amazing.”
“Really? It doesn’t doesn’t too tight? I thought it looked tight.”
“Does it feel tight?”
“No, it feels comfortable.”
“It doesn’t look tight. It looks sexy.”

emergency-cordYou know what they should put in dressing rooms? They should have one of those “pull for assistance” cords like in hospital bathrooms.

Oh gawd, what have I done? I knew the sleeves felt tight, but I put the dress on anyway. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

I tug harder… Seriously, this isn’t moving. I’m really stuck.

I bet Gypsy women never worry about getting stuck in clothes. I bet Paula, or Paula’s friend, or the woman who tells strangers they look sexy never have to worry.

Of course they don’t worry! They have shopping buddies! I’m an idiot who shops alone! Why am I a loner? And why am I so damned cheap that I struggle into three dollar dresses with sausage casing sleeves?

Bent over, dress over my head, I question all my life choices. I wonder why I’m in a dressing room when the sun is shining outside. What brought me to this low state?

But mostly I ask, why do I have a job that makes me wear anything other than jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers?!

thoreau“I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.”
–Henry David Thoreau

Finally, I come to a decision: I will NOT be beaten by this dress!

And there is no way in hell I’m going to call for help and let anyone see me bent over with a dress over my head!

Summoning all my strength and resolve, I take a deep breath, exhale, and tug again.

Movement! I sense movement! I tug again, slower this time… yes, it’s coming off! Sweet alleluias fill my ears! All is right with the world!

When I return the dress I tell the attendant, “They should put a warning on that thing. The sleeves are super tight.”

“Oh really?” she says, not looking in the least bit concerned. Her arms are super skinny.

One day, young maiden, it will be true for you as well. A day closer than you may think, you will find yourself in a dressing room very much like this one, and you will be stuck.

And when that day arrives, if I am near, I will help you fair maiden. You have my word.

Say What?

Here’s something you may not know about me: I love thrift stores. If I see one, I gotta stop. This includes on vacations.

Which is why I now know Oregon has some mighty nice thrift stores. Even their Goodwill stores border on classy. At one, the outside sign said, “Goodwill Boutique.”

You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.

Navy blue womens sleeveless topAnyway, I just wanted to tell you about a sleeveless top I found, not in a thrift store but in a consignment shop. Yes, it was a good deal and it looks lovely on me, but what I really want to show you is its tag.

The top was made in Italy and was new, by which I mean it still had its original store tags.  Everything, including care instructions, is in Italian. But one tag included an English translation, and I’m guessing whoever wrote it relied on Google translator.

See for yourself:clothing tags from item made in Italy

“This is strands state decorated of stone crystal product to SWAROVSKI”

(Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?)

So yeah, the little shiny things down the front are Swarovski crystals. Pretty little top for $15, don’t you think?

It brought to mind another hot deal I came upon a few years back. It was for an espresso maker, also made in Italy, also suffering slightly in translation. My favorite part from the instructions:

“Screw strongly the top of the coffeepot on the little tank but don’t prize the handle.”

Words to live by.


I bet if we compiled our favorite mistranslations, we’d have the makings of a great book. Something worthy to be read in bathrooms everywhere.

Think about it, lovely readers. And remember — screw strongly. 😉

Shoe Shopping for the Stylish Ninja Wannabe

Does anyone else remember the days when shoe salespeople would hover over you, ask what you wanted, measure your feet, go to the back of the store to retrieve the box, and then actually put the shoes on your feet? Actually touching your feet?!

Wow. Sure glad those hellish days are over. Aren’t you?

No doubt the shoe salespeople are happy too. In fact, I think the Shoe Sellers Union worked tirelessly trying to prevent salespeople from ever having to touch feet again. And I, for one, love them for it.

What I don’t love, however, is how many shoe stores are completely carpeted. I mean, what’s up with that? That is just so, so wrong! How the heck can someone choose a pair of shoes — a seriously important endeavor — in a completely carpeted store? It’s impossible, I say!

I mean, oh sure, you can judge a shoe by its looks, you can check its fit, you can even jump up and down if need be, but you can’t check its sound. And it is the sound of a shoe that is of the utmost importance. Am I right?

Tell me, have you ever bought a pair of shoes only to discover they squeaked? Or squished? Or made an undefinable floopy sound?

What I want — what I dream of — are shoes that are utterly quiet … silent as the air … nary a whisper or breath of sound … as inaudible as the most inaudible thing you’ve never heard.

You know. Like, really, really quiet.

Continue reading “Shoe Shopping for the Stylish Ninja Wannabe”

Unexpected Compliments

sunshine-2Today marks the beginning of a new feature at Feeding on Folly — Saturday Smile — where I’ll share with you something that made me smile during the week, be it a site or blog I found, something I read, or an experience I had. I’ll share it with the hope of making you smile too.

And here’s the best part: You’re invited to join me in this project of spreading smiles. Did something special happen this last week? Maybe you overheard a funny conversation, discovered a great new product, or your kid said the darnedest thing. Put it in the comments! Give us all a Saturday Smile!

I thought I was only going to introduce this feature today and wait until next week to begin, but I had a little encounter at the grocery store this morning that put a smile on my face.

Continue reading “Unexpected Compliments”