(“First world problem” post ahead! After writing this I felt somewhat ashamed, but what the hell! Here it is anyway.)
I used to go clothing shopping a lot when I was in my early 20’s. Shock! I know, right? Heh, what girl in her early 20’s doesn’t like to buy a new piece of clothing or makeup or whatever every week? Nowadays I hate it. Hate. It.
Now I’m talking about shopping for myself and I hate it for a few reasons. One being I have a kid and she comes with me. Shopping with a baby was a cinch. She would just lay in her car seat attached to her stroller and sleep the whole time and only fuss when she was hungry. I remember doing a little spree a few weeks after she was born and it was somewhat nice in that that’s all she did while I arduously hunted for things in sizes I’ve never before had to look for to fit a body made foreign to me by pregnancy.
But now I shop with a toddler, a toddler who wants to get out of her stroller and walk everywhere and touch everything, including the middle aged woman minding her own business or the man sitting on a bench doing the same thing. Her socialness is cute, don’t get me wrong, but it’s time consuming and takes me away from the task at hand. So instead I have a squirmy, whiny toddler sitting in a stroller I have to navigate through clothing racks that are way too close together. And she reaches for everything. Besides that I feel like I get in everyone’s way because the stroller is so big. Honestly, my ideal shopping experience would be leaving Hannah at home with her dad, as much as I love the silly monkey and love watching her make other people smile with her waves and giggles. I’m an in and out kinda gal and it’s just not possible when I have to keep one eye on her at all times otherwise she might bring a whole rack of clothing with her when I least expect it.
Another thing I have a hard time with is finding stuff that fits me right. I know I don’t have to hate the new body bearing a child has given me, but honestly it’s frustrating as all get out. I never used to try anything on. I’d just buy the size I needed and more often than not it worked out. But now I make the mistake of forgetting that that doesn’t work for me anymore and bring it home only to realize that I have to return half of what bought because it doesn’t fit how I thought I would. And we can’t afford me shopping for clothing all the time so it’s not like I can get ample practice in this. What I buy I want to be worth my time, though, and something that I will wear every week as a clothing staple. So that means it has to fit the way I want it to and look good (I’ll even settle for “all right”).
Last but not least, I have very little patience for shopping malls anymore. The malls here (Metrotown in particular) are becoming more congested as more people immigrate and move to the lower mainland and that’s fine, but hot dang I just can’t do it anymore. Like I said, I’m an in and out kinda gal and having to wade through the throngs of people who also have nothing else better to do on a Sunday really impedes that objective. But at least there’s a simple solution this one and that is there are multiple shopping malls connected to Skytrain stations or easy enough to get to by bus so I just need to choose a different mall like Brentwood, Coquitlam Centre, Lougheed, Pacific Centre, or even Guildford, although the latter can hard to get home from because the buses are typically packed.
As a side note, I prefer Coquitlam Centre the most because it’s big and open, not nearly as busy as Metrotown ever is, more kid and mom friendly (because it’s the burbs), and even though it requires a bus and a train to get to it’s still only about a 35 minute journey on public transit. In fact, as I was getting the right platform to head to Metrotown this morning my gut told me just go to Coquitlam Centre and I ignored it. And I regretted it. For the second time I learned the hard way that Target at Metrotown is still not open yet. The first lesson? I need to listen to my gut more often. The second lesson? I need to forget that Metrotown exists.
Anyway I’m just rambling now. Today I did manage to find some good buys for Hannah and I do now have a cardigan that actually FITS me. Hurray! But now I have to go back to return two shirts and I’m up in the air about three camis I bought. They were only $5 a piece so I’m not sure if I should just suck it up and keep them since I’ll be using them for layering (but they’re not long enough!!) or exchange them for a longer style. Either way I have to make another trip. So in the end this shopping trip was neither fulfilling nor very successful. Next time I WILL go to a Target so I only have to go to one place and I WILL try on what I find before buying it.