Clothes Shopping -- Ugh!

May 24, 2024 at 1:46 p.m. Diana Couture

“But I really dislike clothes shopping, Dawn. I think I’d rather go to the dentist,” Rose replied to Dawn’s shopping suggestion. 

“Rose, I need your support while I buy some clothes. I can’t go for a visit to New Jersey to see my family without some clothes that fit. All of my duds are either out of style or don’t fit anymore. I won’t say why, but I think too many washings has affected the fit.”

Rose had a good laugh at that comment. “Dawnie, you told me yourself that you’ve gained a little weight lately. Do you think that might have something to do with the duds that don’t fit?” Rose laughingly suggested. “Just never you mind, Rose. Besides, you carry a little extra ‘junk in the trunk’, as the kids say,” Dawn snapped back. The girls were giggling companionably while they got in the car to head to the shopping spree. 

Rose was browsing in the Woman’s section and thinking that most of these clothes weren’t designed for the average, healthy 80+ year old woman when Dawn approached with some possibilities that needed to be tried on. 

Now, the fun begins, thought Rose. Dawn will pick out one size too small and try to make it fit and then get terribly discouraged until talked into getting the right size. It was a delicate dance that had to be done on every shopping trip. And Rose had to be very careful to not hurt any feelings while they were ‘dancing.'

So, into the dressing rooms went the girls. The dress that Dawn tried on first could have worked…with a few seams let out. Rose pondered how to approach this dilemma with her dear friend who was twirling in front of the mirror to see the back view of the dress. “Ahem, Dawn. Does this dress feel a little tight? It looks just a tad too snug.”

“What? Really? But it’s the size I normally wear. Maybe it’s mismarked?” Dawn said trying to justify her choice. “Yes, I’m sure that’s it,” Rose condescended. 

“Let me go out and see if I can find another one with the correct size tag on it.” Rose left Dawn and headed toward the kind-looking clerk behind the register.

“Excuse me, Suzi,” Rose said squinting to read the name badge of the clerk. “I have an unusual request. My dearest friend refuses to wear a size 14 dress because she’s always worn a size 12. And she’s, ahh, gained, uhm…a few pounds in the last few months and, well…you see where I’m going with this?”

Suzi smiled and turned to her tag-printing machine. “I’ll just print out a tag that reads ‘12’ and you can show me the dress it should be attached to. No matter what size it really is, we’ll replace the tag to show it as a ‘12’. This isn’t the first time a good friend has asked for this kind of help. I would be happy to help you keep your friend’s self-confidence intact.”

Rose found the rack with the size 14 copy of the dress that Dawn had in the fitting room. Suzi quickly switched tags and stowed the proper tag in her pocket. Then the two of them took the ‘altered’ dress to the fitting room.

Rose knocked softly on the door to make sure Dawn was properly covered. Dawn opened the door and saw the two women looking quite pleased with themselves. “Here you go, miss,” Suzi cooed to Dawn. “We found a dress that should be a better fit. I think the one you have here has an incorrect size tag. I’ll just take this out with me.”

Dawn scooped up the new dress and slipped it on. It was a perfect fit. “See Rose, I told you that I ALWAYS wore a size 12. This one is perfect. And look at this tag. It says ‘12’. I’ll take it!”

Dawn redressed and the two walked to the check-out register. 

Suzi smiling and winking at Rose rang up the dress for Dawn. While walking with their packages to the car Dawn gave Rose a hug. 

“What was that for, Dawnie?” 

“It was a thank you hug,” Dawn said with a tear in her eye. "Thank you for caring so much about me that you would ask a clerk to change a tag just to make me feel beautiful.”

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