Watching women shop in the clothing department of a store is a fascinating study in feminine psychology. The younger women, ie the teens and those in their early twenties go straight for the cute clothes that are featured as the new trends. Usually they are excited to try on new frocks. Sounds of joy and mirth can be heard from the dressing room as they ooh and ah over how well the garments look on each other.
Middle age women however, are circling the racks like cars in a full parking lot. Up and down each aisle, slowly looking for a space, as if the clothes on some rack will part like the Red Sea revealing that perfect outfit, in the ideal size, that happens to be on sale. Some will stop, pull an item off the rack, look at it, shake their head, return it, and resume their search up the aisle.
Every once in awhile a lady will be sighted with an arm load of clothes heading for the fitting room. Those not so lucky will mumble to themselves, "Where did she find all those?" They have now reached that time of decision, do they move into the more expensive area of the store, hoping to find something trendy, in their size? Of course doing so is going to cost them. Is the satisfaction of finding clothes worth the additional expense? Or do they move to the back of the store toward the reasonable fashions where the more moderately priced clothes are, knowing doing so is sacrificing any chance of finding a garment that is up-to-date, much less well made.
As the young women who share the joy of shopping with their friends and those few middle age women (most likely the trophy wives who only play tennis and "do' lunch with their friends) find suitable clothing in fashionable styles, the rest of us are left in purgatory. We are standing there or rather still circling the racks slowly, almost like a lethargic synchronized walk of the zombies. The inevitable is upon us and we are in denial.
Fashion designers are a cruel sort, a group of people totally unconnected with the real women of this world. I suppose they would see humor in seeing helpless women with designer bags and shoes (because those two accessories do not discriminate) aimlessly moving among aisles of clothing racks just behind the tall lean mannequins.
In the more expensive part of the store, women with means easily shop with the help of clerks. They are able to find clothing that fits comfortably, makes them look divine no matter what their size, and select among many colors and choices. While most of the rest of us are relegated to the part of the women's section they often refer to as "Moderate", "Everyday", "Today's Woman", or worst case "Budget" or "Bargain". Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to pay outlandish prices for clothes, especially when I can find the exact same outfits online or at an outlet mall for significant savings. However, these areas may as well be akin to the Island of Unwanted Clothes.
So in order to avoid the oohs and ahs of the young women, the outlandish expensive designer departments, as well as the aisles of the walking wounded, I spare myself the agony of shopping in retail clothing stores. I was reminded of all of this earlier today when I dashed in a department store to pick up a item. It took a moment for me to recognize the traffic pattern, but there it was. Middle age women circling the racks with that hollow look in their eyes. Ah, what a cruel world we live in.