During the annual Boxing Week consumer madness I stay away from anything remotely resembling a mall and hunker down with my Pride and Prejudice DVD to blessedly lose myself in that state of mind known as Mr. Darcy (portrayed so wonderfully by Colin Firth).
Alas, not this year. I have a New Years soirée to attend. The last proper girlie gown I bought was for my nuptials, nearly two decades ago. Even I must admit it’s time to buy something new. I trot out dutifully to purchase a Glamourpussy-type frock for the aforementioned Black Tie One On event.
First order of business is to find a Tasteful Boutique that caters to my epic proportions.
And this is the main reason I hate shopping.
It is my first thought that the fashion industry powers that be simply do not make clothes my size, but in fact they do. A quick glance around reveals I am definitely not alone. The sheer multitude of Queen Latifaesque babes milling around me means a complete sell out of decent dress sizes leaving in only sizes 6 through 12 to languish on the rack.
I am left no choice but to go to a specialty boutique.
Bovines Haute Cowture for the Excruciatingly Rubanesque.
(A division of SouthWestern Tent and Awning)
Normally, I would be thrilled to be in the lower size range - but Bovines’ accommodating fashions lack a certain elegance. I try on a few gowns only to discover that there is nothing is as uncomfortable as the combination of spandex and sequins. The deep pebbly pattern left on my squashy bosom is reminiscent of an alligator purse. In the end I choose a soft, shimmery gray outfit that does not leave such unfavourable impressions. It`s bit bland but a few accessories will help. I find a dishy shawl with sparklies and varying shades of silver and black that will help tie in the not yet bought shoes for the dress.
Oh right. Shoes. Great....
Did I mention I loathe shopping?
Once again, the ladies shoe department are only left with sizes that would, on a good day, fit the Keebler elves.
It seems that I seek the impossible. A tasteful, silver coloured, open-toed pump with a low heel. Most silver pumps are enhanced a tacky chrome finish guaranteed to blind anyone in a five mile radius. They also come armed with insanely sharp high heels. Weapon of destruction capable of stabbing a charging male Rhino to death. This must be the ultimate function of such heels, since the simple act of actually walking in them cannot be physically possible. I wonder how the ladies who wear these are initially launched into the air and what aforesaid Rhino can possibly have done to warrant being assasinated in such a revolting manner.
Meanwhile, I beg the waifish shoe-girl to find anything in my size from any era. Preferably in a matt finish and with a low heel (under 5 inches). As I wait, I wonder if I might strap a couple of largish sterling silver gravy boats to my feet, but no... that would be pushing the boundaries of good taste.
Finally, a dusty box - the interior tissue paper crumbling with age -is dug out of the backroom. My dainty size 11w tootsies are duly shod by the astonished and affronted clerk (who is, incidentally, a size zero and whose mother likely bound her feet at birth). At the cash register, I get an extra 25% off if I solemnly pinkie swear not to tell anyone I purchased them at their shop.
Hurrah! The worst is over. Shoes and Frock are found - FINAL SALE stamped decidedly on the receipts. .
A silver sequined evening bag only just large enough for a cell phone, a lip gloss and my keys is purchased. The Superform 36-Hour Heavy Duty Girdle and a pair of Extra Tall - Hint of Noir stockings completes my foray into the fashion world.
I`m all set until 2037!