Monday, April 2, 2012

My Worst Shopping-Alone Nightmare Come True

We've already established that I like to do things alone: movies, dining, shopping. Ah, yes, shopping.

One of my favorite aspects of shopping alone is that I'm not beholden to anyone else's time, taste, or boredom level, so I can come & go from stores & departments as I please, at my own leisure. I (mostly) trust my opinion enough to buy clothes without second opinions, & if I'm really unsure, that's what return policies are for. In summary, I find shopping to be a relaxing solo activity.

BUT. I have a fear, a long-standing worry that I will someday get stuck in an article of clothing I can't get out of without assistance - assistance I won't have, by virtue of shopping alone.

You know where this is going. On Friday, my fear manifested itself into a real-life version of this hypothetical nightmare. I was at Kohl's trying on an Elle dress that I really loved. It zipped up easily but was ultimately too tight in the chest (story of my life); still, I liked it so much that I took a photo to send to my friend Sammi to lament the fact that I had to pass it up.

Almost immediately after taking this photo, I realized I was stuck in the dress. Like... STUCK. Really stuck - & feeling more claustrophobic by the second. What's more, I was clothed inappropriately for public appearance, as the dress was A) too tight, & B) half unzipped, which meant I couldn't go in search of a store employee to assist me. (The word "assist" is not typically synonymous with "disrobe," but it is here.)

It took three people to get me out of that dress. The first was a fellow female shopper who took pity on me (not before laughing at me) & tried her damnedest on that zipper before eventually giving up to return to browsing the sale rack. The second was a kind guy who was waiting outside the dressing room for his wife & offered to go in search of a store employee who could help me. And the third was a salesgirl he found, who entered the dressing room, took one look at me, & sighed, "Oh, THAT dress. Someone got stuck in it last week, too."

While I suppose I'm relieved that my dressing room disaster was the result of a faulty dress rather than a faulty body, I can't help but worry for all the other unsuspecting women who will try on this same frock, oblivious to the high potential for being held captive by its beauty. Literally.

Here's the best part: When the salesgirl finally got me unzipped, I asked if I needed to do anything with the broken dress - take it to the customer service desk or whatever. "Oh, no," she responded. "It's not broken. I'll go hang it back up now."

BUYER BEWARE. This dress really wants you to be in it.
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