My spirits sunk lower and lower as I walked around the giant mall in Houston. There were so many people with enormous bags and pointy-toed shoes. I felt dowdy, unattractive, and above all, unfashionable. It made me wish that I hadn't gotten out of bed this morning.
As it gets closer and closer to my birthday, an imaginary lead weight starts dragging me down with each approaching day. It's not even turning another year older that necessarily does this to me, it's just that it has always been this way. Even years that were supposed to be momentous, my birthday has always been an anti-climatic let down.
Let's not even get into what it's like having a birthday that is eight days before Christmas. Everyone is filled with holiday cheer and I'm an afterthought at best, which is ok. Family members send me money and I end up walking around the mall with the large crowds of other shoppers, except that instead of embracing the season of giving, I'm shopping for myself.
I ended up in the lingerie department of Nordstrom's. There is a special place in my heart for Seattle's flagship, high-end department store. Large chunks of my adolescence were spent waiting for the Nordstrom's anniversary sale in July. Today, however, the over-helpful, yet uber-tasteful, saleswomen just didn't seem to be understanding the crux of my mid-December emotional problems.
They kept coming up to me, numbly fingering the 100% silk pajamas that I will never be able to afford and asking, "Is there a particular size that I can help you find?" I would just shake my head and push my stroller onto another rack. They stopped making the "single Mom needs a hug because she's feeling sorry for herself" size sometime during the Carter administration.
Another woman approached me looking at pushup bras, matching lacy boyshorts, and camisoles. She inquired as to what, exactly, I was looking for.
I couldn't answer that question. If I had though, my answer would have been something like, "I'm looking for a piece of lingerie that will make me feel sexy and attractive. You see? I just got dumped right before my birthday and I'm feeling so low, as I historically do right before my birthday, that I'm mistakenly thinking that some underwire and lace will make me feel better. I've realized my error during the last twenty seconds and I'm now just going to take my screaming child out of the store and order a pizza. Thank you and good bye. Oh - and Happy Holidays"