A few hours later I'm debating where to shop. I must heal thy self with some new dresses and consider the usual suspects – Ann Taylor, Loft, Banana Republic, and J. Crew – which makes Rock Center the best choice. But I don’t believe in paying full price and don't have a coupon for any of those stores.
The phone rings. I glance at the number. Meera. Which is odd. She's not a phone person. “Hey, are you okay?” I ask when I answer. She laughs, “It’s because I never call right? I prefer to text,” Meera says. “I know, it's one of the reasons I love you,” I reply. “And yes we’re all fine. How are you?” Meera asks in her upbeat, chipper weekend voice. She is much more direct and focused during the week. “Hhhmm, I’m in a mood. To shop,” I reply and flop onto the couch. I love this couch. I just finished paying for it eight months ago. I actually sleep on it most nights. “Where are you shopping?” Meera asks. I sigh, “I’m thinking Filene’s Basement.” “Great! Any chance you can go shopping around dinnertime?” Meera asks. Of course I can. I couldn't be more single and without commitments if I tried! In addition to some new dresses, I think I really need to get a life. “Yes, I can go shopping later. Is that what you want me to do?” I ask. “Yes, then you can come over for dinner. Rohit and I want to see you.” “Great, see you then!” “Oh, we’re inviting another friend, too.”
* * *
Two hours later I take six dresses (the maximum amount allotted by the very stern and unsmiling Filene's sales associates) and shut the door to the dressing room. In fairness to the sales associates (I used to be one) while I was standing in line I watched customers argue with them and insist they were going to take 10 items. Which then caused a manager to come back here and ask those people to leave if they were unwilling to follow store policy.
I slide off my shoes and immediately feel gross. I don’t know why, I haven’t put on any weight. I slip on the first dress and blame the hot fluorescent lamps and a crooked three-way mirror for why I look like a Minnesota moose in Manhattan. I pull the dress off and go through the same routine for five more dresses. That’s when that strange girl problem washes over me --- my mind is READY and SET to spend my precious dollars but my heart refuses to fall in love with anything enough to want the impending transaction. This is no good. How can I NOT possibly find one thing I like? I have never been so desperate for the therapeutic release that comes swiping my credit card and signing my name on the electronic pen pad.
I glance at my watch and groan. I need to be at Meera and Rohit’s in 45 minutes so I don’t have time to take another pass through the store. This is just not my week -- no boyfriend, a computer that is defying me and now, no retail therapy. This is proof, God is a man.