Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Making Friends in the Dressing Room.

I am a firm believer that retail therapy is better (although not cheaper) than regular therapy. I had been having a rough few days, and it's Spring Break, so after work I rolled down the windows, turned up the iPod, and headed to Evansville for some shopping at the mall.

What I got was a lifelong friendship. You see, for years I have been shopping at the fabulous Lane Bryant because of their fashionable selection for the thick girls. In that time, I have made friends with one of the employees.

{It's amazing what happens when you let another person fit you for a new (ahem) undergarment. A level of closeness is attained.}

Anyway, back to the story. That's how I met my friend Paris. If any of you shop at Lane Bryant, you know her for her love of all things fashion and her incredible servanthood (hence the undergarment fitting). I trust Paris with my (style) life and I know she is gonna say, "Girl, that do NOT look good on you...Put it right back on that hanger where it belongs." God bless her. She loves Jesus and rhinestones and in my completely professional opinion, that is the greatest combination.

So Paris and I are doing our thing when Paris's friend stops by to shop. We end up in the dressing rooms next to each other, and I liked her already before I officially met her because she was like me and her voice carried across the store.

Girls that shop in Lane Bryant, from That Girl's experience, have two volumes: loud and louder.

So my dressing room neighbor was discussing her search for an outfit to wear to a wedding and a couple of things she said almost made me laugh out loud.

"Girl, ya gotta do what ya gotta do..."
well, it was like my clone, my-we-were-twins-separated-at-birth moment. The only way to deny it was our diferences in skin pigment. She was my sista from another mista, or as Beth Moore would say, she is my siesta from another miesta. I had just gotten outfit number 2 on and emerged from the dressing room to find my long lost BFF, and found that she indeed was wearing a beautiful purple shirt with some killer white pants.

and I couldn't help it.

I said, "You look beautiful."

Then I quickly realized I had butted into a stranger's Clinton and Stacey moment with Paris and I slapped my hand over my mouth.

"Umm, not that my opinion matters or anything," I said as I turned to tuck tail and flee into the safe confine of my dressing room.
I remembered that she had no idea she was my sista from another mista.


As I turned to run as fast as those linen pants would carry me, she said the sweetest thing...

"Honey, of course your opinion matters. Now tell me what you think..."

i fell in love at that moment. Paris nodded knowingly as if she had witnessed our fashion love connection.

"Well, since you are wearing purple on the top, it would be great to connect it with some pointy stilettos down at the bottom to bring it all together." I said, and then waited with baited breath for her reaction.

She looked at me for what seemed like an eternity. All I could think of was since my thighs rub together I hope these linen pants don't catch on fire.

Her face broke out into a huge smile and she said, "SHUT UP! Shut up shut up shut up!! Guess what, honey? I have a purple pair of pointy shoes waiting on me at home!"

I promise you that I did indeed jump up and down (which was really awkward to see in that mirror by the way), as did she, rejoicing over the way God and Lane Bryant had brought us together. Fashion Soulmates!

She loved her some Jesus, too. Her name was Paula, and she and I talked about everything from tithing to Chris and Rihanna ("The only thing Oprah's said that I have agreed with in the past five years," I said.) to which earrings her outfit needed. Paris watched like a proud mama.

And turns out, Paula used to work at Lane Bryant, too. How did we miss each other? Paula's been married for 20 years and she said, "Honey if he don't know me by now he ain't never gonna know me," as she discussed her Lane Bryant spending habits.

You know, on my way over to Evansville I was a little bit sad, because Jami couldn't come with me and Terri couldn't come with me and while I enjoy shopping by myself, it proves difficult to make fashion decisions without someone as gut-level honest as my mom was.

-----She used to always say, "You look poured into that." I never knew for LIKE, YEARS, what that meant exactly. Praise God I looked into the mirror one day after she passed and thought, "I look like someone poured me into this...OH, wait, THAT's what it meant..."-----

He is a provider, even in the dressing room of the Thick Girl store, where I found that kinship, that gut-level honesty that I so longed for.

Make a friend, be a friend, shop with a friend at Lane Bryant, and love Jesus together!

but don't forget the purple stilettos.


Guatmama said...

I love your stories, and your passion for everything life.

BeckyB. said...

my favorite is that your long lost sista actually screamed "shut up shut up shut up".

truly amazing :)

Leslie said...

I loved that post!

Amy S said...

Lauren; Enjoyed the post--I can sooo see it--You crack me up!! Your a HOOT!!! Call me Ill go shopping with you!! love ya AMY

Ashley said...

That was worth the read! Lane Bryant is amazing :)