I can't believe I am going to waste time complaining about this, but I have to get this out: I hate shopping. I mean, hate it. Even when I have the cash for the occasional splurge, it takes a mule team to get me into the shops.

Today, however, I had little choice. I am down to about four pairs of wearable pants, all of them spring weight. And I've had a $100 Athleta gift card burning a spot on my desk since May. Ergo, shopping time.

The minute I walk in, a couple of legging-wearing bobble heads love bomb me. Of course, one of them can't keep her eyes from tripping up and down my body a few times. No wonder. I am wearing five-year-old earth shoes, ancient jeans, a black hoodie, and the knackered periwinkle parka I bought myself brefore moving to London 11 years ago. No makeup. Hair like a lettuce, in style if not color.

I start walking around and all the stuff that had looked kind of cute in the catalogue looks like schmatta in 3D.

Yoga top: $64?!?!

Yoga pants: $98?!?!?

Pish.

Still, the fact remains that I have $100 worth of credit and an empty closet, so I persist. So, over to the pants ghetto in the back. Turns out they have almost nothing in petites. However, one of the sparkle-eyed, springy-stepped clerks is not daunted, and directs me to a few things: "These are gorgeous. LOOK AT THEM!!!! And these–loooook at these!!–these are our all-time best-seller. Everybody looks amazing in these. Seriously, you HAVE to try them."

So I do. And know what? They look like shit. In fact, everything I try on looks like shit. Even the living-on-commision svengali in the back can't deny the freakish results. And they are freakish. I am thin and athletic. And yet–I admit–my metabolism has slacked off in at least one department: my upper inner thigh,where I have a small parenthesis of fat. An inch, maybe less. Enough, apparently, to fuck up the geometry of a whole store's worth of pants. Meanwhile the woman next to me–who i never saw but heard loud and clear–apparently was going to buy everything in the shop. "Is it just me, or do I look amazing in these?" "No," the sales pimp said, "You really do. Like, soooo hot!!!!"

I walked out of there with a ho-hum sweater that was only 2/3 covered by my gift card.

Attention Mothership: you can pick me up now. I am ready.

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