There’s nothing like a normal mammogram to make you want to go shopping. Especially when it’s one of those dreaded mammogram “call-backs.” Not that I’m an expert or anything, since this was only my second mammogram ever, even though I’m 45.
I know, I know. But I had my first one early — before age 40, so I thought I deserved extra credit points and permission to delay the second. Plus I was waiting for the whole 40-versus-50, should-we-or-shouldn’t-we, Great Mammogram Debate to play out. (I’m also still waiting for colonoscopies to be replaced by those nifty handheld scanning devices from Star Trek, but that’s another story).
But anyway, I finally did it. And of course they wanted to track down the old films from my previous mammogram, almost 9 years earlier. And of course, breast tissue changes in that time (in case we hadn’t noticed). So they needed a second mammogram, to look more closely at those changes. This is — of course — perfectly normal and no cause for panic!
Yeah, right. It didn’t help that, at every stage of this process, my regular doctor’s office called just to make sure that I followed through on all the testing recommendations. (Clearly, I’ve been flagged as reluctant mammogrammer and, therefore, a flight risk). So there have been multiple calls to my house, multiple messages left, from multiple practitioners, asking me to call back about my mammogram.
I don’t know about you, but the phrase “call back about your mammogram” fills me with panic.
Which is why I found myself frantically calling the mammogram center from my car at 3:56 pm on a Friday afternoon, terrified that I’d miss them and have to wait all weekend to find out why they called me and if they had any results. I did this even as the rational part of my brain realized that my chances of dying from breast cancer are much lower than my chances of dying in a car accident while stupidly using the phone.
But now it’s done. I’ve been let off the hook for another year. And now that I know what to expect, maybe I won’t panic next time. (Note to self: call-backs can be harmless).
So on the way home, I stopped at one of my favorite consignment boutiques. Even though I say it’s one of my favorites, I must admit that shopping here is not usually as much fun as I think it will be.
Part of the problem is that the store is really, really small. They have a pretty good selection, but items are bursting forth from every nook and cranny — overflowing from hangers, perched on top of the racks, hanging from hooks on the ceiling. The displays are appealing, but I always feel like I have ADD when I’m there. I try to move methodically through the sections, but something always glitters at the edge of my peripheral vision — calling me over — so that I get distracted and have to keep retracing my steps.
The store is also often crowded, making it that much harder to maneuver through the merchandise (to say nothing of the limited fitting rooms). So even as I feel torn in a million different directions, certain that I’m missing something great around the corner, my progress is often impeded by those pesky other shoppers.
I always try on several items when I’m there, but I always feel like I’ve somehow missed several other possibilities.
All of these things happened today. The store was crowded even though it was a Monday, during work hours (hey, I’ve done my homework; I know when to shop). In addition to the usual random assortment of mid-day shoppers, there was a young woman shopping for a dress with her parents. Soon she tried one that was absolutely stunning, which caused a crowd to gather. (“Oh, my goodness, that’s gorgeous!” “It was made for her!” “Look at that fit!”)
The only one who wasn’t convinced was, naturally, the young woman herself, much to her mother’s consternation. (“What are you waiting for? What do you think you’ll find that’s better than this?”)
Meanwhile, I was busy trying to shoehorn myself past the entourage and into the fitting room, carefully toting an armful of what can only be called completely dysfunctional tops.
Every last one of them presented some stupid, annoying obstacle. Two of them had floppy little ties around the neck that didn’t lie right. Another had a built-in sash that — for the life of me — I could not figure out how to tie. (It was so long! And so low on the blouse! Was it supposed to wrap around? Were there holes for it to fit through?).
The last top I tried had one of those built-in camis underneath. You know the kind I’m talking about, right? The kind that gets all tangled up, or turned inside out, so that you can barely figure out how to get the darn thing on? Yes, that’s the one! And if you foolishly persist — untangling it, differentiating the armholes from the neckhole, and wriggling into it — then you have to use Houdini-esque maneuvers to fight your way out of it.
And you know — as a wriggled my way out of that last top, I had the strangest sensation that I’d been here before. I think I’ve tried on many dysfunctional tops in many consignment stores. Do you think that women give up these clothes precisely because they are such a pain in the ass? I’ll bet they do.
In any event, on this particular day, having just emerged from the mammography center, I was not thrilled to segue from boob-squishing to torso-contorting.
So I decided to move on.
I did grab this vest for $9,
but I broke all the rules because I don’t love love it. I like vests. I need pieces to layer and add interest to outfits. This has colors that will blend well with what I have. And the vest fits me well. But I didn’t LOVE it. Plus, it’s by Talbot’s, which has always given me pause. I’ve just never seen myself as a Talbot’s kind of gal. We shall see.
On the way out, for good measure, I tried on a really cute shoe that was perched on top of a rack. It was a stacked-heel sandal, the kind that I want to wear with jeans. It felt comfortable. Holy cow! So I took a step. And guess what?
Time to give it up and head home.