Friday, May 11, 2007

When clothes get complicated...

I have never been a very good shopper. I grew up on a farm and as a result, my wardrobe is fairly standard: Jeans, T-shirts, sweaters, boots (Docs or work boots), plaid jacket. I've had many issues in my life complicate my ability to shop for attractive, fashionable clothing; namely, that I'm broke or that I have no idea what actually constitutes fashionable or attractive when it comes to clothing.

Other issues relating to my inability to purchase clothes are the result of my odd body type -- By the time I can wedge a pair of jeans up over my thighs, they gape at the waist -- and my enormous bone structure. I really think that I should have chosen a career with the NFL because of my enormous-beyond-what-should-be- physically-possible ribcage. Bras are all but impossible to find because of my near non-existent chest and huge circumference; and pants that are long enough to touch the ground and cover my ass appropriately? Laughable.

SuperNan has never had any of these issues with clothes. She is average height at around five foot six, has a normal bone structure, and her figure is proportionate to the rest of her. Sometimes I roll my eyes at her and growl "Damn you, lucky bi-atch!" under my breath. YES, I talk that way to my mother under my breath and she still lets me live here for free. I don't really get it either, but I'm not going to question such a wonderful thing.

Breast cancer has put a bit of a damper in my mother's wardrobe requirements. We have been shopping for months now in preparation for her treatments to begin. We have been searching high and low for breathable clothing that is non-irritating to the skin, loose enough to be comfortable, yet tight enough to be supportive, and of course, fashionable enough that she can show herself in public.

The Berry Queen taught me the three rules of shopping years ago. These are not rules so much as they are questions, and they are: 1) Does it fit? 2) Is it attractive? and 3) Can you afford it? Before you make any purchase, you must answer each of these questions with a yes, or else you must put the item back on the shelf and never devote another millisecond of your life to thinking about it. NOT EVEN ONE.

This whole cancer thang has kind of thrown a wrench into those plans because now there are about eight questions to ask for each article she tries on.

Shopping for clothes today and the last few times we've tried now tends to take up a bit more time than it typically used to. However, I have to say that all this clothes-picking, looking at each and every loose-fitting cotton summer top in the store... its been fun. We've laughed over the ridiculous things (You know, when you decide to go out on a limb, and when you get there, you realize it was safer near the trunk of the tree? Yeah.), marvelled at some of the things that my older-than-me mother can actually pull off and still look dignified in, AND we haven't given up altogether and called in a tailor to create clothes for her in close proximity to our television.

This whole cancer thing will be coming to an end in mid-June. I'm thankful that my fmaily has the positive attitude we have about it, that we've been able to laugh together and come together over dealing with this icky, icky thing. At the same time? I won't be sad to see it done with.

[Breast Cancer, Clothes for Breast Cancer, Shopping, summer clothes]

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