My mom and I went to Buffalo’s ritzy suburban shopping mall, today. Ordinarily I suffer from involuntary tremors at the thought of crossing a mall door’s threshold, but a week and a half after walking out of my last job, I instinctively knew today was a once-a-decade time for some shop therapy.
The gods did smileth upon us the entire trip. The clerk at Frederick’s of Hollywood helpfully advised my mom and I on garter belt sizing. The soundtrack in New York & Co. kept me bopping while trying on skinny slacks. Fergie, unbeknownst to me, designed a line of sneakers so adorable, I had to buy a pair even though I already have three pairs of sneakers and hardly ever wear any of them. Bath & Body Works was paying people to take away their excess inventory. And when we finally collapsed at Jack Astors, weak and empty of wallet, the waitress greeted us warmly with cheap booze and cheesy, garlicky meat ‘n potatoes fare to strengthen us for our journey home.
Why, you may ask, does an unemployed person spend $150 at the mall on hi-tops and stockings? In my case, an unemployed person spends money because she has a disturbingly strong sense that she won’t be unemployed for long, and she’ll need those black slacks and skirt to look all, like, professional. She also does it because she needs a distraction from sitting around the house fixating on her new design portfolio or emailing the eight hundredth apartment ad.
I keep waiting for someone to say “Snap out of it and just move somewhere!” I am trying. I don’t blog about my attempts to find a volunteer homestay in Europe, or the families I’ve discussed nannying for, or the quantity of Craigslist ads I’ve read and responded to, but that’s how I spend a lot of my time. Since mid-September, I’ve explored every method of moving that I know of or people have suggested. I’ve tried, for months, to take responsibility for my happiness, by initiating change instead of sitting around complaining.
But nothing takes. And I’m starting to wonder whether the best way to figure out why, would be to shut the heck up for a minute.
So I went to the mall, and bought the dangling beaded earrings at Old Navy. I will probably wear them tomorrow, with my hi-tops, and layer the skirt over the pants over the garter belt, and top it all of with a heavy layer of sweet pea scented Bath & Body Works bath foam.
Something’s gotta give. Until then, at least I’ll look (and smell) fantastic.