Just say no

October 4, 2013

By Pat Detmer

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I hate shopping. I have never understood the joys of just looking for the sake of looking. The Sainted One and I only go to stores when we’re ready to buy, and in those cases, the process is a snap for the seller because we already know what we want and come prepared to spend. If there was a way to physically mark us as easy buyers — like back in the Depression when hobos would mark the homes of friendly people who would give them food — salespeople would kill themselves and each other to get to us first when we walk through the door. But shopping for clothing, shoes, accessories, tchotchkes, I’m just not into it as a sport.

Ignoring my better judgment, I recently weakened and accepted an invitation to a personal shopping event in Newcastle. For the uninitiated, a home owner throws a party with drinks and food, a clothing representative brings a wardrobe so you can view and try on the pieces, and then you can order items that are shipped to you later. It was a beautiful night in a beautiful home with an expansive view, both of my sisters were there (a situation that often leads to all manner of excess) and did I mention that there was alcohol? I went too far. I admit it.

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I got a BUI. Buying Under the Influence.  

Two months later I look at these clothes and wonder what the hell I was thinking: a limp white linen jacket with hubcap-sized buttons that weigh three pounds each, a frilly layered top that allows for no bra and makes the statement: “Hey! Under this flouncy layered midsection is a big roll of fat she’s trying to hide!”, a rouched white top that essentially says the same thing and makes my modest breasts appear to be 40Ds, and a poppy-colored cardigan that’s so small it looks it might fit a 12-year-old.

But I couldn’t resist because the process was intoxicating, literally and figuratively. A couple glasses of champagne and I began to believe what I was hearing. “Oh! You look fabulous in that! You must get that!” and “Seriously, that color is so great on you!” And the next thing I knew, I’d coughed up a substantial amount of money, was thrown to the ground by the fashion police, handcuffed, and hauled away. I blew a $49.95 plus tax.

If taken to court, I will plead the 5th: “I refuse to answer these questions on the grounds that they might incriminate me … and hey, Judge, I think you would look terrific in this white linen jacket.”

You can contribute to the Pat Detmer BUI Defense Fund at www.patdetmer.com.

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