After spending the day shopping, I realized why I don't shop much
in the Greater Los Angeles area. Everythng is so trendy and stores seem to cater to young people or those who are more
interested in keeping up with fashion styles, which would mean for for me, changing my closet every year.
In the past, I would fly to Chicago or San Franciso to shop instead.
Stores like Carson's, Stevens' or Marshall Field's catered more towards women who chose to wear stylish clothing which was
a tad understated. What that means is, you are stylish, yes, but you sell yourself. Clothing should only
compliment who you are, not the other way around. I do not wish to walk into a room making a broadcast message about
who I am and I certainly don't want to advertise any portion of my anatomy. If there's something you want to see, you
need to get to know me. The allure of a woman is powerful. I can't tell you how many sisters I've seen on the
street that I have wished to stop them to say "oh no sister, not for you. Understate it and let your personality shine
through." If the fashion police actually existed, I'd be on the phone 24-7 calling them. But, this is afterall,
tinsel town and the 30-second ad is what works.
At one Macy's, I happened upon a sister who tickled my funny bone
to no end. She was not happy. A tall and very stylish Black woman, I first noticed she did the very same thing
I did -- flip through the racks at a high rate of speed while simultaneously stepping away to take in the whole rack to see
if something jumped out -- what I used to call looking for something that "spoke to me." Finally, and I can only assume
she noticed me noticing her, she spoke out: "These folks out here don't know how to dress." I laughed aloud and asked
her about the clothes she was wearing and where she purchased them. She said Chicago. I should have known.
She continued talking about wishing she could shop in the city and
find clothes without having to take trips back and forth from L.A. to Chicago. That's when I started in. I told
her this is exactly what I used to do and oh my God, didn't she and I start the "itty bitty Chicago dress committee" right
there in Macy's. When I told her I was from Chicago, "it was on." She and I started talking for far longer
than we needed in that store. But, it was a good conversation and she confirmed for me what I already knew, there is
a big difference between the cities.
I went on to tell her about the Macy's in San Francisco. "Oh"
she said, "they know how to dress in San Francisco and they ain't all caught up keeping up with the Jones there."
We talked about everything from fashion and personal style to the race for governor here in California. "If no one knew
how shallow the folks out here are, they know it now" she said. She and I finally exchanged numbers vowing to call one
another. As we exchanged cards and discussed doing business together, I realized something very interesting and noted
how I missed this type of exchange between people and women in particular. She didn't care how I was dressed,
she cared more about our conversation. In essence, getting to know me had little to do with appearance or presentation
and more to do with character -- the content of my character. What a pleasant change of pace. As we parted
ways, she said "Clothes don't make the woman, the woman makes the clothes." Touche.
I left that Macy's and headed around the corner to the Macy's on
Lake and I noticed the differences between the clientele on Colorado at the Paseo and the clientele on Lake and the Macy's
shops. Here, I found the older and more upscale women of San Marino and Pasadena. I thought, I might get lucky
here and I was lucky indeed. I told my new friend at the Paseo Macy's that I thought the Macy's on Lake would be more
to her liking, what I didn't realize then was there is a Coldwater Creek there as well.
For those who don't know, Coldwater Creek is a store for women of
all sizes. They think in terms of women, not their size. If there is an item you like in one size, that item is
also available in larger sizes as well. I've received many of their catalogs and have visited their online store but
never purchased anything because I've always been a little leary of catalog shopping. Well, I won't be anymore.
Did I spend some money up in there? Oh yeah. I walked
in and saw clothing I liked immediately. I went to a rack of linen blouses (I love linen) and on the rack of linen blouses
were sizes in petite, average and the so-called "Women's" (which means larger women) -- ALL ON THE SAME RACK. This
is a psychological turn on for me because it leads me to believe you thought about me in the design process; I was not an
afterthought. Too often I've gone into stores where the "Women's" department was either on another floor or
in a particular section and some of the clothes were designed for the larger size and not a woman's personal style.
In essence, they're awful.
After Coldwater, I went to the Macy's there and found some beautiful
dresses. I have always loved dresses cut on the bias because they skim the curves, shape the figure and move elegantly
with the body. I found two such dresses, tried them on, loved and purchased them. Ooo la la.
I ended my shopping experience by stopping first at Pier 1 Imports
and then off to Peet's for coffee. I sat out on the patio at Peet's to take in a little people watching before heading
home. I then played eye games with another woman sitting on the patio. Flirting can be a wonderful way to pass
the time. I tend to be a little obvious though. I will either wear a rainbow bracelet or necklace which is a giveaway
for those in the know. I get a lot of attention that way. Sometimes, I find women recognize me from the
website, in which case I'll get a very warm welcome or smile. I don't know which this was. I was wearing a rainbow
bracelet today and that could have been the reason for the eye game. Either way, it warmed my blood.
Getting out was the medicine I needed. As my mother and I
realized earlier in the day, a person can die staying in the house. She and I have shared these past seven years of
hell and we were both so caught up in our depression and sadness we had forgotten who we were. She's getting out every
day to do something for herself. I likewise had to do the same.
Albert Einstein had something when he said energy equals mass times
the speed of light squared. We need to get our mass out and into the light -- the light of others and into the light
that illumines the world. I had more energy today than I've had in months. Staying in the dark shelter of my home
or, using the light of others to get out every now and then made me very tired. I lacked energy and I needed to find
the light for and with myself. Those who are accustomed to reveling in the light take it for granted. For those
of us who have danced with the devil under the pale blue moon, we only know a dark existence. Today, I came out from
the darkness and into the light. What a beautiful day.
Coldwater Creek -- http://www.coldwatercreek.com
Colwater Creek specializes in "apparel that carries the wide-open
flavor of this area, yet suits decidedly urban landscapes as well. Naturally inspired jewelry, some with echoes of Native
America. Nature-related gifts that delight as well as inform. Beautiful items for your home that express your own individuality.
All offered through three direct-mail catalogs, our e-commerce Web site at www.coldwatercreek.com, and through select retail stores in highly visible locations."