Over 50, Still Kickin'

A slightly skewed perspective on life in The Middle Ages

Lee Ann Rubsam


An eye-opening report on our Peruvian missions trip:

The Peru Chronicles


Stories from Paul's career as a letter carrier:

Mailman Tales


The Blogs!

A wealth of articles that never make it to this web site:

Out of the Fire blog (Christian teaching)
The Character Building for Families Blog (homeschooling)
Over 50, Still Kickin' blog (for the funny stuff)

Shopping Excursion

My daughter Beebee and I went thrifting at St. Vincent de Paul this morning. I can find a story in almost anything, but there is ALWAYS a story waiting to happen at Vinnie's. Today, it was a mob of grownup sisters shopping with their mom. There was the bushy-haired gal who was the consultant of the family. We'll call her "Cinderella" for convenience' sake. (Don't ask why, just live with it. Beebee informs me she was no Cinderella.) Her sisters were taking up two of the three dressing rooms for a very long time. It was long, not only because they had to try on lots of stuff, but because of how they went about it. Go there in your mind with me:

Sister #1 dons a stylish dress, steps dramatically forth from the dressing room, and strikes a modeling pose, to be admired by all. Although I am yards and yards away, the sisters immediately attract my attention, because they do not have any volume control. "Loud, loud, loud," as the Dick, Jane, and Sally readers would say. Sister #1 does not look appealing in her outfit. Cinderella thinks otherwise.

"Ooohhh, Rachel, you look beautiful! Mom! Mom! Come see! You gotta see this!" Rachel looks anything but beautiful, and the dress does not help. Wrong color, a few sizes too small. Mamma is in a completely different section of the store, but she hears the call and makes her way over as fast as her legs will waddle.

They ooh and aah briefly, and then go on to the next garment. Sister #1 seems to be majoring on smart little dresses and power suits. Each one has to be modeled, exclaimed over, and discussed to the Nth degree, whether she is going to take it home or not. Even if she does not like an outfit, she struts it for the family and the rest of us poor people waiting to get a dressing room.

After we have heard several suits declared cute (they might have been -- on somebody several sizes smaller than Sister #1), Cinderella wants to know, "Rachel, what size do you wear?" Rachel announces to anyone who doesn't care to hear that she wears 8's and 10's. This is why the stuff she is trying on looks so awful on her. I only wear 8's or 10's when the clothing is from a very expensive shoppe -- or when someone has sized it wrong. I wear 12's, 14's, and an occasional 16. This woman is quite a bit larger than I am. She is also tall, and is trying on petite-ish type things. It is embarrassing to look at her, stuffed into those little bitty outfits. I wonder what is wrong with the family. They look like normal, average, attractive people. They do not appear to have mental challenges of any sort. Clothing challenges, yes, however.

Sister #1 continues to pose for us, with an occasional interruption from Sister #2, in the next dressing room. She also likes to wear her clothing way too small. She is not into power suits and business dresses. She is doing shorts and slacks. (Beebee's feet are sore from standing. My eyes and mind are sore from watching.) Sister #2 does not have the confidence and modeling ability of Sister #1. She does not leap gazelle-like from her dressing room and strike poses. (Good, I'm getting too much of this already.) She can't find slacks that are long enough, but they are plenty tight enough to make her happy. Finally, Voila! pants that are long enough. The whole family agrees that they are long enough AND cute! Sister #2 does not like them, though. They are "too baggy" (translation -- they are just the right size). Cinderella likes them and thinks she should buy them. She turns to me for moral support. She wants my opinion??? I am shocked. I mumble that they look fine to me. (Why drag me into this? Do I look like a fashion designer in my neon blue-and-cranberry jacket with the clashing red sweater beneath? And why AM I taking issue with other people's clothing choices when I wear this thing all over town? Perhaps I ought to accessorize with a paper bag over my head.)

Before Cinderella asks further for any expounding from me, we are all distracted again by Sister #1 bounding forth from her dressing room in a cute little business suit that would have fit Princess Di about right -- but Di's sister-in-law Fergie would never have attempted it. They all decide after much deliberation that she MUST buy the outfit because of the blouse and blazer, but the skirt should not be worn. (Neither should the rest of it, but yes, the skirt DEFINITELY should not be worn.) If any of us had a curiosity to know the exact dimensions and shape of Sister #1's tummy, we are curious no longer. It is starkly framed in black and white checkerwork. It will be equally starkly framed in my mind's eye for the next decade, at least. (I have a tummy. I know that pictures are supposed to be framed -- but not tummies.) How she managed to zip that skirt is beyond comprehension. Yes, let's avoid wearing the skirt.

It is now 10:35, and Beebee and I are wondering if we will get to try on our stuff before the store closes at noon. The two sisters finally exhaust all the outfits in the store that are too small for them, as well as all the commentary they can think of on how all the outfits in the store that are too small for them looked on them.

At long last we get one of the dressing rooms. Cinderella gets her turn in the one next to us. She is thinnish, and I assume she will not try on outfits three or more sizes too small for her. However, I am mistaken, for I hear her shout loudly enough so that the people in the furniture department can hear, that she "can't even get it on over her ----." We didn't want to know, Cinderella!

© Copyright 2005 by Lee Ann Rubsam. All rights reserved.

On the Serious Side

To find out about our Christian growth and home schooling books, visit our publishing web site:

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And for serious articles on growing in your Christian life:

Out of the Fire


Home Schooling?

Character Building for Families

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Email: leeann@leeannrubsam.com