Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stripping for strangers: Instant community in Loehmann's fitting room

If you haven't shopped at Loehmann's, a heads up:  the fitting room is like a ladies' locker room, mirrors, discarded clothes, and women of all shapes, sizes and ages modeling clothes for each other.  You can wait for one of the private dressing rooms, but when it's busy, it's best to just get naked.  Plus, if you're shopping alone, you have an instant audience who will tell you whether you should splurge for the shirt. 

Taking off the tee-shirt that hides the stomach bulge, putting your granny panties on display, there's something about showing a little skin that develops instant intimacy.  My new best friend today was a woman in her 60s, who sat in her bra and pants and watched as I tried on a little blue strappy shirt.  Unasked, she offered her positive opinion of the shirt.  When she asked me where I'd be wearing it (birthday drinks) we found out we're both sagittarians.  After we discussed my lack of a rack to properly fill out the top, she asked for my opinion about a cowl neck sweater that unfortunately showed off a bit too much of hers.  Thinking how I wouldn't want my mother to leave the house baring her breasts, I suggested she try on a shell.  Exchanging happy birthday wishes, I walked out to find my best friend shopping for shoes, and got a slightly more honest opinion.  Hanging up the ill-fitting shirt on the nearest rack, I was still thankful to be pushed a little beyond my comfort zone and into community.

(Photo: "Mirror, mirror" by Equinoxphoto,

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I love this post. It reminds me of all of the random people I've met doing random things... people in coffeeshops, bookstores, dressing rooms evidently... people you meet while traveling... it's almost intoxicating to hear little bits of the lives of strangers and be wrapped up in that warm feeling of knowing that we are all one...