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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: Shopping for Something More
By Bonnie Way


A gaggle of high school girls jostles past me, laughing and chattering and bumping their huge Dynamite bags against me. I clutch my purse on my shoulder, stepping around a lady with a stroller who has stopped to peruse Aldoís shoes, and then scuttle sideways into Rickyís. The mannequins by the door stare blankly over my head, but one is wearing a cute blue sweater, and I glance around the store until I see it hanging in the back corner. On my way back there I find a few other tops to try on, and a salesgirl soon appears, offering to start a change room for me.

I pull the sweater off the hanger and slip it over my head in anticipation of seeing myself look as poised as the mannequin outside. Somehow it doesnít look the same on me. I tug at the hem, shrug my shoulders, twist around in the mirror. No, it doesnít fit. I toss it into the corner and try on a khaki green blouse. It wonít even button up. It joins the first top, as do the next three. Then finally I find something that looks good. I study it, a slight smile gracing my lips. The maroon color compliments my skin and the cut accents my figure. I look professional wearing this. Iíll take it.

A second browse through Rickyís reveals nothing else I want to try on, so I pay for my maroon top and once again join the crowd of shoppers in the mall. I wander along, another fish in the stream, until I land in another store.

The medium-sized clothes that fit me at Rickyís are too tight here. I emerge from the change room, feeling fat, to go find all my choices again in a larger size. Once again, things that looked cute on the hanger donít fit me. I eye the model in the advertisement above the cashierís counter. Sheís slender, gorgeous, smiling, her hair and makeup done perfectly, her clothes the latest fashions. I stare into the mirror, wondering why I canít achieve that look. I tug at the blouse, undo the top button and then do it up again. To take it or not to take it, that is the question. If it requires that much thought, then it doesnít fit, so I add it to the pile of discarded items and exit the store.

I pass several stores without entering, as the mannequins in the window donít attract my attention. I want something classy and sexy, not shaggy and ripped. Then I try another store, only to exit after discovering what the price tags say. Iím not prepared to pay that much for my clothes, even if they will make me look as sophisticated as the model on the poster. In Reitmanís, I twist and turn in front of the mirror, and wish I had some friends here to provide second opinions. Iím not sure and I hate buying things that I later donít wear because I decide too late that I donít like them.

Iím becoming indecisive, disappointed at not finding what I was looking for, disgruntled by the things that donít fit, upset at both the prices and my budget. If I had a million dollars, I could look like that model in the window. I glance at her again. Even if I was wearing the clothes that she is, I wouldnít look like her. What is it she has that I want? Confidence. Beauty. Poise. Things that I cannot buy at the mall, no matter how much money I spend or how many clothes I try on. I gather up my shopping bags and walk out.

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Member Comments
Member Date
cindy yarger03/12/07
I read this and I almost didn't comment because at first reading I didn't like it. The writing itself is good but it seemed empty. I thought about that and wondered just how many people shop exactly like that. How many people are dissatisfied with what they do purchase, long for more and are ultimately still looking for the wrong things (poise, beauty, and confidence)? Now I like your story and think that you did a great job in expressing it.
Sue Dent03/13/07
Oh my! Have you been shopping with me? I thought I heard a voice. (hint: I watched Stranger that Fiction last night. LOL) But honestly, this is exactly why I DON'T go to the mall if I can help it. Wonderful emotions!
Jen Davis03/15/07
You made a good point with this story. I could most relate to this line: ďÖI hate buying things that I later donít wear because I decide too late that I donít like them.Ē I hate that too, and Iím not sure how that happens. I love the ending to this story. It ends abruptly and perfectly. Great job!