18 August 2011

Waesuck Wednesday: Dressing Room Edition

There comes a confluence of intense privacy with overt friendliness from strangers in the women's dressing room. It is a place of harsh lighting and truthful mirrors where wrinkles look deeper, breasts saggier, buttocks bigger. Unflattering garments are pulled overhead in disgust, zippers cursed, and rationalizations made. Alternately, when the fabulous dress is found or the perfect jeans pulled on, the dressing room provides a private little stage for the "I look good and I know it" grin, complete with sparkling eyes, a hand on the hip, and maybe even a little swagger out to show off the closet's soon-t0-be new addition. Women are hard on themselves, and when a flattering fashion victory makes its way out of the dressing room, other women often will offer up a compliment, an acknowledgment of a hard won battle waged behind the dressing room door—assuming that the temporary model is not a skinny b-c-h with perfect hair and teeth and a golden tan. We shoot daggers at the skinny b-c-h from underneath our unplucked eyebrows and ruefully remember the day back in elementary school when we could wear that size too. Skinny b-c-h probably isn't shopping off the clearance rack like we are. We hope skinny b-c-h's shoes pinch her tiny perfect feet.

Today I was in the dressing room of a regional department store clearing house where short squat women like me can find the largest petite's section this side of the state. Dresses, which I used to hate but recently discovered can be extremely comfortable given the right fabric, typically go for around $30 before the extra 40 percent reduction. I've come home with $7 shirts that are now my favorites.

I had just started working through my selection of five shirts when the woman in the dressing room right next to me passed gas. It was a long, rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat kind of sound. She wasn't trying to let it just sneak out. She knew I was beside her. She didn't cough to cover the noise or say excuse me when it happened. She just carried right on along. I rattled my hangers. Moments later I heard footsteps coming into the dressing room, shoes padding softly on the subdued gray carpet. "Hey Ethel, they've got on of these down in Tampa!" said voice perkily addressing the dressing room behind me—the dressing room containing the woman who had just passed gas. Two arms tangled in shirt sleeves, I cracked up, silently, just letting my laugh sneak out. The department store clearance center is particularly popular with the elderly who shop in cute couples or go there for a little ol' girls outing. Ethel, my dressing room companion, was just one of those little ol' girls. She didn't have a care who heard her pass gas, or at least didn't care that I, someone she didn't know and would never see again, heard her pass gas. And for that, I commend her. Ethel's friend tried on a white dress with a green and blue print, "Hey Ethel, can you stick your head out and look? See? Pockets!" "It looks good," Ethel said.

Dressing Room Dilemma
Each year, an estimated 8 billion unrecyclable plastic hangers and more than 3.5 million wire hangers end up in landfills, enough to fill almost five Empire State Buildings, but Ditto Hangers has designed hangers made from recycled Paper and PET Plastic.

Lessons from Van Halen's Dressing Room
When rock stars go on tour, they are famous for making extreme demands simply because they can. One of the most excessive examples comes from the band Van Halen, with lead singer David Lee Roth. Halfway down page 40 of the 53 page contract, it specified that the band’s dressing rooms must be supplied with M&Ms, but that there must be “ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES!”

Macy's Violates Privacy With Peek-A-Boo Dressing Rooms
News stations in both Orlando and Tampa Bay are reporting that local Macy's stores have been installing dressing room doors upside down so that horizontal slat openings allow outsiders to get a full view inside.

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