I am being harassed, tormented even, by someone I’ve never even met. Someone who seems to be everywhere, taunting me, trying to make me feel badly about myself. Trying to break my resolve.
It’s that damn Chico’s lady.
She dances around in the fall commercials, all happy and skinny; not a mommy outfit in her closet. She wears heels and cute boots. Animal prints adorn her purses and vests. She has a different jacket for every day of the week. She smiles all.the.time. She’s taunting me, trying to outfit me in layers of plaid and necklaces, maybe a scarf thrown in as an afterthought.
But she’s old. At least my brain tells me she is.
I don’t identify with her. But I’m supposed to.
If I were in my 50’s or 60’s, she would probably be my idol. She’s energetic, perky, maybe even sexy. Her hair is cute and there’s not a gray in sight. If she has any wrinkles, they’ve been airbrushed away for my benefit. She’s not wearing mom jeans, an old sweatshirt, or even Spanx. No polyester or sensible shoes for this gal.
Chico’s markets towards the more mature crowd. You know you’ve crossed into this territory when you feel slightly creepy shopping in the junior’s department at Macy’s. When they have mall security kindly remove you from Express or Gap. If you can remember when Gap was “The Gap”, supposedly you should be buying your clothes at Chico’s.
But I still find myself kicking and screaming about this whole transition towards full-on womanhood that I’m supposed to be making at my age. An age when some of my friends are actually already grandmothers….and some still have preschoolers.
And yet, the Chico’s lady stalks me. I even had a dream about her.
On the few occasions when I have actually gone into a Chico’s store, the sales clerks swarm around me like college kids eyeing a free pizza. They smile and ask if they can help me find something. Anything.
They want me on their team.
I feel obligated to announce (rather loudly) “I’m shopping for my mom!” They give a polite smile, a knowing nod….”you’ll be on our team soon enough, sweetie“, they seem to be thinking.
Part of the whole Chico’s philosophy is that if you layer on enough stuff, nobody notices your wrinkles or pesky gray hairs. Plaid vests, checkered jackets, layers upon layers of tops, tons of jewelry….who could see past all that to pay any attention to the cracks and crevices in my face? My newly-crazy eyebrow hairs? My gray roots?
Hmmm, that black top isn’t too bad. Maybe with a few of those cute necklaces, too…..
Damn Chico’s lady.