After years of aggression and disappointment and too many unflattering jersey dresses, salespeople and I have arrived at a tense understanding to preserve a fragile peace. We lie.
They extoll the “virtues” of white linen. I promise to come back for that “super versatile” sequined gown after my “dentist appointment.”
We never see each other again.
“You have great legs,” she says, towering over me.
I am 5’2.
“I’m obsessed with Core Fusion,” I toss off enthusiastically.
This is only partially untrue. While I have never once attended the famed workout class, I am a longtime subscriber to its bi-weekly newsletter…which I have reflexively deleted approximately eighteen trillion times. Still, I am reaping benefits left and right. My thumbs have never looked better.
I plan to try it soon. Perhaps this lie — more of a fib, really — is exactly the motivation I need. Everything changes today!
Given the preponderance of wellness-related emails that I receive several dozen times each week, I know that intention matters. Life is a choice. Health is a state of mind. This is going to be great.
“I’m addicted,” I tell her.
“This is such a great wallet,” says the redhead behind the sleek white counter of the charcoal bi-fold I have just purchased. “Your boyfriend is going to adore it.”
She’s right. It is gorgeous. The leather is soft and sophisticated, and I have spent most of today on the lookout for one exactly like it. Woo-hoo!
It is 100% perfect for my fictional boyfriend. I hope my older brother likes it nearly as much.
“Are you looking for anything in particular?” asks a well-dressed man moments after I enter the boutique that is his part-time fiefdom.
“Just browsing,” I say cheerfully.
“Okay, my name is Roger. Let me know if you need anything.”
This is not great. This is terrible.
I am, in fact, on a desperate hunt for an outfit to wear to a party tonight. The dress of my dreams is so specific — mod-ish, navy, collar detailing — that I fail to understand how I have not yet willed it into being. But despite — or is it because of? — Roger’s eagerness, I know I cannot share these specifications with him.
I shake Roger, collect several versions of the same dress and two pairs of silk pants that I already know I will not buy, and attempt to sneak over to the dressing room.
Roger is hot on my tail.
“That looks great on you!” he coos, once necessity forces me to emerge from the cramped fitting room; lacking decency and probably daughters, the capitalists who designed this store have put all the mirrors outside the dressing rooms.
I consider my reflection as Roger smiles widely behind me.
I hate it.
“I love it!” I say. “Can I put it on hold?”
Shot by Mikael Jansson for Interview Magazine