Retail Therapy

treatyoselfI have to admit something. I like shopping, and I’ve often used the practice of buying nice things I don’t necessarily need in order to lift my spirits during dour times. While I was in hospital, I used my iPad to browse online clothing and sports apparel stores. I didn’t make any purchases in my hospital gown, but I noted a few items that I liked, namely football shirts for my collection. After I was released, I bought the Arsenal, PSV, and Galatasaray shirts I had been eyeing, but laid off the Timex watch and GORUCK backpack. After all, I’m not H.E. Pennypacker.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve made several trips to shopping malls, but I’ve found the experience far less enjoyable than in my pre-surgery days. The main reason is my super skinny body. I’ve lost 30 pounds since/as a result of my surgery, but I very much plan on putting that weight back on. It might take many months yet, but I refuse to be nearly six feet tall and weigh a measly 130 pounds. I used to enjoy browsing for fashionable threads, but now setting foot in a clothing store just reminds me of how drastically my body has deteriorated over the last several months. Trying on clothes several sizes smaller than what I’m used to would only dishearten me further. Plus, the ostomy appliance and the drainage bag and drainage tube and the wound bandage all add difficulty to the normally easy task of getting dressed.

Jayee and I recently made a trip to Mississauga’s Square One shopping mall so she could pick up a few items for her weekend excursion to cottage country. As I mentioned in a previous post, I couldn’t partake in the outdoorsy activities because… well… my body is still a train wreck. Our first stop was Bikini Bay, where Jayee bought a sexy swimsuit. Not sexy in an overly revealing kind of way, but sexy in a cute and sporty way. She looked fantastic in it, and that made me feel even worse for not being able to go on the trip, for not being able to walk along the beach with her, for not being able to swim in the lake with her. Sigh.

With swimwear covered, Jayee and I stepped into H&M where she bought an ubercool green military jacket. I have a really sexy, really stylish girlfriend, and I’m very lucky for that. I felt as though I deserved a little something cool for myself, so I led Jayee into The Pro Image, a sportswear and sports memorabilia store. At the back of the store, we came across a collection of new NFL toques, and I was tempted to get one (side note: I really admire people who wear toques in hot weather, sacrificing comfort for style). After trying on retro-styled toques for the Redskins, Patriots, and Bears, I decided to buy a black and red Atlanta Falcons toque. I don’t have any particular affinity for the Falcons, but that toque was hot.

I put my treat in my backpack and Jayee and I went for a walk around the mall. We stepped into Little Burgundy, a shoe and accessory store, and debated which type of sneakers would look good on me. I was convinced a pair of blue New Balance sneakers would do the job. Jayee voted for Vans. We had to agree to disagree. Nothing was bought or even tried on for size, but I felt good knowing that there were at least two areas of fashion that I can still get excited about: head wear and footwear. Despite losing a significant amount of weight, my hat size and shoe size remain the same. This isn’t to say I’m going to stock up on toques and baseball caps and boots and sneakers, because I won’t, but I can look around and, if I can afford it, pick up something new to make me feel better about my appearance.

I might just go back to Square One for those New Balance sneakers. Don’t tell Jayee.

Image via Punch

About rasheedclarke

Award-winning author. Marathon runner. Exceptional dresser. I'd like to be all those things.

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