Return to Me

Lately, I feel like all I do is buy things and return things.  It’s giving me a complex.  Like – am I so hard to please?  Am I fickle?  Wishy-washy?  Or are the products of today just shoddy and inconsistent? Am I just not in touch with who I really am?
I’m not much of a shopper.  I hate exhausting myself browsing through stores, fighting crowds, trying on clothes, checking prices, etc.  I’d much rather be in my studio whipping up a quilt or some other creation.  But life requires me to go to work, to social functions, and I require myself to take pride in my appearance.
I try to be frugal, but my taste is not of the WalMart pleasable level.  Although – it’s not Ann Taylor either.  More like Gap or Lands End or Eddie Bauer.  I watch for sales and free shipping, and I do most of my shopping from my computer.  (Driving to these places takes way too much time – an hour one way for me.)
Whenever I need anything non-clothing, I use Amazon, and I’ve used Thrive for food items (if you haven’t tried them, you should!)
My “Return Queen” status started a couple months ago.  I ordered a pair of skinny jeans from Eddie Bauer along with a button up shirt and a cardigan.  I was quite pleased with the tops, but the jeans seemed a little too much like second skin.  I tried them on for my husband, and he just laughed and said, “A little tight, don’t ya think?” They were a size 8, which is what I wear, and they fit.  They just looked tight.
So, I returned them.
Next I ordered an essential oil kit from Amazon.  I spent a bunch of time researching which were the best, then went with the set that fit my budget.  When they arrived, I could smell them outside the package.  A good sign – right?  Well, I took out the lime scent, and I doused my car freshener with it, but the next day it smelled like nothing.  I tried one more scent before putting in the request for return.  Luckily, they just credited my account and I didn’t have to ship the product back.  I was a little confused by this, but after talking to a few other people, I found this was common.  I guess they didn’t want them if they didn’t work either.
I went to a local department store and bought a dress with a bohemian flair and a crocheted cardigan, which I decided (after getting home) didn’t do anything for me.  I had purchased them for an upcoming wedding.  I took them back.
While I was at the store, I searched and tried on about ten other things. I had a dress at home.  I just didn’t like that it showed my over 50 thickening waist. So at my oldest son’s earlier suggestion, I finally grabbed a pair of Spanx.  I bought a new pair of earrings and a big faced watch and comfortable dress shoes to wear with the dress at home – my spike heel pumps kill my feet now that arthritis is setting in.
I put on the entire outfit at home only to find out that I’d rather look like a tomato than wear that undergarment that makes me feel like I’ve been taken hostage by a roll of duct tape.  Next, I put on the watch.  It was just one link too big.  (Unfortunately, there was no sales person to help me and adjust the watch – a sign of the times?)
I tried to remove a link.  My husband tried.  My son tried.  We YouTubed it, and all tried again.  Finally, disgusted, I put it back in its pretty box and threw it into the return bag with the Spanx.
In another attempt to avoid the shopping mall, I ordered a maxi dress on Amazon.  It feels amazing.  I could wear it 24/7.  Unfortunately, I look like I’m pregnant or just chubby.  In my mother’s words, “Yeah, it doesn’t do much for you.”
I threw it in the box to be returned.
I ordered my mother a pair of Crocs.  Too big.  Ordered her a smaller pair (verdict still out), and while I was at it, I found a cute pair of Crocs for me and ordered them.  I love Crocs, because they are so comfortable!  But the pair I got were too small, but not small enough to warrant an entire size larger.  I threw them in the return box.
Before this, I returned a remote control for my son.  It was advertised as a universal for TV’s, and it ended up being one for a DVD player.
I returned a battery operated LED Ottlite brand task light that didn’t illuminate anything.  I suppose if you were in a completely dark room, it would emit light, but I wanted it for when I was working on handwork – coloring with colored pencils, painting toenails, quilting by hand or embroidering.  What a disappointment.
In writing this, I have noticed a theme.  Aging.  I guess I’m trying to buy youth.  The ability to wear a sheath dress without a muffin top.  Skinny jeans without looking like I’m trying to be a teeny-bopper.  A light to improve failing vision.  All these things are taken for granted in youth.  And I’m not saying that at age 54 I need to succumb and just wear housecoats and give up doing the things I enjoy.  I just think the task of finding the right thing becomes more difficult.
I once had a young woman who was a size 18 tell me that in her mind’s eye, she was a size 10.  I guess that’s my problem.  I’m 54 years old, but in my mind, I feel enthusiastic about fashion, quilts, music, books and activities that a 30 or 40 year old feels, but my body is telling me otherwise.
I’m not sure what the answer is.  I guess – don’t give up!  Things might be tougher, but it’s worth the effort.  And I’m sure it isn’t going to get easier, so I guess I’ll stop my whining, quit beating myself up, accept myself and move forward.  It helps to remember that I’m not just a body.  And it’s not how I look that matters.  It’s who I bring to the table.  It’s who I return to.  And even more important, I just realized, is to live in this moment with gratitude for all that I am and all that I can do.  Cover

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