Costco overwhelms me. Walmart? Never even attempted. This has nothing to do with my recovering snobbery. It’s a failing and I take full responsibility.
Oh I can buy, for example, gum at Costco. Something I know I want, with, most importantly, known variance. Constrained choices. I can handle the difference between Cinnamon, Wintermint, Bubble Gum, and Peppermint. Even Fruit, which, of course has no acquaintance with anything that grew in an orchard.
I can sort of handle these kinds of choices. Something I didn’t know I wanted, i.e. a cornucopia of holiday skirts for little girls. At least all choices are visible. I can stand in front of this rack and reconcile my kindled desire with the possibilities. Decide, in the end, which one a little girl might like best.
I am convinced that this is why I am a Sturdy Gal. Despite my Grande Dame skills and habits. The Grande Dame? Learned over years of corporate life and Thanksgivings with High WASPs. The Sturdy Gal? Innate.
What? Sturdy and fainting in a warehouse store in the same sentence? How can sturdy people suffer from Stendhal’s Syndrome?
Here’s my theory. The Sturdy Gal chooses clothing for comfort, not because she has no imagination but because she has too much. Where others look into their large closets with glee, choosing and re-choosing their clothes for the day, we suffer. Permutations and combinations are particularly tough. We like to know that we wear the pink silk cardigan with the gray pants. We don’t like to wonder about the possibility of rust with gray, of worsted with woven, of belts over shirts. Belts, for those with too much imagination, go in belt loops. If we have to think about belts over shirts? Over sweaters even? All we can say is, Michelle Obama deserves to be First Lady for her sheer courage in the face of belts.
So the next time you see one of us, flat shoes, no prints, absent any pieces of cloth artistically tied to anything else, remember. Compassion. And maybe find us some goggles for Costco.