Dear Changing Rooms,
How do you do it? Why do you do it? I go into the changing room feeling light of heart, filled with optimism, my arms full of clothes and my heart full of hope. I peel off my own clothes, stand under the startlingly bright, unforgiving lights, and turn to face the mirror. And then you do it. You show me the Real Me.
There she stands, usually in just underwear and socks (not attractive, I confess); this flabby, pale stranger, anxious of face and dimpled of (too much) flesh, everything - and I mean everything - apparently travelling South. I swear that soon, her boobs will be in her socks (while her heart's in her boots), and people will turn from her in pity and disgust.
This happened again yesterday, while looking for (another) Mother of the Bridegroom outfit. My daughter, who doubles as personal shopper, swears I was crying. But I wasn't. I was beyond tears. What she saw was total, utter despair.
Now, let me give you some advice. It you really want me to buy the clothes, then:
1. Turn down the lights. Make them softly flattering, gentle, kindly.
2. Reduce the number of mirrors to just one. I have no need or desire to see my backside. I know it's too big, and don't need you to rub it in.
3. Make that single mirror very slightly distorted, to accentuate waists and slim the legs, thighs, tummies etc. I know this isn't entirely honest, but I don't NEED you to be honest. I need you to LIE. Okay?
Then, and only then, I just might buy something.
Yours in grief and disappointment etc etc