There are some times you should simply not go shopping, because what you bring home serves as the sad reminder that you are chemically prone to hallucinations, momentary lapses in bad taste, and rationalization frenzies. This is also referred to as Why-the-hell-did-I-buy-that Syndrome. Let me demonstrate with the chilling conclusion of...
SHOPPING WHILE HORMONAL (Part 2)
Read tips 1, 2, and 3 here!
Sale racks+PMS=regret. Steer clear of anything marked ‘clearance.’ You know why, right?
Because all it takes is the glimmer of a trend on its way out, but priced right, to have you thinking you could totally pull of sequins and fringe, or super-high-waisted pants with suspenders, or a purple suede vest.
Maybe you think you would never buy something that isn’t a cornerstone piece of your wardrobe, but somehow you are convinced that this random sale item is the game changer. It’s the new hit of colour or splash of texture that will complement your old stuff and be the perfect ‘update.' And it’s only $19.99, so it’s such a crazy good deal, right?
Alpine print was my Achilles heel. I thought it looked cute, but wouldn’t indulge until my progesterone-glazed eyes fell on The Sweater.
After I got my period and my head cleared, I realized that I looked like I had ransacked Steve Podborsky’s closet from 1983. Sigh.
5. If It Looks Like a Penis...
One fine day, I went into Homesense looking for some inspiration. I was on day three of my cycle. What ensued was a fascinating exercise in Freudian Home Décor.
When I came back to the car, where Hubs and Baby Girl were waiting, Hubs passed cola through his nose.
“What? What’s so funny? For God’s sake, what? Isn’t it nice? Don’t you like it? I thought we could put it in the dining room...”
Note: If you want to buy something huge and phallic that doesn’t belong in your goody drawer, it’s time for a date night. And don’t buy it. Ever. It will not look appealing on your mantle during the Holidays, no matter what you think.
What’s your worst tale of hormone-driven buyer’s remorse? Post your story in the comments and I might ship you this lovely black phallic urn from my personal collection of retail fails.
No, really. Threat and promise.
Remember, no matter what hideous thing you regret buying,
If you have ever brought home a retail prize before your period only to think “Oh MY GOD. What the HELL was I on when I thought this was ok to purchase?!” when the hormone fog clears, then this article is for you and your monthly sonic boom of estrogen.
Think of it as another kind of Caveat Emptor for women alone. Women who during their weepiest, chocolate-eating-ist times would do well to remember that only buyer’s remorse and retail suffering awaits those who dare to go..
SHOPPING WHILE HORMONAL (part 1)
Here are my confessions—may they be a lesson to you all.
1. Too Much Leopard Print
Oh it seems innocent enough. You’re PMS-y and the soft faux fur appeals to you. ‘What a great throw..’ you think innocently, and the click of the ‘buy’ button echoes through your conscience. ‘And that pillow isn’t too matchy-matchy..’
Patterns are fine ladies, but for the love of Muppets, please do not buy too much at one time. Otherwise you will wake up feeling like you had a one-night stand with Quagmire or that you are re-enacting Clan of the Cave Bear.
2. Hooker Shoes
There’s nothing else to call them. Seriously. I made the mistake of signing up for Shoedazzle. For those of you who don’t know, imagine if Columbia House Records was run by the Kardashians and the magic word was pleather. That’s all you have to know.
Now to be fair they do have some great deals. But my cycle is synched up to each new monthly showroom. The results have been disastrous. How do I put this?
I can’t even give these shoes away to charity, because I’m afraid that someone is going to start a hooker-in–training camp and use my shoes as educational platforms. Pun intended.
Note: Shop your own closet from ovulation to day 1 of your cycle. And for Sonya Bata’s sake, make sure that if you do buy a pair of shoes you could wear them to a school/playground/client meeting without teetering, glittering, wobbling, or click-clacking like a tawdry harlot — as fun as those words are to drag out on a Saturday night. While watching a drag queen competition.
3. ‘I have a Jedi Stylist’ Syndrome
The flipside of hooker shoes is, of course, my need to layer like a freaking Star Wars extra.
Now ordinarily I like the practical and fashion appeal of layering, but too often when my hormones spike I fall prey to buying far too many tunic-y type things and cargo-jeggings. You might think they’re practical and look great. And maybe they do. But trust me, you only need so many tunics and drapey shirts before you start looking like you’ve raided Aunt Beru’s closet. Or Beatrice Arthur’s Golden Girls wardrobe.
Or worse, Beatrice Arthur in the 1977 Star Wars Christmas Special. Shudder
Remember: If you’ve just ovulated and Dorothy Zbornak/Jedi fashion starts to look hot, call upon Webster’s magic words: Say NO. Then GO. And TELL someone who will cut up your credit cards.
I’ve never been ashamed or quiet about my grab bag of neuroses. I don’t exactly sport them like club scout badges, but at the same time I find the human brain fascinating, and ‘normalcy’ somewhat like the Loch Ness monster: keep looking for it people, and good luck with that.
I’ve been in and out of therapy since I was 12. My parents were pretty quick to realize that their generation was out of touch with their emotions and not really equipped to handle the various dramatic surges of the tween brain. At first I remember feeling caught between a kind of trendy, elite, inclusion, and embarrassment. I was in therapy. How sophisticated...kind of like having a headgear or a training bra. I think. Wait. Why did I have to go? Didn’t they get me?
But they did. And the gift of talking to someone about my grey matter rollercoaster was one of the best they could have ever given me.
Therapy—regardless of therapist or style—can force you to examine your reactions and put you into the spotlight that you consciously evade or that you don’t even know you’re running from. It can challenge your self-told histories and myths. It can break a passive resistance to driving your life, and help you understand others. Some will disagree and that’s totally fine. It took me a while to warm up to it but after 20 years, I can say I’m a fan.
After I had Baby Girl, I had a mean case of the ‘baby blues’ that lingered. Pretty soon it was an unwanted guest that kept me crying, sleepless, and lackluster 24/7. I honestly thought that this was just what ‘motherhood’ was; a dismal place reminiscent of Hellraiser, except with a cuter Pinhead, severe episodes of guilt over anything and everything, and of course, panic attacks. It wasn’t full-fledged post-partum depression, but it was enough to make me raise my hand and ask for help.
After my first miscarriage, I felt the same violent emotional drain. This time it was more pronounced. I couldn’t move out of bed. I had aches and pains. For a while I couldn’t figure out if it was my Crohn’s, depression, hormones, or all of the above. I was disinterested in the things that made me happy and connected. I had stopped socializing and didn’t realize it until my Klout dropped. (So it appears it is actually good for something. Ha.)
I reached out again.
After miscarriage number 2, however, I hit the depression jackpot.
I was so confident that I could monitor myself, check in with my symptoms, stay on top and in control of my sadness and anxiety. I was such a therapy veteran that I’d know what was going on, and why. Right?
20 years of therapy and I didn’t click this time.
I didn’t click when my smile took so much energy to put on that I’d scream-cry into a pillow when I had a minute to myself. Not when I’d stare at my husband and feel anger, or worse, absolutely nothing.
I didn’t click when after my umpteenth panic attack I thought to myself “Well, it’s probably either a heart attack or another anxiety thing.” Not even when I just sat there not caring what happened next, with just a brief thought to who was listed as my insurance beneficiary in case, you know, it was a coronary.
It hit me this week when I woke up and actually wanted to go outside into the sun. When I wanted to sniff my baby’s sticky maple face after breakfast; hold my husband’s lovely, calloused hand; and just sit for a while with my imperfect thoughts.
‘Where have I been?’ I thought, all of a sudden.
I don’t know.
If I had an answer there would be a spectacular ending to this post. I would say something about my journey back to reality, or the lightening-bolt epiphany that zapped my course and my life. The thing is, that’s not how things tend to happen. It takes conscious work, applied effort, patience, time, and lots of breathing to make a change in your life. And it takes even more to live that change.
For me, that means more therapy.
So go to it. Make your change, and I will too. And we’ll see what happens next in this beautiful mess called Life.