A.T. and Me

Soft turtleneck and cool skirt, Size ARGH
Yesterday I drove my Dad to my sister's house in Pennsylvania. The entire ride to Scranton Dad explained World War II military artillery history - mostly regarding the German attack aircraft and the British defense strategies over London during various stages. I kept asking about things like "how did women make meals with rations" or "when we were so paralyzed (after 9/11) how did the Londoners deal with years of imminent bombing?" He's answer briefly but somehow return to things like how German casualties grew to over 10% resulting in Germans reduced nighttime bombing in London. I have to admit that today I didn't retain much of his detailed knowledge.

Brain-fried from driving in rain, and trying to keep up with his three-hour long history lesson, I made a pit stop at the Crossings Outlets on my way home. After window shopping at Coach, I hit Ann Taylor's outlet. I love their clothes. Tasteful, plain, they have some of my favorite reds, mixed with the neutrals that I wear most.

But... like any vice, there is always a down side of indulgence. Each time I venture into AT (which is rare) I always feel worse than when I got there. Why? Because AT doesn't design clothes for "women like me". Their clothes are for the woman I was 15 years ago.

They may seems appropriate for a broad range of ages, but they don't seem to fit women who have ever been pregnant, had babies and breastfed them (except if you did post-partum workouts with Heidi-Klum or had a certain nip-tuck). Every time it's the same thing - I get lured by their design, and walk out in a sour mood, saying "I'll show them!"

I tried on six skirts, and bought one in a size larger than clothes I bought last month at Macy's. I managed to get away with a size Medium turtleneck. But pants? Nope. One ill-fitting, but cool skirt made it home with me, with I short-sighted, but defiant "I CAN pull this off!"

Retail therapy rarely works. Yesterday it backfired for sure.

I wish I'd paid better attention to my Dad. What was the new tool the British sued that helped them repel German warplanes? What was the name of the engineer who designed bombs for the Germans, and then after the war built up the program to send Americans to the moon..... what was the Tom Lehrer song about him (answer: Werhner-Von-Braun)... And what did he say about Goddard (as in the namesake for NASA's center near DC) who was an American rocket scientist who worked in Europe during the war? What did he do? I know Dad explained it.

History lessons are important - if we pay enough attention. Next time: take notes when Dad tells stories. And stay away from stores that make you feel bad about yourself!


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