I'm in the changing room in Target, Highpoint - I've hit the fashion heights, clearly. There's a discarded coat-hanger on the bench and a used tissue on the floor.
I've stripped down to my socks and undies on the bottom. I'm keeping my top pulled securely down over my trunk lest my abdomen escape from the top of my knickers. I don't want to see it. I've selected five pairs of pants to try on. It's an interesting exercise being in one of those rooms with the reveal-all mirrors. I try to avoid looking at myself above my hip line. Muffin tops would be putting it politely. Think I've got the opposite of body dysmorphia. I go about my life thinking I look okay, and then I see the reality in Target when I'm trying to have a nice shop.
One by one I struggle into these enormous pants - my size - and one by one I drop them into a heap on the floor. The pants look crap but I quite like my asymmetrical haircut. Haven't seen it from this angle before, Not bad at all. It compensates a little for the disappointing elephant-crutch duds. I've worked up a sweat at this stage and check my blood glucose in case I'm having a hypo rather than a menopausal flush. I'm okay, but I've had enough of Target.
I abandon the trouser shopping. After all, I'm supposed to be buying a present for my old man's birthday.
I'm in Big W next, opportunistically buying a bra. Well, they've got my style and size. This presents a problem though. I want to browse the rest of the store but I'm not carrying a shopping basket so I must carry this enormous black bra with its massive moulded d-cups. Try to tuck it inconspicuously under my bag but to no avail. This bra has a life of its own. If it had wheels I could have ridden around in it.
Run the gauntlet of Level 3 - yes, madam is having a nice day, but no, she's not interested in boxing lessons, nor organic cosmetics - and decide to buy a USB from Dick Smith.
Next stop, Just Jeans. Really must get something for the old man. The alarm goes off as I try to enter the store. I fling out my arms, as one does, as the assistant rushes over to accost me. I rifle through my bag. The USB is the culprit. I'm asked for the receipt, which I proffer. Good to know they're all looking out for each other at Highpoint. Nothing to see here, I think, given a small crowd has gathered behind me to gawk as we swing various items through the sensor. They're rewarded with a viewing of my incredible living bra. The shop assistant kindly peels off the metal label from the packaging of the USB and I'm in.
Now I'm having another hotflush/hypo special combo. Surreptitiously check my blood sugar again before resuming my jeans shopping. All good.
Despite my earlier trouser disappointment I'm tempted by the two pairs for $100 offer. Pair for me and a pair for the old man. He's easy to buy for. Thirty-four inch waist. He works out; has hardly changed shape in 32 years. I have a moment of euphoria in the changing room when I find a pair of jeans that fit - albeit below the muffin top line.
So I pay for the jeans and head for the exit and WTF? I'm bleeping again. The assistant rushes over and now the d-cups are once again being passed back and forth through the sensor. That's what you get for being environmentally friendly and bringing your own carry bag. But once again, it's the USB. The shop assistant obliges with a pair of scissors and liberates the USB from its attention seeking plastic packaging and sod the guy in Dick Smith who didn't de-magnetise it, or whatever he was supposed to do.
Back for more tomorrow. The old man's pants didn't fit.