Yes, I wore this shirt again. I love it, okay?
Yes, I also wore pants! I know this is weird for me but I am doing a walk, and I need the pockets.
I have also placed some walking supplies in my purse backpack.
If this was tomorrow, I'd probably be carrying a fanny pack, because Mickey ordered one of those for me the other day, cause sometimes I don't want to carry a whole purse, you know?
So I'm about to be a fanny pack person and I can't believe it. I looked down on them for such a long time, but all it took was seeing one used effectively by someone else during a trip for me to realize their value.
Orlando Stevie must be laughing so hard while also sweating. She carried one while we were up here for the inspection and she was like, "You're gonna see how convenient these are and want one for yourself. Just wait and see!"
She was right. So, now I am also gonna be a fanny pack chick.
Not today, though. Today I have my backpack and Larry's coming with me.
Okay I am back and now I will tell you the tale.
This is where I left...
and this is where I went.
The simulation is kind of lazy with the clouds today and that's honestly okay with me because last night, when I was outside just doin' a hang... guess what I saw?
Or fireflies or illumination insects or whatever else you call them. It was magical and I stayed outside extra long to soak it in.
Okay, so the shopping center I headed towards looked like it was filled with nothing more than a Planet Fitness, off-brand smoke shop and a Dollar Tree.
My goal was the Dollar Tree. For candy, of course. Dollar Tree almost always has my favorite low rent candy and, in case you were curious, it is Chewy Lemonheads and Friends, except I do not eat the grape ones.
I used to, but it felt like a chore instead of a candy, so I stopped.
My goal, however, was to explore the shopping center fully and I'm so glad I did, because I discovered at least one place where I'm gonna become a regular shopper.
It was my first stop, at the very end of the shopping center. Okay, not the very end... that is a Little Caesars.
But tucked in between that and some other faceless business was a smallish clothing boutique.
I almost didn't go in, because I'm used to Florida stores where everything looks like Bealls and nothing looks like me. And it always seemed like a damn challenge to find something that I both liked and that fit my "little titties and my fat belly" and my big ol' hips. (Click the link, the song is worth it.)
But I peeped in the window and decided to walk in.
The name of the shop was MaddGear and I'm 100% gonna be back.
This picture does not do the store justice, because I awkwardly snapped it as I was checking out.
But peep the top row - in the middle - with the poofy skirt and white tee with a cool pearled tank top and denim corset over it.
These clothes were creative. And colorful.
They had personality. And I am here for it.
There were so many pieces with extreme volume that I was both delighted and overwhelmed.
It was like, "Hey, that clothing imagination you have? Let's make it real."
I wanted to buy/try on one million things.
But, me being me, I am very awkward.
There were a couple other shoppers in the store and they seemed like regulars, talking to the shopkeep (my brain can come up with no other word for this at the moment, so that's what you get), so I felt weird interrupting to ask questions.
So I flitted around and looked at all the colors and patterns and shapes with excitement while my brain tried to talk me into turning around and leaving.
I didn't listen.
Instead I approached the group of shoppers, still in the midst of a lively conversation.
I said, "I am in love with all your clothes, especially the ones with volume! But I am so short I do not know how to wear stuff like this. Can you help me?!"
Y'all, even blurting this out was a big deal for me. HUGE.
See? I have no problem speaking up for someone I love, like, when they need help or assistance in a store and are unable to do it for themselves.
However, I'm still terrible about doing it for myself. I wonder if there is some sort of lesson in self love there?
But I did it, I spoke up and it wasn't even awkward.
Immediately the group of women looked to the shorter of the three and the shopkeep laughed (in a friendly way, not a rude way) and gestured towards the shorter of two customers, saying, "Here's your example!"
And then asked me to show her the things I liked.
I walked over to a long, flowing, full tutu skirt that she had paired with a funky tee and told her I loved it, but it would pool at my feet like too long curtains.
Then she showed me the yellow dress pictured below, which I immediately tried on and immediately fell in love.
Like always, the photo does not do it justice. The bottom is sheer and open and meant to be worn over shorts or leggings and, y'all. It fit me!
Not awkwardly and tight in the wrong places like most clothes, but it fit over my hips in a way that felt comfortable and not like I would be pulling at it all night.
While I was changing out of the yellow dress and back into my normal clothes, I hear someone outside asking, "Well? How does it look!"
To which I replied, "I love it!"
They said, "Let's see!"
I am a very fast clothes trier on-er, so they probably didn't expect me to be done, so I said, "I already took it off!"
They said, "Oh no, we need to see it - you can't be alone in there."
And y'all, when I stepped out - all of the shoppers were there invested in my journey with the clothes.
I twirled a bit and we talked about what I could pair with it.
I have honestly never felt like that shopping for clothes. I always felt like my tastes were being judged, along with my size, so shopping was just never ever fun for me.
But this... was?
Then I asked if I could try on that pink dress (also pictured above).
I have been looking for a Pink Villanelle dress for a long time, but, like one that didn't require a professional to take care of it.
And also Villanelle is tall and elegant where I am short and stumpy, so I knew finding the right proportions for my body was gonna be tricky.
In fact, I had tossed around the idea of having a friend custom make me a Jacki version of this piece for an upcoming wedding. That plan got uprooted by the purchasing of the Professor House.
So, if this beautifully made cotton dress fit me like I thought it might, I would probably cry with happiness and immediately buy it.
When I tried on the pink dress, it, too, was a group activity. I felt supported while shopping and my brain is not used to that novelty.
I guess when I shopped before the only comments were to point out where things didn't look good on me... not where they flattered me.
What a mind flip thinking about that is.
So, I did buy a dress, but I think it is more dramatic if I get all dressed up in it one day and maybe do a reveal? So wait for me to do that? Or just ask me. I'll probably just tell you.
They did talk me into doing a twirl for them and took a video of me, so that'll probably exist on the Internet somewhere, too.
This is what I saw at the register:
I dig it. And I dug this store so much. I already can't wait to go back, because there were at least three other things I was peepin' hardcore, including this one very voluminous newspaper print dress that is just epic.
I'm gonna be such a weird old lady, y'all. I can't wait.
The next thing I discovered in this shopping center was the aforementioned smoke shop, which I almost immediately peaced out of.
It just wasn't for me dawg, so I moved on.
And discovered a health food store! Score!
I feel like almost all health food stores look the same and there is something very comforting about that to me.
They were having a sale on kombucha so I bought four bottles to bring back to the hotel room and then I also found some thinly sliced dried beef (NOT BEEF JERKY - the packaging was very clear about that!) for a healthy hotel snack.
But I also looked at their deodorant section, cause, as y'all know, I have very sensitive pits and it's hard to find stuff that doesn't make them fall off in sheets.
See that white box back there? That is an "all natural" deodorant that lasts up to 7 days - through bathing, exercising, watersports, all of it.
Great for athletes! It claims.
Well, an athlete I am not, but I am a former Floridian, so we'll see how it goes.
My last stop was the Dollar Tree, which did not have my favorite candy, so it was a mega disappointment.
They did, however, have "Kool Aid Gum" which I am excited to dive into.
And I also bought myself some Dollar Store art supplies, including a "Paint With Water Princess" book.
Now, if you had already been my friend on BeReal (JackiOh), you would have seen my masked (but still smiling) face checking out at the Dollar Tree live - as it was happening!
I live an exciting life, y'all.
My walk back was uneventful, aside from me regretting buying four bottles of kombucha instead of one single light one.
And enjoying the nature of course.