So my good buddy Brooke (aka

) took me out for a post-birthday lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. I was not allowed to skip dessert. Brooke has the dress-size-prophecy gift, and was the first person to tell me that I was a size 8, long before I actually went and tried something on and discovered she was right.

Today I attempted to protest that I had been eating like crazy and had to be at least a size 10 again…right?

She gazed at me with gimlet eye, and informed me that I could probably fit into a 6, and we were going to Banana Republic after lunch to test this theory.



I balked at spending $78 on a pair of jeans, even if they did make choirs of angels descend to sing in a little circle around my ass, but apparently they run frequent sales on-line, so I’ll keep an eye out.

Then we wandered the mall for an hour mocking the current state of the fashion industry, which is pretty easy to do this year. In addition to the whole everybody-looks-pregnant empire waisted look (I hate them, and I’ve got such a short waist that they’re only bad on me, instead of godawful.) apparently these weird tie-dyed pink and brown thing are in. We wandered by store windows, staring in slack-jawed awe.

“Who took tie-dye and decided to make a prom dress out of it!?” Brooke demanded of a cold and uncaring universe. I had no answer.

The teal chiffon with ruffle-edged cleavage window was also impressive. The gold-lame zebra-pattern jacket required a second look. The real show-stopper, however, was a…thing…I cannot adequately describe…sort of a tanktop, made of what appeared to be four shapeless billowing ruffles in clashing 70’s patterns. In sheer rayon. With a fabric rose at the throat. Only someone with a relentless and undying hatred of the female body could have come up with such a shirt. Someone half-dead of starvation would have looked bloated in it. We almost bought one, on the understanding that the other party would have to wear it if they lost a bet, but could not think of a suitably important bet to justify such horror.

Brooke and I probably shouldn’t be allowed to wander around unchaperoned. We stopped to gaze at the little crystal animals (which I would never buy, being a cat owner) and I noticed one of two kingfishers on a branch. I like kingfishers enough that even though it was reasonably hideous, I had to stop and look. It was $950.

“Well,” said Brooke, “If you ever have a spare thousand dollars…”

“Fuck that,” I said, “if I ever have a spare thousand dollars, I’m getting laser hair removal on my pubes.”

Brooke folded up against the wall and took a minute to recover from this statement.

Then we went and looked at saltwater fish, that being Brooke’s major vice. They had lots of really cool corals and gorgeous fish. I drooled. Mind you, I can just about keep my two guppies alive (a pair of male Tequila Sunrise fancy guppies) and have no business even looking at saltwater tanks, but y’know. Someday if I’m absurdly stinking rich and can justify hiring a guy to come take care of the tank, and have given enough money to charity in the last five minutes that I don’t feel guilty laying out hundreds of dollars on coral.

Then I wouldn’t get anything DONE because I’d be staring at the tank all day, but y’know.

I should paint fish. Saltwater fish people are probably just as crazy as dog show people and birder people. Klimt’s Lionfish or Klimt’s Tang might do quite well…

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