there, there, my little cabbage.

four brown straw hats display
Photo by Artem Bali on

I’ve never actually believed in retail therapy. If you’re not into shopping anyway (hello, me), the idea of massaging a bad day or a sad mood by walking around a store or even engaging in window shopping wouldn’t be the first thing on the list. But the comedy of life is that retail therapy is almost always what I do when I need to massage a bad day or sad mood. (Barring a hunkering down in my apartment with a week’s worth of carbs.) I drive right to the store, park, grab a cart, and traverse the aisles moodily until I either leave with nothing or buy something I don’t really need. And that was me yesterday.

Yesterday, I was sad and blue and glum and humdrum and needed to do something. Something. Whatever that something was, it translated into leaving work and driving to my favorite Ross, where I parked, grabbed a cart, and traversed the aisles moodily, looking for things I didn’t need. In the shoe aisle, I tried on a bunch of shoes, of which neither ended up in my cart. I ventured over to the accessories, where I touched a lot of scarves and pulled them off the rack to examine them for whatever one looks for when you’re scarf shopping. One scarf ended up in my cart. I then sauntered over to the hats. I tried a few on (see above), which was interesting in light of the faux locs (I have faux locs! More in another post) on my head, but there was one hat that incited a high level of like and also, more importantly, fit over the locs. Perhaps because the color matched my mood?


It ended up in my cart, as well. So did a pair of pants. The End.

I didn’t analyze my sadness and blue too deeply though. Mostly because 1) winter; 2) Monday; 3) single. You know what I mean by #3. The grays of this seasons and its accompanying doldrums seem to be heightened when one is going through it by their lonesome. And although, to repeat, this is a year-round desire, the fall/end of the year finds it all very pronounced. It comes and goes and it is what it is. I’ve long given myself permission to call a thing a thing (praise Queen Iyanla) and feel exactly what I feel. And I felt it all yesterday. It’s interesting how the mind finds a way, any way, to cope.

Nevertheless: here’s to distractions by way of hats and scarves, and other such things. Onwards…

self care


Dressing Room Diaries #1: Stripes and Dots.

Sometimes I go to the store and I try things on. If you know anything about This Square Peg, you’ll know that doing that, especially during cold weather or when I’m bloated, hurts me. But baby steps. Anywho, sometimes I buy said outfits, sometimes I don’t. I almost always take pics of what I try on, though, so I can send them to my friends/fashion gurus to occasionally get their thoughts and/or to marvel at my growing baby muscles. (See here for proof that they are indeed growing.) And then the blogging epiphany came: this should be a feature on TSP. And so welcome to Dressing Room Diaries, where we look at what I try on in dressing rooms and discuss why or why not I purchased what I wore. Sometimes we’ll talk about pesky people who try to push open my dressing room door because it doesn’t dawn on them that someone is inside. Good times ahead.

This interesting dress immediately caught my eye while I was in Ross a few days ago. I’m sure you can guess why: the contrasting prints. I’m certainly not a stickler for keeping prints in the same family, for one thing, so I was definitely intrigued by it. It would also be a new look for me, being that although I’m not a prints stickler, I still haven’t ventured into the contrasting print world, either. After looking and examining and studying, I decided to buy it. A few days later, however, I returned the dress. Ultimately, I decided to go with something else. Of course, I could have kept this in my closet, but hey: I wanted my money back. Ha.

One thing I will say: I need more contrasting prints in my life. Bold, funky, and different–all good things.

Bienvenue, Dressing Room Diaries…

(p.s.: Maybe you’re wondering about the straightness of my hair? Unlike a friend of mine who panicked that I had returned to the creamy crystal meth/relaxer (not even), you likely guessed that it’s just a flat iron and that I remain a naturalista. You guessed correctly. After a much-needed trim, my stylist blew out my hair and then flat ironed it. Did you also guess that all that straightness disappeared after I worked out yesterday? Another gold star for you. Ah, well. C’est la vie.)

Tell me: do you like trying things on? Or are you a dressing room baby like me?


I don’t know what it is about entering a store and looking through racks of clothes and trying them on that fills me with pre-root canal-esque queasiness, fear, and disdain. Most of my friends hear my “I detest shopping” complaint and are shocked that my recent weight loss didn’t translate into a complete change in mindset, as if my ability to wear smaller sizes somehow means that now I want to run through store aisles with gleeful abandon. No. And perish that thought, immediately. The fact is, friends: I’ve never

The typical reaction in front of every single store.

liked shopping.

My relationship with the acquiring of clothes, specifically, has been the following: my mother purchased my clothes until I was in my mid-twenties. First of all, this is what the mothers of sheltered girls do. Second, since there were tumbleweeds running through my wallet (former minimum wage girls unite!) most of the time, I heartily left it to my primary caregiver to clothe me. When I finally started working my first “real” job and making a bit more money and taking care of myself, all of that changed. I was now responsible for heading to the stores and finding my own clothes. A task that became my white whale. I had no idea what my personal style was back then. I wore the clothes my mom bought me and let’s be real: as chic as my mom was and still is, I was her daughter. (And always a little girl in her eyes.) My clothes were floral and functional. So to have to figure out what looked good on me, what I liked: hello, Moby Dick. Also, I was (am?) a lazy drone who didn’t like looking for anything. Add to that a preference to hide in clothes rather than be accentuated by them and you had someone that side eyed the department store 100 percent of the time. Needless to say, I kept to the floral and functional options and seriously kept it moving.

But then comes the passage of time, journeys, figuring out what I like, learning that I’d rather look at flowers than wear them emblazoned on a dress, that sort of thing. Yet I still can’t come to terms with it: peering through tags and fabric, searching, de-clothing in a white room that may or may not be on a camera pointed right at me. I just don’t like the process. And forget shopping with friends. Goodness. Yes, it’s my lot in life to be surrounded by lovely women who spend gobs of time strolling through stores and pronouncing that something is cute every ten seconds. (I do love them, though. I promise. At times. Kidding.)

So what does This Square Peg do? After all, you’ve seen some of my finds on here for Fabu Fashion days, so you know that I shop. Here it is, dear reader, my shopping modus operandi: I run in and out. My time inside stores doesn’t go beyond a certain amount of time, lest someone finds me in a melted heap somewhere by the shoe section. I even try things on, but it has to be for a serious reason, like I need the outfit for a special event and hardly feel like returning it. And I do it quickly. Everything must be done quickly before The Queasiness comes. You thought I was exaggerating, weren’t you? I wish. I really do get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. But let’s end here, shall we? We’ll save all the gory stuff for my future therapist. May he or she be blessed with patience and plenty of ink in their pen.

Anyway, folks, yet another strange adventure in the life of your Square Peg. Tell me: are you a shopper? Are you not? How do you feel about the whole thing?

The Mall Walker Returns. (Blogtober #20)

We have a new mall!

Back in the day, when I was the kind of teenager that loved to spend her waking moments–outside of school–in the mall with her fellow nerdy/sweetly obnoxious know-it-all friends, the mall was everything. In our local area, there was one popular mall that brought most of us to its doors. This mall boasted a movie theater, a Bennigan’s (if you remember Bennigan’s, I love you more than you know), and plenty of stores that held our attention as walked up and down the shiny hallways. In time, however, a few things changed when it came to our mall time: 1) we grew up/started jobs/went to college and therefore, had less time on our hands, and 2) this particular mall went downhill. Regarding #2, it was unreal. Leaky ceilings; a weird odor that began to permeate the hallways; the closing of the movie theater that we loved; the closing of several of those above-mentioned stores; and a new swell of teenagers that, although younger than us, inspired a bit of trepidation. In other words, they didn’t seem, uh, that nice. Anyway, needless to say, mall visits went from few and far between to not at all. In the end, the mall was closed down almost completely, with the exception of the Target, Macy’s, and JC Penney’s stores that remained open and unaffected by the smelly odors, leaky ceilings, and scary teens. Rumors abounded that new condos would come in place of the once-popular mall; we also heard that a new mall would come with new stores and a completely new look. Personally, I was happy to see it go after all those years.

The old mall.
The old mall.

And then it re-opened this past weekend.

It was insane. Me and a good friend decided to check it out. I can tell you that we ran the halls like we were mad. We oohed and aahed at the sophisticated layout. At the Michael Kors store (we’ll discuss that in another post); at the White House/Black Market; at the Nordstrom Rack soon to come. The new mall is classy and elegant and aims for a similar clientele and I like it. Not that I have anything against frightening teens, but I’m currently at Stage Clutch-My-Pearls these days and would prefer not to run into sketchy characters while shopping. Anyway, it was a bit surreal, to be back in the place where a teenage Square Peg spent many an evening and weekend; I also worked at the mall during my freshman/ sophomore year of college. Before things went south and I abandoned the place like day old bread, I would also spend evenings just walking the mall. I loved everything about it. Now that school is back in session and the days are getting shorter, my evening walks around the track of the local high school are becoming less and less. I look forward to returning to my mall walking, once the hoopla ends and the grand re-opening crowds die down a bit. I look forward to spending some of my autumn evenings returning to window shopping, actual shopping, people watching, and dinners for one. Good times, indeed.

The new mall. Photo credit: This Square Peg
The new mall. Photo credit: This Square Peg