The sisters are doing it for themselves

Well, my little sister Sophie came to my aid again yesterday. I needed to wonder into town to collect one of my book reservations from the library (Joyland by Stephen King, if you’re wondering) and I’d already agreed to spend some time with Sophie while my mum ran some errands, so I suggested that we turn it into a girly shopping day. I knew she wanted to pick up some accessories for a new party dress she’s just got, plus it would give me the chance to spoil her a bit for all the stuff she does for me.

I was mostly expecting her  to say that she’d much rather have movie day because she loves the chance to choose a DVD from my collection rather than the family one, (just lately we’ve tried to watch the Addams Family Values about four times but we always keep getting interrupted), but she agreed straight away. She said she was in the mood to find something pretty for her new outfit. She even declined the offer to go and see Monsters University at the cinema afterwards, telling me that she wasn’t in a film mood. However, I wouldn’t have blamed her for backing out when I mentioned that we’d have to get the bus together.

Whenever we go out, it’s usually my folks who take care of the folding and unfolding of my walking frame Martha so today would be a first for her. She’s seen some of the challenges I’ve faced on public transport with mum around so I did wonder if she’d change her mind, but she didn’t. I showed her how to collapse Martha and put her back up again and she seemed to manage just fine. I gave her the option of staying home again, but she said she still wanted to go, so she helped me with my shoes and off we went.

I could tell that she was nervous, because she was really quiet as we waited at the stop. To tell you the truth I was equally nervous being the one responsible for the safe keeping of her mobile phone and spending money (courtesy of the Bank of Dad). Luckily when the it arrived there were no other prams/wheelchairs/walking frames so we were okay. She helped me guide Martha on safely, took her own seat and gave me a massive grin,

“Feel better now?” I asked. She nodded.

At the other end a nice gentleman helped me get off again and she took care of Martha. That was the hard part over with. I was so proud of her. If she was worried, it didn’t stop her from taking on the bus challenge with me. I tried my best to make sure she had some fun and even took her for milkshake, a very well deserved milkshake.  Oh, and some hairspray. And some hair clips.

My problems with summer clothes

The UK is still enjoying lovely warm weather which has given me the perfect excuse to break out my summer wardrobe of dresses and skirts that I’m usually just too cold to wear. You would think that I’d find these things easier to buy and put on, right?

Wrong.

I have loads of pretty ones in loads of colours and patterns, but I have to be quite choosy about which ones I buy. I’ve written before about the problems that I have when I have to shop for clothes and shoes at the best of times, but I have my fair share of issues with summery garments too.

Lots of women’s dresses come with zips. I don’t usually have a problem with the ones that come on coats and jackets, (usually being the word), but when it comes to dresses and cute vest tops its’ a whole other story. They’re often on the left side of things which happens to be the same side as my weak hand. Guess what this means? I can’t often can’t do them up without help, or manipulate my arm well enough to get it through the straps. Needless to say that I usually go and smile sweetly at my mum or little sister at this point so they can help me into it. For reasons unknown I can usually get back out of them on my own, which is better than nothing I suppose. Thankfully I haven’t had to go to sleep in something until there’s someone around I trust enough to help me if I get stuck inside something, but I just know it’s going to happen one day if I ever live on my own…

As for zippers on the back of stuff – forget it. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had to help my able-bodied friends with these though so I don’t feel too bad about that one. I usually try and go for things that I can step in/out of or that go over my head as much as possible.

Then once I’ve had to navigate my way through those, there is the issue of tights. Given how cold my feet pretty much always are, I always have to wear at least one pair. I struggle with socks on a good day, so you can imagine how many times I’ve fallen over/ripped pairs/sworn trying to deal with these things. Once, I went through three pairs trying to find some that I hadn’t already laddered, I was nearly in tears with effort but I got there in the end.

I love my summer wardrobe, it’s just a shame it doesn’t love me back.

The ups and downs of clothes shopping

If there’s one activity that can almost be classed as physical exercise that I love it’s shopping, especially for clothes. I love wondering idly around the racks with Martha looking for the latest edition to my wardrobe, or at least I do most of the time…

Clothes shopping for me has its massive sets of ups and downs. In the ‘yay’ column I get new things that make me feel good about myself and know that I’m doing something that will help me keep fit (kind of). Then there is the ‘not-so-yay’ column which boasts a lot more elements: I have to spend money (boo), find something that fits, and battle with the changing rooms. Ugh.

For those of you who don’t know already, I’m really quite tiny.  I’m 4ft 9” . This makes finding jeans that fit an absolute nightmare. If I want to buy any that fit me properly in the leg I usually have to ones for an age 11 child because even ones from the petite section are way too long. However, I am not an 11-year-old, I am a 22 year-old woman who just happens to have hips that this size of clothing doesn’t always cater for. Thankfully, I have quite a small body frame in general, so the ones for a 12 year-old will often fit around my waist, but then they have to be taken up and then I have to find some that don’t look miles too young for me. Do you see the problem?

Tops, t-shirts, skirts and dresses are simple enough because I can buy those in smaller adult sizes, but I’m lucky enough that I can still get these from the teenager section too if I want –yay for cheaper clothes!

Then, if all that wasn’t enough to take into consideration, I have to try and go to places where I can try the stuff on at home and return it if it doesn’t fit because most store changing rooms and I just don’t get on. I know that more and more places are getting disabled changing rooms installed, many of them don’t have the facilities that I personally need. Lots of the ones that I’ve been in (when I’ve had no other choice so I’ll admit I don’t use them very often) are wider to accommodate a wheelchair or walking aid and a lot of the have a seat (bonus), but the ones I have seen don’t always have handrails. Even though I am perfectly capable of dressing myself, if one doesn’t have a handrail I don’t feel safe enough to get changed by myself given how good I am at falling over. This means I have to take my mum in with me to hold me up. So by the time you have squashed, me, my walking frame, and my Mum into the cubicle there’s not very much move to move around, which when you have problems moving in the first place, isn’t a good thing.

So, now that I think about it, I really don’t know why I like shopping so much. Maybe I just like the challenge of finding something that fits? Hmmm…