It was the last day of April, and of course April wasn’t saying its goodbye’s without allowing Mother Nature to grace us with showers the entire day. My 8:30 alarm went off, like I had planned all week to have it set for. Well, I was going to make sure I was exactly 20 minutes early to the Free People sample sale in the city. Yes, I said sample sale. I can openly and honestly admit I am pretty obsessed with Free People clothing even though I’m unable to afford it as often as I wish, so I treat myself here and there while always mentally saying to myself “you have earned this girl, you work hard.” So when receiving the email stating Free People was having a sample sale at the Chelsea Market on April 30th at 10:30 am my eyes glittered for a moment. In that moment I was reunited with the hidden obsession I have for fashion.
It was now 9:45 am and I still haven’t left my apt. Finishing up my makeup with the clear echoes of silence roaming the place, I strapped on my Steve Madden booties and rushed out the door blowing a kiss to my puppy—Cudi whom glared at me as though asking, “why am I staying behind”. Suddenly there I was standing under my porch, without an umbrella. Having already locked all three bulky locks on my apt door I wasn’t turning back; “I like walking in the rain anyway” I said to myself, besides, it was the last day of April, I should embrace the month’s farewell to humanity.
After a quick subway ride on the L train, I got off at the last stop and realized I’m way too early for the sale. I then also realized that this was something I should be accustomed to by now. I’m always either too early to dates or 20 minutes late to anything else in my life. Anyway, I entered the market, puffing my chest up as I mentally prepared myself to spend almost all I had in my bank account. I had an excuse, I didn’t know when there was to be such a fantastic sale again! Walking past the tourist rush the market receives every weekend I stood in front of the locked glass doors where the sale was to be. As the time came closer to 10:30 am a bit of a crowd began to form. I think to myself “get closer to the door, but not to close or you’ll look a little crazy and overly excited, but as I look around at the crowd. I notice all the women in their mid 20,and 30’s hovering around me. As women tend to do, we all kind of look amongst each other checking out what the other is wearing. Being the youngest one in the bunch, I felt a little awkward, and hoped that in my mid 30’s I wouldn’t be standing in crowds at 10:30 am for a sample sale.
The glass doors then suddenly opened and we all rushed inside as if the clothes were free and not actually priced from $20-$1,000 dollars. “Okay Kat what do you really care to have from Free People? Shirts! Shirts are all $20, okay find shirts Kat before all these older women beat you to it”. Frantically locating the shirts I started flipping through racks as women started pilling clothes upon clothes on their arms without even price checking. It also consisted of a lot of women bumping into each other and apologizing, excuse me’s, and where’d you find that shirt? Which of course is sample sale lingo. I managed to get a good pile of “I might buy this, have to first see how they fit. So I find my way past all the racks to the further end section of the sample sale. Where a room made up of black rough curtains, was to be the exposed fitting room for all women that attended the sale. As I push the curtains, I was withdrawn by all the women getting naked in front of each other. It seemed as though I was entering the fitting room of a strip club. “Was I the only one that was told to have shame, and not get naked so easily growing up?”, but then I thought “It’s New York City Kat, get it together”.
I spotted a perfect corner inside, piled my things on a chair and began to awkwardly undress only the top half of my clothes. Curiously I looked around, amused at the different body types that filled the room. On the left, a 5’2” Asian woman possibly in her late 20’s is only in a thong bending over trying to slip on a dress. My eyes quickly shifted gears after her bend in that thong. On the right side, you have husky double D brunette in a beige bra struggling to put on a shirt while asking her friend: “Does it look okay?” The entire room was full mostly of insecure women, laughter and chatters of “Aren’t you so glad I picked that shirt out for you?”
I was beyond ready to get the hell out of there, since I myself was insecure too. As I tried on an oversized beige bohemian Free People shirt in the mirror, I paused, still looking at myself contemplating whether the shirt was worth $20 bucks, whether the shirt would last, or if I had anything already in my closet that would match it. I then took off the shirt and placed it in the “yes” pile and as I reached down to pick up the next shirt I was trying on, there they were staring me right in the face just two inches away—someone’s 20-something- year old small perky boobies. Was I aware that this woman was naked behind me? Not really. I was too occupied with my mental thoughts and my pile of clothes. As I quickly looked away embarrassed I had stared too long at them, I tried on another shirt. Turning around again, I noticed all her clothes had fallen onto the floor. Thinking that picking them up would be my obvious apology for staring at her boobies too long, I did, and in her French accent she said “Thank you.” I smiled and quickly looked away with my head down, because she was still bra-less like every other woman in the room. I couldn’t help but think why was I the only person in the room uncomfortable and in an awkward state?
Finally sorting out my “yes” and “no” pile, I quickly took one last look at her perfect boobies and rushed out of the fitting room, heading straight to the register, because at this point I’ve seen too much naked women. Yes, today I could say was the day I had seen more naked women all at once than in my entire life and probably more naked women than most guys my age have ever seen, so I guess in my own weird way I was pretty badass. Any who, I paid the $240 I owed the cashier and headed out the glass doors. After all that all I could come to terms with was my growling stomach and how two hours at a sample sale of flipping through clothes, flashes of naked women, and loud high pitched chatter just made me really, really hungry.