You haven’t lived till you’ve shopped in Charlotte

I bet you’ve never heard that before! Every time I come to the US to visit, I prepare little lists of things to buy that I can’t buy at home. And every trip I swear its the last trip and next year I’ll be good… Sort of like when I walked into a shop today and declared to my friend Aurora “I am absolutely NOT allowed to buy anything in this shop.”

But it was ANTHROPOLOGIE. Store of ultra-chic, ultra-feminine, ultra-cute uber dresses. I am an aspiring romance author- cute dresses are like romantic… research. Thats exactly my point, the red fifties number with the sash that screamed out at me from the rack conquered me with the flutter of its hem. How could I possibly abandon it to a an unknown fate… and possibly never face the allure of such a dress again?

How, you may ask, can I possibly relate dress buying to romance writing? Ah… character driven conflict. The inner conflict and turmoil of knowing I OUGHT NOT buy the dress, the new object of my hearts content. And the desire to possess, own, don and flaunt! Its not particularly even that gorgeous, but it was very “me”. After all it was FORBIDDEN. And don’t we spend our lives defining ourselves? I shan’t start on my theories of consumer culture and identity… I will however state that a character’s interactions with other characters and the external world often appear to be about self-definition, self-discovery etc- the character does it and the reader identifies…

The difference between the romance with a new dress and newfound love however do boil down to one distinct difference. Long after the initial high of the discovery, the buy and the first wear, a dress can’t hold your hand. It can however make you smile!!!

And I shall be smiling somewhat this evening, shallow dress-loving creature that I am! Because after all, its not like I stopped at one!

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