A lot can be told about a man if one observes his behaviour outside a dressing room. A lot more is told by observing how he reacts when the door opens.
A woman takes to the dressing room three types of clothes:
1. Clothes she knows she will fit in and hence buy
2. Clothes she hopes she will fit in but probably won’t
3. Clothes she thinks will make her look sexy but she cannot pull them off
These are regular women. Women who see rolls of imaginary flab, a few extra pounds and maybe phantom limbs and an extra head. They see freckles and pimples on their skin, an extra grey hair and wrinkles formed because of worrying. Some see perfection, some.
The man sits/stands outside.
The clothes are tried on. The layers stripped bare. The new outfit worn. A twirl, a sideways glance, a pout followed by a sneaky selfie. The first category of clothes is winnowed by price, usability and repeatability.
The man browses the internet. Or was that ‘2048’, the game?
Round 2 begins. This is tricky. There is a thin line between thinking ‘you-can-fit-in-without-tearing-it’ and ‘stop-omg-it-is-torn’. The woman obviously believes the latter. Prevention is better than a furore. This pile is discarded as hastily as determined plans for weight loss are hatched.
The man taps his foot, yawns and looks up from the screen hoping to see the door opening.
Time for type 3. The dress fits. It looks stunningly good. Or does it? Of course it doesn’t? But, it does! At that one party where the lights are dim or maybe for the next date? Is it expensive? Holy fuck, it is. Let’s leave it. Second opinion? Important decisions are made not just in court rooms but dressing rooms as well.
The door opens. The man looks up. His opinion is needed?
This is when you observe.
The man may not know the difference between colours, prints and materials but he should know better than to give a cursory glance, mumble a non-committal response and admire his reflection in the mirror you spent minutes agonising in front of.
Sympathy and brownie points for accompanying you be damned.