I'm at the mall. I've been pacing back and forth in front of one particular store, a store I swore I would never willingly enter on my own. I swore I would never do this thing.
But it's clear that I no longer have a choice.
My friends tell me that the first step is the hardest, that I'll thank myself when it's over, and that they know how hard it is and will be there for me if I need to talk about them.
I am going into Talbots.
(Post-script: And inside Talbots? My childhood piano teacher, now
something like 110 years old, buying the exact same sensibly-hemmed
dress that I'm buying, but in a more daring colour.)