“What are you doing right now?” she furiously typed into her phone. “I’m beside myself rn.”
Unable to drink her coffee let alone think straight, she decided to forego the texting process and immediately call Caroline instead. It rang four times before going to voicemail, only for her to dial Caroline back and get an answer after just two rings.
“Ugh, Caroline,” she began before Caroline could even so much as get a “What’s up?” out of her mouth. “I’m just so fed up with everything right now.”
“Are you okay?” Caroline asked with a hush so her coworkers couldn’t hear her taking a personal call.
“No, I’m infuriated with Todd and work and pretty much everything else,” she rattled off. “Can you meet me at Nordies over your lunch?”
Caroline sighed, but not loud enough for her to hear it on the other end. “Yeah, I was just going to go to that make-your-own-salad place but Nordie Bistro sounds bomb.”
“I’ll call an Uber now and be there in, like, 15 minutes.”
“Does this make me look fat?” she asked while standing on her tip-toes in front of the mirror. “I think this makes me look fat.”
Caroline checked her phone to see what time it was, still having yet to go to Nordstrom Bistro to get the salmon salad she’d been craving since the initial phone call.
“No,” she clarified. “For the last time, you’re like the skinniest one of our friends and everyone is super jealous of you.”
She walked back into her dressing room to take something off the pile of clothes the salesperson had just taken from her. From the dressing room, she shouted to Caroline, “I just don’t get him sometimes. Is he really going to be mad at me when he’s the one pretty much moving his life along at a snail’s pace?”
With the salesperson looking at her, Caroline rolled her eyes in an attempt to pretend that gossiping in the dressing rooms wasn’t a standard practice. But when the salesperson walked back onto the floor, Caroline’s attempts to knock some sense into her began.
“How many times do I have to tell you?” she shouted back through the dressing room door. “These boys need to be trained. If you give them an inch, they’re taking a mile.”
Struggling to get into her next piece of clothing, she opened the door and asked, “Is this cute or hideous? I honestly can’t tell.”
“Ew, hideous,” Caroline responded.
“But I kind of love it,” she said while running her hands down it looking in the mirror.
“Me too,” Caroline confirmed. “Can you turn?”
“Oh my God, it makes your back look so good,” Caroline went on.
“Add that to the ‘yes’ pile,” she said as she walked back into the dressing room, shutting the door and re-creating the barrier for tolerable conversation. “I just don’t know what to do at this point with him,” she continued shouting. “Like, yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have quit my job after one day. And, sure, maybe I’m being a little psycho when it comes to wanting a ring. But we’ve been dating for-ev-er and we’re going nowhere.”
“Well,” Caroline hesitated. “You pretty much have two options at this point.”
“Make up or break up.”
She again exited the dressing room, this time in a white blouse and pencil skirt.
“Oh my G,” Caroline gasped looking her up and down. “That makes you look so thin. Like, if you were my secretary wearing that, I’d totes have a Don Draper-esque affair with you.”
She gazed at herself in the mirror and imagined a situation where she could possibly wear the outfit. Her old job ran through her head, along with Junior League which she’d been incessantly skipping as of late.
“I don’t even know when I’d wear this, but like, it’s 30% off so it’s pretty much free.”
“‘Yes’ pile?” Caroline asked.
“‘Yes’ pile,” she confirmed.
Again shouting from the dressing room, she started firing off everything running through her head between bouts of heavy breathing attempting to change her clothes.
“I obviously don’t want to break up with him. But like, if we’re going nowhere, what the hell am I supposed to do?” She looked at herself in the mirror in the dressing room and didn’t bother opening the door to show Caroline a pair of jeans that she couldn’t button up without lying down on her bed. “But we haven’t had a fight like that in, like, months. I could just kill him right now, I swear.”
Caroline looked up after an extended bout of texting her coworker who was wondering where she was. “Where is he now? Did he go back to your apartment?”
“I think he’s probably back at work.”
Caroline again started texting, asking her coworker if she could pick her up something for lunch since it became evident that The Bistro was out of the question given how much time they’d already spent shopping.
“What the eff am I supposed to say to him when I see him tonight? He just, like, walked out so angry.”
Caroline tilted her head back and wondered how much else she had left to try on. “Have the conversation I told you to have forever ago. It’s better than leaving things unsettled with all the shit we have coming up. Do you really want to be sorting all this out when you’re thousands of miles apart while he’s at Derby and we’re in Big Sur?”
“You’re so right,” she confirmed while buttoning up a shirt dress. She emerged from the dressing room and put her hands on her hips in front of Caroline.
“Ugh,” Caroline moaned. “I hate how good you look in that. If you don’t buy it, I will. You’ll belt it, right?”
Synchronized, they both looked at each other and said, “‘Yes’ pile.” .