It was never going to work. I knew it. But I was trying to be a “good girl” and a “yes, ma’am” all at once and I short-circuited. My agent set me up for a meeting at 5 0’clock in Woodland Hills. Not good. I could have said no. I should have known better.

During the height of my clothes-salivating high holy days, this would have been thrusting me into Satan’s way. If I left the house at noon, I had four hours to do it all and I’d be at the meeting early.

I would have tinkered through my head all my boutiques, National Jewish Women’s Council Thrift Shop and Crossroads haunts along the way that I could hit on Ventura Blvd. I would have sped to Topanga Canyon mall, as I have in my possession not one, but TWO free underwear errands (VS and a new one at American Eagle – we’ll have to investigate that one…). I would have hit that great Goodwill for purses in Woodland Hills (got my Kate Spade purses here that Car Jacker loved.) And I would have been ahead of traffic, made the meeting, adrenaline pumped from my Tazmanian Daredevil whirlwind. I wanted to….

But no. I wanted to be good, calm and healthy. Move forward. As I promised myself, I pulled a shirt and sweat jacket to test out. My boobs have expanded since I’ve had this periwinkle top, so it will go. But it was fine for the walk. I took my library book The African Image, a South African writer’s look at pan-Africanism and how whites portray  non-whites in literature, and set out for a beautiful read while walking.

(Aside: I still miss The Silverlake Walking Man, miss passing him as we read our rags on our feet. He’d wink holding his folded newspaper at me,”You stole my gig!” And I’d wink as I walked by with my New Yorker,  “It was my gig! I’ve been doing this since high school.” We’d smile and speed off.)

Beautiful day. Guitar player in the park.

Got home, relaxed, plenty of time. Real easy, I  pulled out a BCGB wrap dress and shoes that were just there (moment of frenzy for the accessories which I forgot to make time for) and set off for my meeting in only my third outfit of the day. Pretty good for me.

Only there was traffic. A lot. And an accident. Or two. And then there was Rob Long on KCRW talking about resolutions, about being 15 minutes early instead of the other way around. And how, at a certain point, making an agreement to go to Woodland Hills at rush hour was an insane person’s decision. Why did that not occur to me how insane that is until I’m in the car, stuck by the 405?

Because my shopper brain, who wanted to hit all the sweet shopping spots, agreed. Not my new brain. I had a demon on my shoulder saying “Yes, my precious, it’s a new year. People have cleaned there closets and their will be great shit out there. Go get the booty slugger! SABOTAGE!

The meeting got rescheduled until tomorrow and so I quickly turned back. Freeway looked jammed, so there I was. Ventura Blvd. Crack den alley. Shooting gallery for shoppers.

I passed block after block. Wasn’t interested. Then, I spotted it: Surplus. Urban Outfitters. Three words I like very much. I’d heard about this sale only UO, but never been, held myself back. But there it was, with a parking space in front. And, after an hour and a half of traffic, I had to get out of the car.

Went in. Boresville. Relieved. Once around. Could it really be this dead? Checked out the boppers. chick in rolled up sweats, Keds, crop tee. Followed her around to see what she liked. Watched another gal in her overalls. Cute. What’d they pick out….WAS I KNOW A SHOPPER STALKER? Hmmm, could this really be what it was about? Do I just pick people to watch what they’re wearing, what they like? In New York, I just sat down in Tompkins Square. It’s so manufactured here, I have to pay to justify my being in a store.

I picked up a pair of kelly green sunglasses. Five bucks. Cute. I’ve recently read we are limited to a certain number of decisions in a day. Obama cleaned out his closet to a few suits, so that he could save his decisions for the important stuff, like Syria. Was I going to stand there debating and straining my already compromised decision making abilities on a pair of frog goggles? What if it was like a hit of acid and it could be the tripping point, the one that blasts the synapses altogether? I put the glasses down. I was out of there! Green harem pants, fuzzy sweaters, dolman sleeves that look like Victorian couches – you did not have me this time!

And then….fuck. The shoes. What? Why were they here? They were Free People shoes for $228. I’d been looking at these Jeffrey Campbell shoes in my cart for months now. Just to look at them with over-the-knee argyle socks. I liked the school girl boot/shoe hybrid. What were they doing here? Oh yeah, UO and Free People are owned by the same parent. Bastard siblings. I remember now months ago the FP told me the U(F)O had them, too for $160.

How much were they now? 29 bucks. Fuck. I had to try them at least.

I pulled my size. They felt…confining. I tried to walk to the mirror to see and the plastic ring holding the shoes together – it was literally a plastic ankle cuff. I was imprisoned! Determined to get to the mirror, I dragged the one behind me like a ball and chain, it hit my other foot. I staggered to the mirror…my kingdom for a horse, what was this? I hopped on one foot to get the shoe off, finally ripped it off and threw it back on the shelf with its cellmate shoe. I’d broken a sweat.

I practically ran out of the store. The sun was setting. I felt better already. Shit. Even non-retail therapy, like a good arm-wrestling session, made me feel better. Breathe. I’d stalled enough so that Crossroads and Jewish Council Thrift were closed. Relief. No decision to make.

Change into a fourth outfit (adding on a Shaft long leather coat circa 1970 and rabbit furred collar), I zoom to Hollywood for my friend’s comedy show, then West Hollywood for my friend and neighbor’s movie he music supervised.

Breathe. Comedy. Don’t even THINK about going back to the UO surplus and trying on those shoes again with argyle over-the-knee socks. Do. Not. Do. It.