the jealousy test

Diva Boutique in West Hollywood on Melrose far exceeded its name (by a few letters): assholes.

Words from the terribly pushy owner/saleswoman "helping" me: "You’re wearing it wrong." "It’s only twenty dollars." "No, let me get your size; I don’t want you to mess up the table." "That’s all you’re getting?" "No, you can’t use AMEX, only for really big purchases."

miserable here stephanie klein 1

I don’t ordinarily wish harm on anyone, but just in her case, I wish that I might get an overwhelming case of ‘rhea in her store, let it drip on her floors, then mention nothing of it, walking out, wiping with her clothes. My lover Leigha and I felt dirty after leaving there. Add insult to injury, the clothes across the street (7423 Melrose Ave) at Flirt were much cuter.

Flirt (and the owner Lisa) were an absolute pleasure (except for the lack of AC–which she’d readily admit). I tried on almost everything, but when I was uncertain about a certain top, I called out to Leigha, "Will you try it on? I need to see if I’m jealous."

It was an off-the-shoulder top, white with washes and splashes of electric blue, green, maybe even some yellow. Everything looks good on Leigha, everything. Sacks. Thin white pants. A robe. Fluorescent lighting. Everything. Even the shit that rides up her crotch… she points to it, laughs, then mentions that the shorts, um, itch. So after seeing the top in question on an unquestionably beautiful woman, the fact that I wasn’t eying her girly goods with awe gave me the answer I needed. "It’s a no."


This is my favorite thing about shopping with a friend, especially an adorable gumdrop of a friend. It’s one thing to see an article of clothing on a hanger, in a catalog, or even on a mannequin, but it is quite another when you see it on a friend and want to strike her to the ground for it. Leigha understood completely, revealing that she Jealousy Tests all the time with her sister. Tossing her "maybe" jeans over the fitting room wall with a, "Here, Jealousy Test ’em." She might not know if she wants them, but as soon as she’s worked into a frenetic state of clothing envy when she sees them on her sister, the case is closed.. and the wallet is open. This goes for shoes and jewels, not men. Just fyi.

My next stop? Nashville, TN: Southern Festival of Books this coming weekend.

Saturday, October 10, 12:30-2:00 pm: It’s Eating At You — Authors Tell All About Fat Camp and Loving Your Body

The Festival takes place on War Memorial Plaza in downtown Nashville between Charlotte and Union and 6th and 7th Avenues. Author sessions are held in the Legislative Plaza hearing rooms underneath the Plaza and in the Senate and House Chambers of the State Capitol.

*I believe I’m also speaking to 300 female students… I will not drop an F this time ’round.

** These are by no means recent pictures of me (just the only ones on my computer that fit the subject). The photos are from years ago when I was thin… and quite Les Mis.

5 YEARS AGO: Morning Rant, Winners, Surprise



  1. Absolutely OT (and that’s just a message for you!), but let me tell you something, Steph… You look GORGEOUS now!!! I have to admit I was a bit scared when I clicked on the pic, you looked (and were) so skinny!!! No no no, you and your curves rock, don’t change a thing! Hugs, C.

  2. I agree-the woman in the pic is too thin. You just see the clothers, not the person. You look much better now!

  3. Stephanie,

    I happen to think that curves on a woman are lovely. As a fellow redhead I think you are beautiful NOW! The high profile hot chick I envy these days, Christina Hendricks from Mad Men, Seriously? Does any woman rock curves and red hair like that chick does?
    Don’t change a thing!

  4. I usually do the test of “will I be kicking myself tomorrow if I don’t get this?”
    I have a really hard time shopping with friends though; I’m soooo indecisive, I don’t like to put anybody through that :p

    1. PS if it were me in that store I would be out before they got the chance to say half those dumb things. Snobby service is just ridiculous, especially when retail is eating it.

      PPS it’s not my place to comment on your appearance, but I always think you look somehow weak in these thinner photos. I think your face suits your natural weight much more.

  5. Ugh, I totally hate boutiques like that. There is a bridal boutique in my town that uses the same ‘technique’. Customers may not walk in off the street without an appointment. The sales clerks look down their noses as the brides-to-be try on gowns and make disparaging remarks about body type and style selections. They insist on choosing the gowns themselves in order to ‘save their reputation’. They don’t allow anyone to go through the racks themselves for fear of soiling the gowns. The list goes on and on. I am at a loss as to how shops like this stay in business. Are there really enough snobby shoppers with no self-esteem to keep them in the black?
    Btw, I completely agree with the previous comments–You look fabulous as you are!

  6. Diva Boutique is violating their merchant agreement with AMEX if they don’t accept it…

    From the Consumerist Blog:

    American Express does not forbid minimum purchase requirements, but they require parity with the other credit cards, so a minimum purchase requirement just for American Express, but not for Visa, is not allowed. American Express does not allow surcharges, unless they are assessed as a convenience fee.

  7. You go Stephanie! Calling out that Diva Boutique for their obnoxious behavior is a good thing. Here in the DC area, there is a large (5,000+ subscribers) listserv of parents. Let me tell you, there is a lot of power in the post that tells of the OB/GYN who rudely poo-poos your post-partum issues; the coffee shop that says children aren’t welcome; or the clerk at the Tyson’s Corner baby boutique who was annoyed with a return.

  8. why are you shopping on melrose in the first place? yech. very few good places there, though you should check out decades II. for cute clothes, go to planet blue in beverly hills or on montana in SM.

  9. Girl, I think you could use a few extra pounds according to these pics. So I’m sure your just right now! You’ve got 29 years of experience behind you. Use the ones that were so great to your advantage. You have a lot of knowledge inside, you just have to fish it out. You’ve got a lot of friends judging by the comments here, even if they are on the other side of the internet.

    1. Author

      Thanks for the comment, Becky. I obviously didn’t make it clear it enough that the first part of this entry is actually a question from a Greek Tragedy reader. Once a week, I try to respond to questions on anything from favorite beauty products to giving words of encouragement through a shit storm of heart suck. This STRAIGHT UP ADVICE section of the blog can always be accessed under the ADVICE tab on the navigation bar of this blog.

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