No One Knows What It’s Like to Be the Fat Pants

Okay, so only some of y’all will recognize this feeling that I’m about to describe. But I’ll go ahead and describe it. You know how, when you cross the peril-fraught borderline between PlusSizeLand and MissesWorld, suddenly PlusSizeLand, the land in which you’ve lived for so long, looks like total hell?

I’ve yo-yo’ed back down to the weight at which I can shop at the roomier not-plus-size stores, and in the Misses’ sections of department stores. Granted, I’m only talking about tops and skirts, here — not pants — and I still have to root for XLs and the biggest of the misses’ number sizes on those tops and skirts.

So I went shopping last week, for myself as well as for my kids, because most of my clothes have gotten cartoonishly big and I needed a few new things. First, I rooted through all the misses’ stuff and picked out the few XL items I liked. Then, if I didn’t get very much there, I’d shift up to the Women’s World sections, or on to Lane Bryant.

And you know what? I didn’t want to shop in those places anymore. Just looking at their mannequins made me feel ill. You know why? No, not because I hate my former fat self, or because I didn’t want to be reminded of it. It was because women’s plus size clothing is UGLY. It’s so effing ugly.

You don’t realize, if you’ve been shopping in plus size for a while, how categorically ugly it is. Or maybe you do, and therefore you hate to shop. That’s how I’d been for the past couple of years. I hated to shop, and when I did shop, I only bought the simplest things. Black pants and solid color shirts or twinsets. For the weekends, dark jeans and black tops. Not because I wanted to dress like that every day, but because I didn’t want the plus size alternatives — pink pants with blue stripes, beige suits with sequined appliques, purple flowered dresses with purple polyester panties…

So, now that I can fit into misses’ sizes (sometimes), I can’t even bear to go back to the “women’s” sections. It’s too sad. It’s like a former prisoner going back to see his jail. Why would he?

Plus-size retailers: Please make better clothes. Look at Old Navy — they make the same clothes in all sizes. Granted, they’re cheesy clothes that fall apart at the drop of a price tag, but they’re equally cheesy for all sizes. Come on, y’all. Fat chicks want normal clothes, too.

(Everything I say about fatness has been said before, I know. I think Wendy at Pound already said this a long time ago, about how all the plus size clothes have weird sequined appliques and stuff. Hey, look, even better — she said something a long time ago about how the media hates Torrid because if Torrid tells white teenaged girls it’s okay to be fat, then fewer white teenaged girls will be available for mainstream porn. Hell yes, Wendy! I just remembered reason 37 why I love you, all the way back since before 2005.)

So, um… yeah. As my weight wanes, my bad clotheshorse habit threatens to return. See you at Ross Dress for Less, where I’m tunneling like a mole through the aisles.

(What is a clotheshorse, by the way? Does anyone know what that actually means?)

I hope no one was put off by that last topic.

I mean, I hope no one Googles my name and then reads stuff about my diet or my feelings about plus-sized clothing, and then decides not to give me a job, or not to give me a writing award, or not to look for me on, or not to be my cyber-friend anymore, or not to say hi to me on the elevator, or to mention me in an article about someone else’s blog and call me a “whiny weight loss blogger.”

Tomorrow or the next day, I’ll tell y’all a story about real life, okay? I have this story that I’ve been reading around town, about a real person, and people who have heard it keep asking me why I don’t publish the story or put it on my blog or print it out on fliers and circulate it via telephone poles. So… tomorrow. Or the next day, at the latest. I will tell y’all the story, and hopefully you’ll like it. Prepare to qualify.

A Dangerous Obsession

A while back, I was talking to a professional-type person about stress and ways of coping with stress.

“I’ve been kind of stressed-out lately,” I told her, “and I get irrationally worried about things… and so I’ve been coping with it by thinking about Christmas.”

“Christmas?” she said.

“Yeah,” I said. “Sometimes, when I get super stressed out by the whole single-mom-trying-to-support-three-kids thing, I let myself get obsessed with Christmas — you know, what gifts I’m gonna give, what food I’m gonna cook — instead of, you know, drinking or doing drugs or driving my car off a cliff. It’s kind of weird, I know, but it really helps me to calm down.”

She said, “Obsessing about Christmas is a waste of time. Have you considered Wellbutrin?”

It kind of hurt my feelings when she said that, so I left her office and didn’t go back. Instead, I went to the library and checked out 101 Things to Make for Christmas and A Southern Living Christmas and Christmas with Better Homes and Gardens. I even tried something new and checked out a Thanksgiving cookbook.

And now I feel great. Now I feel just awesome, and it didn’t cost me a copayment or prescription.

You know the part of Charlie Brown’s Christmas special where the kids wave their hands all over the sad little tree and it turns awesome? Well, the tree is me. You know the part where Charlie Brown pays Lucy five cents to give him psychological advice, and then he leaves her booth feeling worse than before? That is not me. I am not Charlie Brown. See, Charlie Brown is a cynic. I, on the other hand, am a consumer. Get it? Charlie Brown is just reading the wrong craft books, and shopping at the wrong stores.

Okay. Just a little pin prick.

That’s all. I just wanted to warm up my frozen fingers with some fast stream-of-conscious typing. Because, you know, Houston is the most air-conditioned city in the world, and therefore it’s August and I’m freezing my face off. I’m wearing hose and a sweater and a wool skirt, because the AC is killing me in this town.

I told my boyfriend, “Oh, no, I accidentally dressed like an anime person today.” And he goes, “You mean the sexy school girl?” And I go, “No, the frumpy maid who gets tentacle raped by her boss or whatever.” And he nodded sympathetically. “I still love you,” he said. “Shut up,” I told him. “Stop your lying.”

For lunch, we went to our favorite pho place, where I watched two Asian girls in grey pantsuits force a skirted Caucasian girl to eat a heaping spoonful of grass jelly, red beans, and packed snow. (Not really snow, but it looked like it.) And my Asian boyfriend was like, “I don’t even eat that stuff,” and I was like, “I know.” And the Caucasian chick looked nervous as hell, taping her stiletto heel crazily under the table. I thought maybe her boyfriend was Asian, and she was having lunch with his sisters to be nice, and they were being subtly, psychologically cruel to her. Or maybe they were her bosses, even though they were all the same age. Because this Caucasian chick obviously knew her way around the chopsticks and the noodles — she was slurping her food with the best of them — but she was still nervous as hell. Maybe it was a gang initiation.

The sub-titles will no longer relate to the content under them. I have decided.

Really, I’m just bored. I want to be back home again, at night, signing more school papers for my kids and hearing that their second day of school went well, even better than the first. I want them to be happy and prosperous. I want us to make Christmas crafts, like a family that’s happier than the ones on TV. They want me to read them a book at night. They said the last Harry Potter would be fine, even though they barely remember what happened in any of the previous. “What happened in the last one?” I quizzed. “Uh-h-h-h…” said my youngest. “Dumbledore died,” said my oldest, now fifteen and six foot two. (Oops, spoiler, sorry.)

“Okay,” I said. “Tonight, we read.”

We got a new cat during the summer, and her name is Starbuck, (and please don’t email me nagging stuff about pet ownership), and she’s kind of tripping out right now. “You never told me you had three kids,” she said, when they got home from the summer at their dad’s. “I had them for you,” I told her. “Now you can get them to pet you, instead of always bugging me.” In response, she shed a hundred cat hairs on my pillow case, then slowly walked away, under the bed, to wait for me to sleep, and then to wake me up at 4 AM with noisy cat toys.

We got her from the county shelter. Don’t go there unless you want to go home with 3 or 5 new pets. It’ll make you sad, seeing all the pets that are waiting there for no one. I put some pictures on my Flickr page, but you can hardly understand them because my camera phone was in a bad mood that day. It made my cat all blurry. But that’s okay, really, because I want to respect her privacy. She’s not really recognizable in the photo, and Starbuck is her psuedonym. (Her real name is “the cat.”) We bought her a water fountain for cats. She only likes it sometimes.

The Carousel of Other People and Their Hormones

My cube-mate has quit her job, and she’ll be replaced by the most beautiful woman in our company. Which is fine with me, because the most beautiful woman in our company is also very nice. But it’s funny… some of our men are pre-swarming. They’re coming by, all like, “So, Gwen, how’ve you been? Heard you’re getting a new neighbor, huh? Yeah, so, um… do you have any sprocket reports or widgets I can lend a hand with, today and every day from now on? Here at your desk?”

And I feel like telling them, “You know, it’s okay if you want to use me as your excuse to be near Beautiful Chick. But don’t start doing it until she gets here, okay? Just leave me in peace til then — it won’t hurt my feelings.”

Other, other people are having the other kind of feelings – not the attracted, but the repulsing. Over at his job, my boyfriend has fallen prey to a Bitter Old Woman. You know — the kind who is miserable and self-denying, and therefore has nothing better to do than to hate on happy people. The kind who stays at her desk on her lunch hour and monitors how many minutes everyone else spends at lunch with their friends. The kind who has no one to talk to, and so makes careful note of others’ personal conversations. The kind who, instead of trying to elevate herself from her own misery, spends every minute of her work day working to drag others down, down, down to her miserable level.

So I sympathize with him. I know that type very well.

I don’t care if you’ve got ten babies.

See how I quoted that song above? “I don’t care if you’ve got ten babies, you can work the stick in my Mercedes”?

I don’t have anything to say about babies or cars. That’s just a lyric that runs through my mind at random moments.

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Posted in Christmas, lookism, parenting, psychobabble, venting on 08/28/2007 05:16 pm

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