Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sure, we'll take your money. Just don't be seen in our store, 'k?

I went shopping for summer clothes this week. I wasn't looking for anything fancy, just some v-neck t-shirts and chino capris. I may as well have been looking for a mink coat, for all the success I had.

See, the thing is, I'm fat. Not grotesque, but large enough that I can't buy from your average "misses" department. And while much has been made in recent years of the supposed boom in merchants catering to the likes of me, the reality is that most stores don't sell clothes for fat chicks. The options are pretty much limited to Old Navy (incredibly limited options), Target (ditto) Lane Bryant (clothes are badly cut and often quite ugly) and The Avenue (unspeakably poor quality. I bought one pair of pants there, and the first time I wore them, every single button on them fell off and the fabric stretched so much that they were falling off my body). I spent a few hours on Mother's day scouring the racks at these four, only to come up empty-handed.

In desperation, I turned to the Internet. I was happy and to learn that there are actually more options --Land's End, J.Jill and Eddie Bauer all profess to sell plus sizes. Excited by what I found online, I located a mall that has all three brands (Sears sells Land's End clothing), and toddled myself off for what I thought would be a satisfying shopping experience.

Too bad I didn't know that the three brands mentioned above don't actually want fat girls shopping at their bricks-and-mortar outlets. At each store, I looked around for a few minutes and, finding nothing in my size, asked a salesperson to point me in the right direction. The reply, every time was "oh, no, we don't carry plus sizes. You should try the Internet." (OK, Sears does sell some plus sized clothes, but no Land's End merchandise. What they do have available is polyester pants and the stereotypical mu-mus.)

Apparently, only thin girls are allowed to see clothes before they spend their money. Only the skinny can actually try on pants. Us fat chicks, well, we can just pay for shipping and hope the things will fit. Sorry, but for the prices that these stores charge ($50-100 for a pair of pants, $30 or so for a shirt), I have absolutely no intention of buying sight unseen. And maybe it's the hormones talking, but I find it offensive that none of these stores are willing to stock as much as a single style in a wide range of sizes in their stores.


Speaking of hormones, they're doing a real number on my head these days. I had thought I was over the miscarriage, but apparently I'm not, because I have become full-on, crazy paranoid about this new pregnancy. I'm veering from hopeful and optimistic one moment to fatalistic the next, to panicky the next. I've taken every pregnancy test in the house, just so I can reassure myself that the pink line is getting darker every day. Though I'm only four weeks along, and therefore it's too early for me to have real symptoms, I'm freaking out that I don't feel sick. And given that the last baby was dead for weeks before we figured it out, I'm fighting the urge to buy one of those home dopplers so that we can listen for the baby's heartbeat every day, just to be sure (even though, as of yet, this fetus doesn't even have a heartbeat).

I keep telling myself to chill. No matter what happens, we should know one way or another in about two months whether we'll be having a baby in January. Eight weeks isn't that long, right? No need to keep freaking out. (I figure if I tell myself this enough, I will start to believe it).

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