Jodie's Journey- to the "Stressing Room"- Week 7
Sorry I missed you all for week 6. I had a rough week of sickness, and preparing for a job interview! Yes, you heard me right, I’ve been actively searching for a job that does not require me to be the Public Punching Bag. I’ve reached a point in my life where there are more important things to me then money. Taking a pay cut is not so bad if it means more time for my family and saves what little sanity I have left.
After receiving the call that the employer wanted me to come in for an interview I was initially elated, that is until reality set in and I realized I would have to find something to wear other than a baggy, shapeless garbage bag. So, began my week- long quest for the Holy Grail Fat Suit.
Since my weight gain, I have received criticism for calling myself “Fat.” I think it's important to note that I don't consider it a bad word. "Fat" is a descriptor, no different than "Thin" or "Slender" or "Tall" or "Short." But because it's been coated in criticism and negativity, we've ended up fearing it. There are other words I could use, rotund, portly, corpulent. The problem with the politically correct euphemisms is that they do nothing to obscure or diminish the amount of fatty tissue in the body of the person described, they just have more syllables. At the end of the day, I and most people I know have Fat on our bodies! Some of us just have a little more Jiggly- bits then others. And for those of us who do, frankly shopping is a nightmare!
I had a plan, I wanted a blue suit jacket and skirt, a crisp white blouse and red jewelry. The first store I went to was Macy’s. I figured a large department store would be a good place to start. I grabbed about 6 suits off the racks in size 14 and 12. You see, I have not shopped for clothes with numbers on them since i became so corpulent, so I had no clue what size I was. None of them fit!! I could get the 14 on but the skirt was tight and the jacket would not button. I was mortified and went home. The next day I embarked on a shopping expedition determined to find something. I went to Lane Bryant because it’s suppose too carry clothes specifically for the “Well-Upholstered” woman. I tried on size 16 and I was swimming in it. I asked the clerk how this could be. If a size 14 is a tad too small, shouldn't a size 16 be perfect? She explained that a size 14 in misses and a size 14 in Women’s was entirely 2 different things. Ok, good to know! However, they did not have anything smaller then a 16 in their suit jackets so I was out the door empty-handed again. I went to JC Penney. They had suits up to a 14 in misses that didn't fit and when I asked where they had the women’s clothing, I was directed upstairs. Apparently, they hide the plus size clothing section so the thin shoppers don't have be subjected to the vision of a portly woman. What a wasted trip up the escalator and thru the home goods. Not one suit in the plus size. All they had were shapeless garbage bags and I already have those. Next, I went to Kohls. I couldn't find suits for any size there. Frustrated, I gave up and went home. I now understood why people die before completing their quest.
I was bewailing my shopping woes to co-workers and someone suggested I try The Dress Barn. This stop was surprisingly less painful than the others. They have misses and women’s sizes, so I was sure to find something. They also have a very helpful staff. Once she knew what I was looking for, I just stayed in the dressing room and she kept bringing me clothes! I just stood there in my underwear thinking up words that mean fat. We discovered something! I don’t have a size right now! I don’t quite fit into misses and the women’s smallest size is too big! I wish I had known that when I embarked on this fiasco. She suggested a Misses xl jacket that didn't button with a crisp white tank, tucked into a misses 14 skirt that had elastic in the sides. Genius!
For all of you out there who have recoiled in horror in the changing rooms harsh light and funhouse mirrors, I know you will agree that the term “retail therapy” is something made up by thin people and stores wanting your money. I did however need some serious therapy after this week.