So, I feel like I should start this blog with an update, or a confession rather. I still haven’t gotten rid of my skinny clothes. But listen, it’s on my to-do list. My ever-expanding, constantly-in-the-back-of-my-head to-do list. I write one every morning, now, and it’s helpful but I have noticed some items just get written out of habit, and not necessarily intention.
I’m hopeful that Donate Skinny Clothes doesn’t gain its tenure on this list, having a perennial appearance alongside Go To The Gym or Trim Body Hair or Start 401k. But then again, hope implies doubt, so I’m not too optimistic.
One of the items that did get a good ol’ cross-off this week, however, was Unpack Boxes. What can I say? I moved into my new apartment in June, but I just couldn’t bring myself to unfurl all of my non-summertime clothes into my closet. Which is when I realized something mildly jarring: I only have one pair of pants that didn’t have a rip in the crotch.
Big thighs, small world, am I right?
Worse yet, this realization occurred a day before I started an full week of playing the role of “Restaurant Manager” at the two restaurants I work at. And something told me that the one pair of pants that were hole-less (an orange pair of joggers) wouldn’t quite make the mark.
It seemed like a personal form of punishment to go to the Mall of America on a Saturday afternoon before work, but what can I say? I’m definitely a masochist, so I probably subconsciously planned it.
* * *
My boyfriend and I parked on the second-highest level of the parking ramp, because it was already that busy. So we made a plan, we would be out of the door by 2:00 PM, meaning we only had two hours to do our best.
He really wanted to start at Zara, and I feel like whenever I compliment people on they’re clothes nowadays, the response is always, Thanks its from Zara. And let’s just say, the clothing racks definitely did not disappoint. Everything was exactly that perfect fusion of fashionable and professional that would say, Yes, I am the manager this evening, but I’m also very, very queer.
There was one sport coat in particular that grabbed my eye the moment I walked through the electronic security gate. As I rummaged the rack, though, this feeling of dread came over me: the biggest size they carried was mine. So I took a deep breath in, and then exhaled all of it (because I’m skinnier that way), and wrapped myself in the red checkerboard wool. I looked like a scarecrow the way that my arms naturally protruded themselves.
I immediately went to Drew, with the tears already welling up, I can’t shop here, nothing will fit me.
All I could think about was how much I hated going back-to-school shopping as a kid, because every year, I would have to buy another size bigger of clothes. Until finally, some stores just didn’t fit me anymore. Or, all the other times that I fell in love with clothes on the mannequin, only to realize that mannequin was approximately the size of my thigh.
Looking at him with my scruffy, puppy face, he gave me the exact Get a grip, girl look that I needed. Yeah, of course this coat doesn’t fit you. It says slim fit right here. We’re gonna find you a cute outfit. Promise.
* * *
It wasn’t until I was in the dressing room that I really remembered how much I hate shopping for new clothes. Especially anything that would fall under the umbrella of “European” fashion.
When I put on the first button-up shirt, there was more fabric puckering than not. And there’s nothing quite like having a pair of pants only coming up to your knees, before immediately stopping at your quadriceps. Luckily, there were two pairs that actually fit, with another couple shirts that didn’t make me look like an American sausage in European casing.
* * *
Getting ready for work that night, all I could think about was how ridiculous I looked. These new clothes fit, yes. But they were definitely some of the tightest clothes I’ve bought in a while. I was nervous that I was just adding to my pile of skinny clothes that I would have to donate. What if I bought clothes that didn’t fit on purpose? Or what if I would be talking to a table and a button would pop off into someone’s salad. Would I say something or just let them eat it?
I kept looking at Drew while we were getting dressed, This fits, right?
Yeah, babe. You look great. He said, almost exasperated. But still, my anxiety flourished.
* * *
It wasn’t till the end of the evening, when I was walking out of the door with Drew, that I finally felt better.
I stopped by the host stand to say goodbye to our co-worker Doug, who is an older queer gentleman, and legitimately someone I aspire to be one day. When he complimented me on my new shirt, I spouted the saga that I went through with this tight piece of fabric. To which he said, Oh that’s totally ridiculous. Just suck it in. And be the confident and fabulous self that you always are.
I thanked him, and reminded myself that being humble and gracious do not to be mutually exclusive. And that’s when he asked me, I mean, it’s a great shirt. Where did you get it?
Which is when, I got to check something off of my to-do list of things I’ve always wanted to say, Thanks, it’s from Zara.