I recently ventured out for some last minute clothes shopping. I hate clothes shopping. I’m tall, and usually such sizes are only found online but I didn’t have time to wait. Not only am I tall but I’ve put on some weight, which I’m happy to report, is coming off. But with the weight I haven’t been wanting to really invest in good clothes, but rather just stuff for activities on the mom summer circuit: camp drop offs and pick ups, park play, crafts and errands. You know, since they don’t make specific clothes for drinking alone after the kids are asleep and praying it’s close to September. But I digress.
When I was pregnant and looking for cheap clothes I learned the trick that plus size clothes, which technically start out in some of the same sizes you’ll find in the regular part of the store (in L.A., a 10 can be plus sized) tend to run longer. So I swallowed my pride and decided to temporarily shop there this time, as cheaper clothes also tend to run shorter. I can’t win, apparently.
So, after wandering around my local-ish Macy’s for a bit looking for the women’s plus-sized department, I couldn’t find it yet knew it must be there. Really not wanting to ask for help I read the signs, the directories and went to the obvious locations. Nope. So, finally, I headed over to the women’s department to ask for some guidance.
Now, I’m not cover of the National Enquirer large by any stretch. There would be no Michelin Tire Man-like photo of me there. Nor do people stop and stare. I still get into a bathing suit. I fit on amusement park rides and don’t need to buy and extra seat when I fly. I can shop in the regular sized department. But still, thanks to society and my personal issues apparently, there was some shame in asking where the plus-sized department was. More of a “how did this happen” feeling than anything else.
So I slunk around looking for an inconspicuous salesperson to ask. I skipped the busy cashier counter area in favor of a saleslady re-stocking clothes from the dressing room. As I approached I noticed that she wore significant hearing aids in both ears. This did not deter me or make me think twice about talking to her, as it shouldn’t matter. So, over I went. I first addressed her with “excuse me?” and she didnt’ hear or notice me. So then I stepped more in her line of sight. I asked “Do you know where the women’s plus size section is?” She asked me again, so I repeated. Now, I am not judging her for not being able to hear. I think it’s kind of awesome she’s out in a mainstream job and not hidden away somewhere as would’ve happened in decades past.
After partially understanding my question, she needed to clarify. So she loudly states, “BIG” and holds her hands out like so, about a foot away from each side of her body:
Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me. Really? You can’t hear. Apparently at all. And you’re calling me “big” and using your hands to drive the point home. As with any good humor writer know for witty come-backs, I slunk away. But, oh my God, how my mind reeled with what i could have said, should have said. Putting aside any nasty or sarcastic remarks aka my lifeblood, how about “Have you not learned anything from your journey of not being able to hear as well as everyone else?” Or “How about some sensitivity?” I don’t think I’ve ever been in a more politically incorrect situation in my entire life, and there were so many opportunities for snark. But I was the bigger person, ahem, and did not go there.