Thursday, October 2, 2008

Is This Living?

I'm knee-deep in menses and I've been on the verge of a random breakdown over the past few days.  Seriously?  Last night I fought back tears on the way home because I spent nearly 3 hours in a fruitless search for basic black ballet flats.  If you have huge feet like me, you know what I'm talking about.  I hit several levels of emotion last night:
  • Rage:  I shouldn't have to shop online for a basic pair of black shoes!  These stores need to realize that people with big feet need stylish shoes, too!  We are a force to be reckoned with!  I will not settle for plastic Payless shoes that start to stink after two days!  I deserve leather!  DRY LAND IS OUR RIGHT!
  • Despair:  I didn't ask to be this way...when will life hand me lemonade instead of all these lemons?  Will I ever find a pair of shoes in this town?
  • Disbelief:  I can't believe the only shoes they got in a size 12 are Peggy Hill loafers and ghetto-fabulous bejeweled atrocities.  There is a time and place to spend $100 on shoes, and I am not going to spend it on flashy streetwear that will just end up embarrassing me.
  • Pain:  Mah feet hurt...when will this evening end?!
  • Bittersweet Joy:  These shoes fit...but they're hot pink satin...but they FIT!  ...But they're not practical...but they fit...I can find a way. 
In the end, I walked around the store with 2 pairs of shoes - the pink flats and a pair of neat "errand" shoes.  Then I dropped them off somewhere in the store after deciding I wasn't going to spend money on something I had to "settle" for.  Might as well order online for something I know I like.
I just hate it all.  My friends don't get it because they have normal sized feet, so when I go into a full-on rant about shoe discrimination like I did yesterday and this morning, they don't really know what to say. 
Sometimes I feel like the only time I have to say something is when I'm pissed off.  I don't want to be that person - the bitter one.  I used to have so much optimism and zest, and now I'm like a big emo-cow.  I'm afraid of becoming that fat lady that frowns all the time.  The one that has that look of constant shit-sniffing on her face.  I guess skepticism is the better word for it.
You know what I'm talking about...don't you?  Don't you know a person - maybe not necessarily fat - that's always frowning?  That always looks at you like you're trying to give them advice about Christ?
Anyway, it's bad enough that I'm fat, but I'll be damned if I ever get that dead-behind-the-eyes lazy face.
But it's not just about shoes.  I'm sick of always having to do things the hard way because of my size.  Yeah, it sucks that I can't go shoe shopping and have a pair in my hands at the end of the day; instead I have to order them online and wait a week before I can even find out if they fit.  It sucks to go into the shoe department of Nordstrom's with my girlfriends and have to curb my excitment about pretty shoes because I know they don't have a pair to fit me.  It sucks to go shopping with skinny friends altogether because I'm relegated to the accessories department.
Then I go to the plus size section of these department stores, and they're selling cheaply-made designer-label clothes sized 1X to 3X.  Really, Ralph Lauren?  You're really gonna expect me to pay $80 for a rayon piece of shit shirt that you can't even label with an actual size?  3X is not a size, it's an equation.  Tell you what?  Why don't you solve it for me?  I'm paying the same money everyone else 'bout you just say the shirt's a size 24 instead having me track down a sizing chart to make sense of everything.  I'd rather go to Lane Bryant and spend my money on clothes made specifically for my plus-sized ass than to give you a dime for those aborted remnants from your sweatshops.
While I'm on the subject, I like Lane Bryant.  I'm not embarrassed to shop there anymore, because those clothes are hot shit.  Lane Bryant is the Ann Taylor of the plus-sized retailers.  If I were thin, I'd totes shop at Ann Taylor.  Maybe not exclusively, but probably for the bulk of my clothing.  It's good stuff!
The thing that's been getting to me lately is that plus-sized women are price-gouged like no other.  Yeah, I have easy access to Lane Bryant, but I can also afford to shop there on a regular basis; not all fat girls can.  The only other walk-in stores I can think of are Fashion-Bug and Cato - both of which make me gag.  Not because I'm a snob, but the clothes smell like rubber from all the synthetic fibers, you're hard-pressed to find a pair of pants that don't have an elastic waistband, and their sizing falls under the 3X argument in most cases.  Plus, there's no real middle ground between teens and old women at those stores.  The clothes are either covered in flowers and gems or boxy and stuffed with shoulder pads.  The quality sucks, too.  I haven't had one piece of FB or Cato clothing to withstand a year of wear.
Old Navy doesn't even offer their plus sizes in stores anymore - it's all online.  Their stuff looks nice in pictures, but it's also pretty shapeless.  I've also found that the larger sized shirts are shorter in the waist, which not only sucks for long-torsoed chaps like meself, but it shows that they're stingy with their fabric.  They're basically saying, "We'll give you big clothes, but we'll be damned if we waste all our fabric on you."

God I'm so bitter.  What was I saying about that earlier?
One more, and then I'm done on the clothing front:
How come I can't walk into a chain sporting goods store and buy plus-sized workout clothes?  Don't fat people need them more than anyone?  I mean, they tell us that we're pathetic, we're out of shape and we need to work out.  Well guess what?  I do work out!  A lot!  And I'm sick of wearing maternity pants and scratchy t-shirts.  I'm sick of wearing mens clothes!  I want form-fitting, water-wicking activewear like e'erybody else up in herre.  I tried to explain my frustration to my friend Scott once, and he said, "Well can't you just get those clothes at plus-sized stores?"

No.  You can't.
What plus-size stores offer in the way of activewear are velour track suits.  Loungewear.  I want some goddamn Nike!  I want Puma, Reebok, Adidas!  And the stuff they offer in plus sizes is ghettofabulous, blinged-out urban wear.  NO!  Come on! 
Since the weather's getting colder, I want to get some warm clothes I can wear on my long walks.  I went to Under Armour's online store and ordered a shirt and pants in XXL - the largest women's size.  I guaran-goddamn-tee you that the pants will ride low (below the FUPA) and the shirt will ride high.  I'll be surprised if they don't.  And if they do...guess who's getting a letter?
Bottom line is I'm starting to hit bottom.  I've got a drastic plan ahead for my life, and I'll fill you in on the details in the coming posts.  Thanks for reading...
So there's that,


mkieper said...

I feel like I could have wrote this myself....of course not in the same manner which is eloquent..I also can't spell well.

Love you Laura. Maybe we should start our own shoe and clothing store.

ShanaRose said...

I've heard good things. Closest to the damen/north blue line stop.

their yelp reviews: