For some time I have been promising to compare and contrast plant based dieting and veganism. Many people incorrectly use the two terms interchangeably. Now, having studied both of these animals closely, I am ready to dissect them and explain how their different organs function. However, as a vegan, I am unable to use that analogy and besides, I’d much rather talk about clothes today.
People that know me just spit coffee all over their laptops and iPhones. For those of you that don’t know me well enough to spit beverages on electronics, I will try to explain the surprise.
I am to fashion, what school lunch is to fixing the national health crisis. I consider red shirts and pink shorts a perfect fit. Flip flops go with anything. Holes in clothes are “hip and with it”. Boxer briefs are so similar to shorts that they can be worn in public. My daughters have many more examples they encouraged me to add here, but they are both grounded now and wont be talking to anyone for a while.
I blame my lack of fashion sense on my hatred of clothes. When healthy people with normal body shapes go shopping for clothes, they look for stylish garments that show off their healthy midsections and accentuate their lightly muscled limbs. Then they add accessories that add to the look. With very little effort they cover their bodies in clothes that help tell the story of who they are or who they want to seem to be that day: seductive temptress, professional man about town, hipster with attitude, or even jaunty pirate.
Large people, and by large I mean fat, generally do not like clothes. Sure, we wear them but not because we want to show off our svelte bodies. We want to hide them. I hate to speak for a third of the US population, but since they are all busy in the Taco Bell drive-through line waiting for Fifth Meal, I’ll tell it to you straight. Clothes shopping for the health impaired sucks.
For one thing, most stores don’t carry enough Xs for us. When I needed 4X shirts, I had to go on a quest to find a store carrying something so big. I was essentially shopping for the least muu-muu like garment I could find, preferably something without giant pockets or florescent hibiscus print. The real test was to try the brightly colored tent on and then raise both arms in the air. If my big, pasty-white belly was exposed, the shirt was worthless and the painful search for a “shirt” continued.
Pants, underwear, winter clothes and suits are equally hard to buy. When my brother from another mother was preparing to interview for a spectacular new job he was forced to go suit shopping. While complaining about the cost to a thin friend of his, the tiny guy said, “What’s the big deal? You can get a suit at J C Penny’s for 89 bucks!”
Rather than choking him or explaining the painful reality about big guy suit shopping, he called me so we could laugh at the little guy’s naivete. Normal sized people have no idea what it is like for the other third of the US Population. J C Penny’s biggest suits were still 75-100 pounds away for guys like us. Instead we have to go to the Big and Tall Clothes Store which should be called the Expensive and Shameful Clothes Store where you need to wait for a BOGO sale because they need to combine two suits to make one for us.
So imagine my surprise last week when I walked into Target and located a sale with racks full of clothes that I can wear. I attacked the racks like I used to attack a breakfast buffet. First I got one of everything, then I went back for seconds and thirds of my favorites. The clothes were very cheap and not covered in a gaudy flower pattern. I was giddy to be surrounded by affordable clothes that fit. It was such a refreshing change of events that I think I may finally understand the allure of shopping.
I filled up my red shopping cart with more clothes than I’d bought myself in the last 10 years. When I got the giant plastic bags home I held a mini fashion show and pranced around the house in most of my new duds. I didn’t even get to show all of them off yet, but I plan to do so as soon as I upload this blog post. I just wish my daughters were allowed to join the festivities.