Today I decided to try to shop for jeans after work because we get to have casual Fridays, usually for a cause. Today (I think) officially kicked off Mule Days here in Bishop and we get to wear jeans tomorrow in honor of that. Tomorrow we will also be having the Viet Nam Memorial Wall coming through town and will be on display at the park for the weekend. Lots of things are happening this weekend and it’s already crazy.
Back to the clothes shopping. I have a hard time shopping for clothes in Bishop and I always tell people God forbid if this town has tall, fat people like me. If the pants fit in the waist (and I’m lucky if that happens) they are about three inches too short. I can’t even shop in the guys section for pants. The waist usually only goes up to 40 (I need 44) and the inseams usually don’t pass 32 (I want 34 or longer). I get so frustrated trying to buy clothes and end up buying them online, but I wish I didn’t have to pay shipping.
I have always felt awkward in a clothing store. I am a tomboy and usually get looks that are actually hard to describe. Growing up, I was always uncomfortable dressing like how society expects a girl to dress. You want me in a dress? Forget it. I hate them. I always have and always will but I still have a tendency to buy them. Why? I have no idea. I have plenty of skirts and a few dresses sitting in my closet collecting dust because I don’t wear them. I don’t have a reason to wear them and I can’t wear the shorter ones to work now because I got a tattoo on my ankle and we cannot have tattoos showing.
I have tried to suppress my tomboyishness (my new word of the day) but I end up failing miserably. I am the most comfortable in jeans, a t-shirt and barefoot. Most of my peers in school didn’t understand me. I tried to fit in and stand out all in one attempt. Hearing the popular girls and most of the guys tell me that I was ugly and worthless, still messes with my head today. I try to wear things that I am comfortable in and are in style, but are still me. That is really hard to do in town because the majority of the clothes that are in my size are gaudy and I wouldn’t be caught dead in them. It’s horrible and embarrassing to be spotted in that section trying desperately to find something that can be considered reasonable. It’s really hard to be poor, needing clothes and having nowhere locally to shop for clothes.
When I was a teenager, my grandma would get so frustrated with me because I couldn’t find anything I liked that was in my size. I don’t think she ever really understood how embarrassing it was for me. My grandma is small and I love her for that, but she doesn’t know what it is like to be as heavy as I am and find clothes that you like and actually fit.
The same frustration applies to shoes. I am 5′ 10″ and wear a size 11 in women’s. My mom and I looked around Kmart and in two isles I saw maybe three pairs of shows that were a size 11 and they were ugly.
After nearly breaking down in the middle of the store and wanting to cry, I just shake my head and walk away. I go back to my apartment and opened Internet Explorer for my like to Alloy because that is the only site that has the styles I like in the size that I need. I can easily spend $150 – $200 on three or four pairs of jeans, but at least they fit and look good on me. That’s all that matters.