Friday, October 19, 2007

Wow - that is REALLY ugly - on you, I mean...

It's been kinda a busy couple of weeks - and by 'busy' I mean 'craptacular'. A funeral to attend (sigh), and layoffs to dodge (ugh). Mercifully, both are over. The plus side is I'm still employed (rock ON) so I can finally stop being the undercover mother at work. I'm not sure which I'm more excited about. Yes, successfully job hunting while obviously knocked up would be difficult, if not impossible, but wearing tight pants and having to suck it in all day REALLY bites, so... tough call...
In preparation for my coming out at work, I went maternity clothes shopping. And wow, was that an experience. Made all the more experiential by having my coolest/oldest (in duration) friend in the area, R, with me. [I'd use her name but she does this nickname/initials thing in HER blog so I'm rolling with that - if she's got a better nickname I should use, she should report in, hint hint. And 'Queen of all I survey' is too long and I can't spell ululating maenaid...or whatever, so guess again.] Because we've been friends for as long as we have, she's honest with me - if not brutally honest when called for. And on this trip? Called for.
So for those of you who haven't gone shopping for maternity clothes, let me paint the picture. If you are a man, this won't be applicable - not because you can't get knocked up, but because clothes always fit you. Or your gender is impervious to pain due to waist binding or has amazing belt skills or less bizarre variety of styles or whatever - but regardless - you do not suffer quite the way we womenfolk do when it comes to clothing. So, back to picture painting.
Imagine the last time you went clothes shopping. Think about how many items you sorted through to get to one you thought was 'cute' or 'pretty' or 'was a color that didn't make me look like cow poop on a platter'. Maybe what, 1 in 20 or 30 things? In a store with stuff that you generally LIKE I mean. Outlets tend to run 1 in like 80 million. Let us, here in imaginationland, take these items into the dressing room. I know I know - this will be hard for all of us, but we are in it together...
Of the small handful of items how many of them didn't 'bind' or 'pinch' or 'make your butt look like a billboard'? Maybe 1 in 10ish? Now, take jeans and bras out of the mix entirely - they are an entirely different breed. Those run 1 in 100 on a good day, and we all know it. We've all been there, and the pain is still fresh.
So now that we've built this imaginary clothing shopping experience - let's apply this to the real world of maternity shopping! First the additional 'factors'. One, you are cranky - maybe it's hormones maybe it's that your underwear has been too tight for at least a month, but for whatever reason, crankicity. Two, your body is no longer your own - it's changing pretty much hourly so everything you ever knew about what styles generally look good on you or whatever, out the window. And whatever you learn about what works, could very well look like ass on you in a month. Talk about a moving target.
Three, the selection of maternity clothes blows CHUNKS. Both in volume and style. AND they are a bitch to find. Quick, where's the nearest maternity clothing store? What about the nearest store that carries maternity clothes? SEE?! Unless you are wearing a nursing bra RIGHT NOW, you have no clue (and if you said Target, that doesn't count since they carry EVERYTHING)
Knowing alllll this, let's go maternity clothes shopping. Whee!
My first excursion was to a store that carried exclusively maternity clothes, which I found solely due to a mall map. My friend to-be-nicknamed-later and I had just had dinner at Tyson's and I figured, what the heck, bound to have SOMETHING in here - it's consumerist heaven. And Lo, a maternity store.
Let's harken back to our earlier 'cute' to 'ew' ratio 1-20 to 30 right? Ok here? 1 in, um, 100. Not that the clothes were, like, hideous, but I'm not what you call a floral and ruffles kinda gal. At all. In fact, I am nearly phobic about lace. Sliiiiiim pickins. THEN you put them on. Remember, I have basically no clue what my current body shape is - since it changes every couple of hours I have trouble keeping up. But these guys are pros, and have foreseen this very problem! They nicely provide a strap-on for you in the fitting room - strap-on belly I mean. Just so you can get an idea of what shape you will be in the next 4 months.
Now, I've not done this before, but I certainly have seen my fair share of knocked up chick and NONE of them had a belly that looked even remotely like this Velcro-able abomination. I seriously looked like an alien ovapositor had been involved in conception. I mean, it was POINTY for God sake! SO not helpful.
Pretty much I am flying blind on this, fitting-wise. I'll spare you the worse of the multiple size swaps, the contortions and dressing room angst. I don't want to trigger flashbacks for any of you. But I will tell you that one outfit made me look like a bloated roe-filled mermaid, one made me look like a 'who's the babydaddy' jerry springer guest, and one just made my friend-to-be-nicknamed-later AND the *sales clerk for the store* laugh hysterically. I managed to cull 2 skirts and some underwear out of the pile of discards and damaged self-esteem, which put my numbers at 1 in 30 for fitting. (And anyone who tells you you don't need maternity underwear can come kiss my comfortably cotton clad bootie, cause they are wrong wrong wrong! Happy sigh!)
I repeated this entire process yesterday at Target, only without the peanut gallery/'support'. And instead of starting with an entire store I started with 5, count 'em, 5 racks of maternity clothes. We've already established that I suck at math, but if you want to apply the 1 in 100 "isn't ass-ugly" ratio to that starting number, then overlay the 1 in 30 "doesn't make you look like you should be at Fleet Week, either as a 'service provider' or an aircraft carrier" ratio, that should give you a good idea of what I walked out of there with.
Yup, you got it - cat food and toilet paper...

I'm off to a work conference next week which should give me even more fodder for my next post - 'the joys of being knocked up in an office environment and the weird things that happen when you come out of the preggers closet'

1 comment:

BiblioDiva said...

Ah...yes...good times. Congrats on not getting a "Blue Folder."

You may refer to me as BiblioDiva. I refer to you as "Exlaian".