I went shopping with mama at the local plus-size clothing store last night. I was hoping for a belt. They had none.
The did, however, have a black skirt that would work with my suit jacket. I grabbed the smallest size they carry (0X or 14/16) and slipped into a dressing room. The skirt was too large. I can no longer shop at this boutique.
After we headed to a cross-over store that carries Misses' (4-16, S-XL) and Women's (14W-24W). I headed to the Misses section and tried a couple of sweaters. I grabbed a buttoned sweater in a large.
I tried the sweater on and showed my mama. It fit perfectly and was quite flattering. I liked the color.
It felt weird. I've been shopping in plus-size clothing stores for 20 years, almost 2/3 of my life. Suddenly, I find myself out of place in these shops. I do not fit. I have to find a new place to purchase clothes -- crossover shops work well.
Shops that cater exclusively to thinner women are terrifying, with their size 0 mannequins and their anorexic models. My Misses size 14 hips, waist, and bust scream out "fraud," "faker," "does not belong here," when I think of crossing the threshold into one of these stores.
So, I stood there in the cross-over store, wearing this Misses size large sweater, knowing my face had fallen, struggling not to cry, as an unfamiliar and frightening world opened before me.
In the meantime, I focus on the experiences that are enjoyable to me -- improvements in my physical abilities; more reps, more sets, higher load when lifting weights; running, farther all the time, looking forward to faster someday, too; enjoying how I look in my clothes; feeling physically healthier; sleeping more deeply and awaking more refreshed and restored in the morning.
And finding that perfect dress that elicits compliments from my co-workers. Yes, I did look like one HOT Tamale.