Friday, June 22, 2012

Tentmaker Wanted

We're here in Aspen for the wedding of a friend and co-worker of mine. This morning, the Hubs took off to play golf and I hiked around town for about two and half hours looking at shops and taking photos (describing the cool weather) to send back to friends in my home state where the climate is approaching its usual 100+ temperatures. Also? I am free from worry about any kind of karmic payback because the altitude her won't allow it. Rocky Mountain High...and all that. Not so much an urban myth.

I amused myself by walking into Ralph Lauren just to see what was going on and there were a bunch of people there working on a display and being oh-so- serious about it because that handbag has got to catch the As though Judge Ralph himself was about to walk in. I spent a few moments finding a non-bourgeois discreet way to look at a tag-- without actually seeming to look--because that's how Lucy did it when she and Ethel went to the Don Loper Salon in Hollywood and she got her ring caught on a tag--and you know this is exactly what I was thinking about when I found out that a simple blouse from the SALE rack at RL is still $950. On the SALE rack. Nine. Five. Oh-my-god! Which means that when it's not ON SALE it's only slightly less than my mortgage payment every month.

I know!!

So I wandered into a small boutique and the woman there was very nice and very...very thin (I'm not a hater!) and we were talking about the climate when her co-worker/owner came in and--without really seeing me--announced to the first woman that she had just bought a bunch of "dresses in really big sizes---like 8's and 10's." 

The words REALLY BIG just sort of hung out there in the air like a cartoon bubble over their heads.

I think the first woman knew--as all savvy clothing store owners must-- how to eyeball a person and determine approximate size and had probably already done so with me. I also think she felt it was her duty to perform a deft verbal recovery of the situation so that I--a decent looking 5'8" woman with credit cards and wallet full of vacation cash who wears clothing in the 8-10 range--didn't become offended. Or possibly have a little come-apart in her store and get my elephantine/ supersized  8-10 tears on something expensive.

Too late.

So she said--very quickly-- "That's great, because--you know--people like that have to wear clothes too."

People. Like that. Shit.

And then the second person DID see me and she said, "Sure, we like their business as much as anyone else's."

You much as the business we get from people without cooties.

Cooties named "cellulite".

I wanted to reassure her and say, "Don't worry yourself about this one bit because I have all my clothes made at the tent and awning outlet near my trailer park community that's two states away and there's nothing here that is of any earthly use to me and--hey--I'm really thirsty. Do you know if there's a place nearby where I can get a glass of gravy to drink?"

Which isn't even true because I just bought a really cool skirt at Old Navy the other day and it's not even close to the size of a picnic blanket, movie projector screen or even a car cover and by making that statement now I know I sound all petulant and....defensive. Am I?

Or am I just offended that the human x-ray who owned that store thinks there are only two types of people in this world: Skeletal people with eating disorders (pretty, pretty people who look good in clothes).....and then everyone else and all those individuals should be rounded up and shot arrested and sentenced to shop at Walmart for the rest of their natural lives.

Other than this? Aspen is gorgeous and everyone else I've met has been very friendly and kind and there's a store that sells t-shirts dyed with chocolate or red wine. I take mine in a size 8-10. Hold the gravy.


  1. There's a consignment shop in my town with contour labels....used bags are 2 or 3 thousand dollars. They're pretty, but not THAT pretty.

    My mom was 300 lbs, and faced SO much of this crap. As if a store selling stuff shouldn't want to sell to her. Strangers telling her what she should eat to lose weight. As if she didn't know. My daughter had an eating disorder for awhile, and was down to about 87 lbs, and everyone fawned all over her for being so beautiful. Dying, maybe. Miserable, angry, HUNGRY, terrified, yes. Beautiful, of course. Idiots. (She gained weight and got up to about 105...the attention stopped...what's with that?) Why don't they see that beautiful people come in ALL sizes...300 lbs, 87 lbs, and everything in between? I'm glad you left without buying any of their stupid products.

  2. (Contour labels? COUTURE labels. Stupid bad spelling skills + spell check.

  3. My personal motto - anyone thinner than me? Has an eating disorder. And I get to diagnose that shit, for reals.

    I really really wish you had let those thoughts escape into the ether of the RL store. I also think you could have let slip that under weight people are at high risk for getting serious diseases of the incurable kind. Then again, nah, that WOULD have sounded defensive.

    But really? I can't stop laughing at the trailer park and glass of gravy thoughts. Too funny.

  4. I used to say to my students that if we all remembered the mantra that People Are Basically Stupid, we'd be much happier.

    I'm sorry that you were sideswiped by an unthinking person.

  5. What a tool! Around here size 8 is considered small, so I'm blaming the high altitude for the airhead commentary in that store.
    "People like that." Sheesh.

    And I? Finally connected the DOTS here.


Be nice. It's not as hard as it sounds.