What size am I really?

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Buying clothes is not a great event for me.

Yes, I do love new clothes but to try on item after item, in and out of change rooms, sweating in tiny cubicles, and the worst when there is no mirror in that cubicle and I must go out there and stand in front of a mirror so that not only do I see how horribly that pair of pants accentuates all the wrong areas in the worst way, everyone else in the store shares in the experience too.

“Oh I do hope she realizes those pants are not right for her.” Thinks everyone in the store. The sales person approaching, “Those are cute”.

No, I have to be in a frame of mind to shop correctly. If I fall for an impulse purchase, for example seeing something enroute to the bookstore, it never fails to be an unfortunate purchase and later as I pull the thing from my closet I’m thinking, ‘what was I thinking?’

This endeavor in clothes shopping is exacerbated by the little number on the tag inside the clothes. I have been a size 12 for over 25 years but when I’ve taken that size to the change room the last few years it seems to always be a coin toss as to whether it will make it up past my knees, or down over my shoulders. No my weight hasn’t changed, much, I have an archive of size 12 clothes that I still wear and some of my new clothes are a 12.

It’s  frustrating when it is something I love, and it’s the last one on the rack in that size 12, aaaand, ugh, puff, grunt, the thing. will. not. errrr, zip. snap. button or squish across my now seemingly over size 12 huge hips. I give up. Breathe.

But surprise, surprise, I just recently bought a black skirt in a size 8. Wha?

Go figure. No, it doesn’t have zippers or buttons, it’s a pull on and it does have a bit of stretch in the fabric, but I should not have been able to pull that sucker up and still take a breath if I abided by the “number”.

I also have a boobs. Not enormous, but they are there and need to be reckoned with. So if a blouse has buttons down the front then as a rule I pull the Lg. and XTLg. in to my cubicle of disenchantment to see which one doesn’t, shall we say, strain. But even still, with a buttonless shirt I have run the gamut from M to XTLg. I have tried on a Lg. simple pull on shirt and stood at the mirror in perplexed dismay at the ultra tight fit, and I have tried on a button up blouse that was a M that fit perfectly.

And since I’m on about size- what the hell is a size 0? How can you wear a NOTHING size?

My practice now when I shop for clothes is to take in a spectrum of sizes and do my best not to be surprised at what fits and what doesn’t. Some size 12’s fit perfectly others don’t, I’ve learned to live with the paradox. And to not care about the number anymore, not that I ever really did in the first place, ok a little bit; I would be happy to take sizes from 8-12 instead. Truth.

Is it that as I age I morph?

Then there is the Shoe, sometimes I’m an 8, 8.5 or a 9. My feet are literally growing from the 7.5 I wore in my 20’s!  How is that possible? Did I stand around too much? My mother at 89 is still a size 6, surely after so many years and pregnant with 5 kids(extra weight and all) her feet would have gotten bigger?

Some things just need to remain a mystery. I guess I can be ok with that.