This was the day. I had thought about this trip for a while, a long while. My palms sweated as I grasp the steering wheel and put the car in gear. Driving to this fate my heart raced. I needed a plan, but an undertaking like this I don’t really have a reference for. I had to count on my quick wit and raw basic survival instincts if I had any chance to make it.
I thought of some kind of military movement, scout the area… move in from the side slowly, keep a keen eye on the lookout for any movement. I had walked slowly into the department store and eased my way toward the clothing section. The guard, the “can I help you find something” person seemed to make about 5 minute loops. I needed perfect timing, else I knew I’d be shuffled off into the big men’s section area that contained sweat pants and plain cotton tees in 3 and 4XLS. It was a place they were trained to herd guys like me.
I knew that section well. It’s the bad lands area where they charge some cruel sort of tax of another 2 dollars because you’re big. I had tried to rationalize it in the past with reason of the garments just using more fabrics but deep down I know it’s a punishment, the big guy tax. Moreover it’s a punishment because there is no clothes of any fashion at all… just some kind of single color prison garbs.
I slowly moved quietly into a corner of clothes that had emblems, patterns, even logos and cartoons on them. My eyes were stunned by a mosaic of colors, I just stood there for 10 minutes. I actually had a choice. Eventually a woman stood beside me looking at character tee shirts and gave me a warm smile, almost to say, “It’s ok… you’re welcome here.” Did she know? Was she a guardian angel who knew me over 40 pounds heavier? I took a cleansing breath and tried not to tremble.
I cautiously reached for a pair of cargo shorts, the biggest they had on a normal rack. The last time I wore something like this was when I was a kid. I remember years ago I had just given up on this section of clothing all together as any hope to find something in my size was just futile. Now I had to go to the dressing room to try this thing on. There was no way around it. I had to ring that attendant bell that makes everyone in the store within 50 yards look at you. Inside that room I changed into those shorts, and just sort of pulled them up and buttoned them. I looked into the full length mirror on the door just stunned. I sat down on the stool in there and just looked at this image of a guy that I guess was me for a very long time. It was so long I’m pretty sure that the woman gave me an odd but just momentary sideways glance when I left the changing room.
I kept looking at those small, so tiny, cargo shorts as I walked stunned with this glazed expression on my face back toward the men‘s section… they looked somehow so small that they could not have a chance to fit me. Yet this trip down the twilight zone wasn’t done… I promised myself I’d get a shirt too.
Once more I stood in front of clothes. I loathed that 2 dollar big men’s tax and somehow out of sheer anger I grabbed an XL shirt. I’d make it fit! I’d inhale for all my worth! That shirt would stretch before my sheer will until the seams would give in!!! Again I returned to the dressing room. Luckily I didn’t have to ring the bell again. I scooted in before she even saw the shirt I chose, because I knew she’d take it away from me for my devious plans of shirt abuse were afoot. Then I… um… put it on. I could breathe somehow! I could sit. It even seemed to have a tiny bit of stretch left in it? Again I sat in that room and starred into the mirror. An XL fit? Surely it was a big XL, a gift of the Gods, but even so it was an XL. I checked the size again… there was no number in front of the XL. Moreover… NO big men’s 2 dollar tax came with this shirt. The shorts still came with that loathsome tax but the shirt did not.
Before I left I went other places in that store… then I wonder If I was abducted by aliens again as somehow I had spent 2 ½ hours there, or couldn’t account for the lost time as I was on some spaceship… but in *PART II* the story continues with this odd adventure wondering the store that ends at home with trying something else purely impossible… and also picture of me in my NEW CLOTHES!
(The pictures I found were of over a few years I think the oldest was about 4-5 years back, the newest within a month)
At Foolsfitness we hate the dressing room bell you need to ring!- Alan