Shopping.  I’ve never been much of a fan, I prefer the pointing and clicking of online shopping to the annoyances of crowds and inconsiderate people.  Really, I find myself disliking the human population after a trip to any mall on a busy day.  I am the girl who willingly wakes at 6 am on a Saturday to do the shopping before anyone else gets out of bed.

Ok, so a large portion of my previous aversion to public clothes shopping could be directly linked to the large parts of my body I preferred to hide.  Plus sized shopping has its own set of humiliations.  When it comes to plus sizes, the good stuff is found in chains which don’t carry normal sized clothing.  Oh sure, I’m well aware people can see me but for some reason I always felt walking into a plus sized store announced to the world I was a fattie.  Don’t ask, it’s all part of the neurosis which is being me.  Every time I walked into a plus sized store I felt a small piece of me wither away as I became less confident.

Shopping now has its own unique set of challenges.  For example, I haven’t the foggiest notion of where to shop.  It seems to me most of the stores in front of my face carry things which cater to teenagers.  Can I find something to wear on the weekends which doesn’t have some teeny-bopper logo written all over it?  Or, how about a t-shirt which is stylish but doesn’t come down 6 inches below my hips as I will not be wearing it with leggings or “skinny” jeans anytime soon.

Of course, I also hyperventilate when I walk into one of these normal sized shops.  I keep wondering if anything will fit.  What if I’m accidentally walking into a store which won’t have anything I can wear?  It would be utterly embarrassing and I’d feel as though the entire staff would be watching me and thinking “does she really think she’ll find something here?”

About a week ago I delighted at being a size 14 at Dress Barn.  I’ve really only bought clothes at Old Navy and having the size reaffirmed by another store is a great feeling.  (The size 14 jeans I bought at Walmart apparently don’t mean anything.)  So today I drove to the outlet mall.  I need spring clothes.  The weather over the past week has made this a very apparent fact as I scrambled to find something which wasn’t a sweater and which didn’t require me to dress in layers.  At one point I even made a run for Target to pick something up I could wear the next day.  Yeah, my wardrobe is slim.  Here’s the thing though… the shirt I bought at Target?  I decided on the XL and I’m glad I did as it fits and juuuuust isn’t tight.  Had I bought the large I’d be one self conscious ninny in the shirt every time I wore it.  I have a variety of shirts from Old Navy in both M and L, depending upon the fabric and style of the shirt.  Today I wanted to buy a new hooded sweatshirt as my current one hangs off me and I feel incredibly frumpy in it.  Like I said, my wardrobe is slim and casual clothes have gone by the wayside in favor of things I can wear to work.  I stood in the Gap looking at the sweatshirts for an eternity before selecting the one I wanted.  And for size?  Well I grabbed a large.  It seems pretty big so I grabbed a medium.  The size difference between the two is astronomical.  I’m concerned the medium won’t fit but the dressing room has a line and I don’t want to even consider going there.  This would have been much easier if I weren’t wearing a sweatshirt already.

I grabbed the large and headed for the checkout.  Halfway there I stopped and put the thing on over my sweatshirt.  It fit with room to spare  OVER MY SWEATSHIRT.  Medium it is!  Thank goodness I tried it on.

My point?  Why aren’t sizes more consistent?  Why am I an XL in some things, a L in some, and a M in others?  It is utterly confusing for me already with the weight loss and trying to see myself as being a smaller girl… throwing crazy sizing in on top of this is just almost too much.  At the same time… I sort of hate to bitch.  I mean… a Medium?  Really?  The last time I remember being a medium…. You know something?  I don’t remember.  I remember when I had to buy a Large for the first time.  I don’t even remember being a medium, only when when this ended.  It’s a crazy feeling as this event happened sometime between my freshman and sophomore year of high school.  Yeah, me and the larges go way back.

So there you have it… a bit of a gripe and a bit of a happy dance all at once.

Also… where do you shop for clothes?  Really.  I’m having troubles.