My shopping trip to Atlanta yesterday (Objective: new coat for me and a coat for the kid) yielded unexpected results.
I need a new winter coat and my ample bosom requires a 2XL; the rest of me could probably fit in an XL. First department store we went to: no plus size coats. Second department store: one rack with four styles
After the first store didn't have ANY, I said to Melissa, "Well, you know, us fatties don't need coats - we've got our blubber to keep us warm." And at the second store, where Melissa noted only one of the styles came in a color other than black, I explained, "Of course - fat chicks don't deserve colors."
In the third department store, I asked for women's coats section and when I got there I couldn't find any women's sizes, only misses sizes. I had my 17-year-old exchange student, Michael, with me when I went to ask a sales clerk about plus-size coats. I had to specify which sizes I was talking about, and Michael asked me, "What's the difference between Misses and Women's?" At that point I was so frustrated and dejected, I replied, "Women's means fat." He tried to tell me I wasn't fat and I told him there's no reason to be dishonest. Then he started trying to explain that in Africa being fat means you're wealthy. I told him we're in America so I'm just fat, not rich.
And then it all just hit me, how shitty the whole experience had been and how embarrassing it was that it all happened in front of Michael. And I had to hold back the tears. I was doing ok and pretty much had it under control. Then we met up with my housemate again and as we were headed back to the car, Melissa started looking at coats, and they were really cute, and not a one of them was going to fit me. I had to turn around to hide my eyes brimming with tears and decided to go out and make sure that was the way to our car. When I came back in, Michael was coming toward me and I think because he was looking me straight in the face, he saw my eyes clearly. He asked, "Amy, are you crying?" And I quickly said, "NO, of course not!" Which sent me in another shame spiral that I was reduced to crying in front of my kid and then compelled to lie about it.