Saturday, March 07, 2009

I'm a Medium, You Gotta Be Kidding Me!

(This blog post was initially written in July 2007. Included are photos of me and some of the shirts in question 8-).)

When we returned home to the US this summer, we had a lot of shopping to do, a lot! We hadn’t been home in two years and we have two young boys who seem to grow daily. But, Eleanor and I had quite a bit of shopping to do for ourselves.

In regard to my clothing sizes, let’s just focus on my shirt size for now, I have worn a size XL or XXL for most of my life (Despite the weight I have lost over the years, my Pops still thinks that I wear a XXL 8-)). For most of my life, I was quite big and my clothing reflected this. When I was growing up, I was the kid who always wore the husky size. If the clothing wasn’t labeled husky, then I probably couldn’t wear it. For some reason, I just think there is something wrong calling a young child husky, maybe it’s just me? And there were many department stores that I could not shop in just because I knew that they would not have my size. Buying something off the rack was a luxury that I could not indulge in that often. Although I have not shrunk that much, but enough, I’m very happy to say that I’m not as a big as I once was and obviously, my clothing reflects this as well.

When El & I go shopping in the US, we become overwhelmed by all the choices. America is a very blessed country in that it is truly the land of plenty. And I am reminded of this the minute I enter a supermarket or department store. Well, on this particular day (In July 2007), I was in Macy’s looking/shopping for clothes because they were having a major sale and I also had a major coupon. On this particular day, I was trying to purchase a pair of jeans and some mock turtleneck t-shirts. I was thinking about buying a pair of Levi’s, but there were just too many styles to choose from and try on. I got tired of trying on the different styles and just decided not buy the jeans.

The mock-T’s as I will refer to them, were a different story. Macy’s had the style of mock-T that I wanted and they had them in an array of colors. The big question was what size to buy; always a dilemma with me. I never know if a large will be large enough or if an XL would be more comfortable? Plus, I’m always thinking, “Well, what will happen if I put on weight, will these clothes fit? I have a fear of being the size and weight that I once was and this is always in the back of my mind when I purchase clothes. This fear, is what motivates me to exercise and watch what I eat to a certain degree. A little insight into what makes me tick. So, I took 6 different colored mock-T’s in two different sizes to see which one would be a better fit. First, I tried on all the XL’s and they were too big. Then, I tried on all the Larges and they were too big. I then began to wonder, how much weight have I lost of late and what was going on? So, I returned all of the clothes to their stacks and picked up as the French would say, “Sacreu Bleu” a handful of Medium mock-T’s. Mediums! I don’t think I have ever worn a size medium in anything. So, I skeptically and hesitantly, took a handful of medium mock-Ts and I began trying them on in the changing room with trepidation. Much to my surprise, the t-shirts fit and they fit well. I took my handful of mock-T’s to the cashier and we began chatting. I immediately detected an accent on the cashier and anytime I detect an accent on anyone, especially anyone that I’m speaking with I always play the “Hmm, I wonder where they are from game?” I couldn’t place where the accent was from and so I asked the cashier. The cashier hesitated, smiled, and replied, “Iraq.” She quickly then asked me, “Why?,” with a slightly suspicious tone. I quickly tried to put her at ease and said, “Hey, no reason. I detected an accent and I shared with her this little game that I have with myself regarding people with accents.” After my response, she softened again and said, “I’m from Iraq and I have been in the US 10 years.” The cashier’s name was Dill and we began a light banter. She could surmise from the perplexed look on my face that I had something on my mind so she asked me, “What’s up?” I said to her, “I can’t believe that I’m buying medium shirts. She replied, “Why are you so surprised? You look good and you are not fat at all.” At this, I thanked her for the compliment and we both laughed. After the transaction took place I got to thinking about an article that I read about the clothing industry in the U.S. Due to the increasing obesity in the U.S., many clothing companies had begun in many instances to change size labeling in clothes in the U.S. For example, clothes that were once labeled as an XL are now labeled as a large and so on and so forth. The article mentioned that this practice seems to be especially prevalent in women’s clothing. It was a very interesting article. So, as I walked to the car with my mock-t’s in hand, I wondered if I was a victim of this practice or if smaller portion sizes and exercise were to blame 8-)?


HeavySoulBrutha DaveB. said...

I'm just surprised that you were buying clothes you ol' penny pincher you!


O'Rourke said...

The biggest load of drivel I have ever read Haynes....

Laura Trairatnobhas said...

You always look terrific in your clothes, Ryan, as I believe I've mentioned more than once :)
It's funny to see men falling victim to the "downsizing" trend in the American clothing industry. Women have been experiencing this for years. I'm not ashamed to admit that as 6-foot-tall teenager I wore a size 12 (same as Marilyn Monroe!). . . and then a 10. . . and then an 8 . . . and now I even buy a 6 on occasion. And yet I weigh exactly the same now as I did when I got my first driver's license at age 15! It's pathetic to think that some "consumer psychologist" decided that consumers needed their egos stroked this way. If you want to go back to being an XXL, just come on back to Thailand, where saleswomen ALWAYS greet me with "Madam . . .We have size XXL!"