Sunday, November 8, 2009

One size fits tall

At the school bus stop one morning, we heard sirens roaring down a nearby cross street. I turned to the other parents and declared, "They found me!" I pretended to turn and run, then I looked down at my son. He didn't seem too amused with the idea that his mom might be on the lam. So I laughed and rubbed his shoulder, hoping he would catch the joke. His smile looked a little shaky. Just what did he think I would be on the run for, anyway?

Recently, I was informed that my one clothing store was closing down. This was the only place where I could shop for and actually try on clothes that were meant to fit me. In other stores, it's just a fluke if I find something that fits properly. A sign of the times? Apparently tall people don't need to wear clothing when the economy is cruddy.

So now it's back to strictly shopping online. Which means that instead of shopping like a regular person, I get to deal with shipping and handling, returning clothing that isn't sized correctly, waiting for the new one to come back, and finding out that even that size doesn't work. Add on top of that the finicky leanings of female style, and I am NEVER going to find new clothes again.

So when a package with two blouses arrived for me recently, I was already feeling churly. Just because the description said "tall" didn't mean it was actually going to be for a truly tall woman...

My oldest son caught sight of the package and said he hoped it was for him. I explained that it was "just clothes" and it wouldn't be very exciting. He became agitated.

"How come I never get any packages?" he whined.

"That's not true!" I said. "What about Christmas time or your birthday, when you get presents from your relatives?"

"That's not what I mean. Other times, too."

In hindsight, I'm sure my frustration with the closing of Tall Girl and the need for online shopping seeped through in my tone of voice. But as I explained,

"Mommy can't buy clothes in stores like regular people. I have to order the clothes on the computer and then have them mailed to our house," he reacted in a bizarre manner.

His bottom lip stuck out and he burst into tears. That snapped me out of my self-pitying mode right quick. He quavered,

"Is there a law?"

I froze for a moment, completely lost. Then I realized that my choice of words: mommy can't... have to order... made him think that it was illegal for me to shop in stores! I threw my arms around him and we had a good laugh. I guess we still need to work on the idea that it's okay-- and legal-- to be taller than other people.