Saturday, May 19, 2007

Why I hate shopping - OR the story where I showed admirable restraint

...and didn't kill me any shop bitches.

As a person who has struggled with weight issues all my life, I've never really liked shopping. Not even in the 'special' stores with sizes geared towards large people.

It's humiliating to have to pick sizes that big.

It's even more humiliating when they're tight or don't fit. This is why I have so many shoes. Even skinny people have feet my size.

It's never something I look forward to when I have to go into regular stores. For the Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk I have to purchase some items that I just haven't been able to find in the plus sized stores so I made an attempt to try the regular sized stores yesterday.

The first couple of times it happened I didn't let it bother me. (while it was happening at any rate) But then I got tired of waiting for assistance and had the audacity of going up to a few sales clerks who'd been thus far successfully ignoring me and *gasp* asking them for assistance.

It's a simple question I had to ask really. I need some athletic wear that isn't just for show. The plus sized stores have some stuff but I've tried wearing it and it just doesn't last when it's used for sporty purposes. The stitching doesn't last and there isn't the support I need ...blah blah blah the list goes on.

Anyways I went into an athletic supply store. It had lots of different styles and a great selection ... for people who are already small. After being walked past and around a few times while the sales clerks assisted other customers, People who'd come in after me, and people who they had to go around me to get to, I got tired of the wait and went up to a group of clerks (3 who were talking to each other) and asked if they knew where I could go to find what I needed. Was there a different branch that carried a larger selection of sizes or did they know of other stores where I might go to.

The person who answered me couldn't even look me in the face while she talked.

It felt to me like she was afraid that my fat was contageous.

The other clerks were suddenly struck mute and busy (couldn't talk and suddenly had to go do stuff somewhere else).

The wall of invisibility was with me in a few other places but I didn't receive this level of disrespect/ignorance/whatever you want to call it, at any other store. That could be because I didn't force them to acknowledge me after this experience. Who knows.

I must say that when I went to the store that just had athletic foot wear the men that worked there were helpful. Maybe it's just women that can catch fat by talking to a fatty? I don't know.

It certainly hasn't made me eager to go out and continue my search.

So now you know. Sometimes fat people stay fat because of the service they receive in these places. It's humiliating to have to go to the gym wearing tent like clothes. When you go somewhere to solve that problem you're further humiliated by mean people. It does't seem like it should be a big thing. To be able to wear something that 'regular' sized people wear to the gym. It is though. It's the first step in making yourself feel like you fit in.

It was so fucking tempting to 'drown' my depression in food. I didn't do it but it was difficult not to.


Julie said...

I know just how you feel Erin.

Hugs to you

Bonita said...

Oh Erin, I am so sorry you had to go through all of that! Sometimes it just seems like life is so unfair. Here you are trying to participate in a wonderful thing and someone so hateful just "slaps" you down. {{{{{Erin}}}}}

Sasha White said...

I also know how you feel. And it's hard, really hard to not let it send you right to the ice cream aisle of the grocery store. BUT, you deserve to be healthy and happy, and you showed great remember that.

That said, Have you tried Wal_Mart? I often find plus sized sweats, tank tops and and really good sports bras there.