Searching for Confidence on the SALE Rack

30 06 2010

It’s been two years since I’ve seen a regular paycheck. The last thing I need is another expense. I also don’t need to put myself on the path to screwing up my health for the rest of my life, so losing weight had to happen and it’s something to occupy myself with to pass the time between waking up and sleeping. So far, I’ve lost a little over thirty pounds. I’m estimating because I haven’t weighed myself in a while. No matter what the number is I doubt it would make me smile, but that’s an issue for another day – I’m aiming for a healthier weight, not one you brag about. Anyway, my slightly less fluffy self is a positive thing, but my resulting lack of proper fitting clothing is an economic hit to the solar-plexus. I’ve ignored the problem for as long as I can but it’s reached the point where, even if I managed to get an interview, I’d never be hired for anything because I look clownish – everything is baggy and drooping and tent-like. I’m not exaggerating when I say that only my socks and shoes fit reliably.
This adds several new facets to my current “F***-My-Life” mindset. My biggest issue is, of course, that I am once again a dependent – something a 25-year-old, able-bodied, reasonably sentient individual should NEVER be – and I have to ask my parents for everything. It’s enough to turn my stomach and it will if I think about it long enough. Since I’ve had to conduct myself this way, I have systematically trimmed down my life to limit the times I have to ask for cash. I hate it and miss going out with my friends and stuff like that, but I hate having my parents finance me far more, so I don’t regret putting myself in a nearly unwavering pseudo-house arrest that would impress the Chinese police. I’ve continued using my social networking site of choice as a means by which to keep my friendships intact and I did go out in New York to celebrate my birthday. Since I’m trying to be as light a financial burden as I can be, I had been ignoring the fact that I have very few pieces of clothing that fit but it finally has reached the point that it would obviously affect any attempt to find employment, so I have to ask for money over, and over, and over in hopes that, aided by a that fact that I don’t look like a bum, I’ll get a job, a week or two later get a check, and gain back a bit of my autonomy. In the interest of full disclosure and because I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea, I’m not the most social of butterflies to begin with, so I promise you it’s not as tragic as it sounds. On a happiness scale that goes from Rogers and Hammerstein goofy bliss to Ingmar Bergman bleak, I fall somewhere around a Woody Allen comedy of the Diane Keaton era – many of my issues stem from my own tendency to over-think. If that changes, so will my behavior. I’m not much of a fan of Bergman.

There is also the fact that I really don’t like shopping for clothes. I enjoy shopping for most everything else – books, shoes, DVDs, and handbags all rank high – but I do not like shopping for clothes and, as I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to hate it even more. Usually, I take someone with me to make it more of a social outing and less of a chore that’s right up there with cleaning the toilet on my list of Detested But Absolutely Essential Things To Do. I hate it because it’s a lot of effort with little or no reward. Why? Because, in addition to not being 5′ 10″ and 98 lbs, I’ve got plenty of all that makes up the female silhouette and that presents a problem. Apparently those who design clothing have gotten it into their heads that the 21st century female’s silhouette is the same as that of your average 12-year-old boy except women are all six feet tall. I’d like to take a moment to address this error in basic observation.

Clothing designers,
Please allow me to clue you in, you couldn’t be more wrong about the average female form. Take a deep breath, prepare yourselves for what’s to come, and do an image search for the term “real women”. Once the shock wears off, you’ll come to the realization that, while not like those of all the models you’re used to, these less boney bodies with so much variety of shape and size to them are worth creating decent clothing for. Come on, give us a chance.
Much Obliged,
Me

I have already begun my hunt for suitable clothes because nudity is not an option and have had a major breakthrough – jeans that fit. No “booty gap” in the back. No muffin top. They just fit. Best of all, I have discovered that my own personal Jean-topia has more than one brand in it. I have tried on and bought two different brands – Christopher Blue and CJ by Cookie Johnson. Little In The Middle jeans have also been recommended to me but I have yet to actually try a pair and, when dealing with jeans, seeing is believing. This is a wardrobe victory, but I have not won the war. There are three big bags of things to be donated and I’m not done yet. I have a lot to replace, but it’s a start.
There is always some level of connection between clothing and self-confidence and I won’t try to doubt that there is some of that at play. I don’t just need something to wear to an interview, I need “interview clothes” even though I have had only a few interviews in the past two years. Perhaps it’s a case of having to look the part to get the role. We’ll see. I’m not exactly what you’d call an optimist but I’m finding that more and more that is what one needs to even be considered for any position anywhere. Modesty be damned, you need to practically radiate supreme confidence – more self-confidence than an obese stripper – to get hired, period. The longer you’ve been out of work, the harder it is to drum up that much confidence – a rather cruel irony. I’m hoping to find some of that attitude tucked in the pocket of a great pair of interview-grade black pants. As for a job, I’ll come up with something… eventually. My self-confidence may ebb and flow like a tide, but my hope springs eternal. As I go along I see plenty of people less qualified for whatever position they hold than I would be. My grand philosophy is that they can’t all be sleeping with their bosses and when they eventually screw up bad enough to get themselves fired there I’ll be, resume in hand and looking fierce.

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News Flash – Tights Are NOT Pants!

24 05 2010

I have never been what anyone would call trendy or stylish. I have always had far too imperfect a figure to try to emulate the “perfect” specimens in Vogue – specimens that magazine editors still feel the need to Photoshop nearly to the point of being unrecognizable. My mission when buying clothes is to simply find something that fits right and that’s hard enough. I’m sure there are some of you who know how I feel. It is my chronic lack of personal style that keeps me mute on the topic of fashion… usually. I have, however, reached the point at which even I feel the need to speak out for I have seen one too many nylon-encased buttocks being openly displayed. Women of the world take note –

TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS!!!!!


They are similar to pants. Almost pants. The ghost of pants, if you will, but they are not to the bum-covering or bum-supporting caliber of pants. Yes, I said bum-supporting and, unless you are as fit as is humanly possible, and cellulite-free, and are under thirty, and have never even thought of birthing children, your butt benefits from the shape-assisting support of proper pants. The never-ending quest for the perfect pair of jeans stems from the fact that a good-looking butt is generally a well-supported butt.

The issue of bum coverage is two-fold. The first has to do with opacity. You cannot see through pants. This is not always true with tights. We all have those people who we are or have been close enough to that they know what kind of underwear we prefer – friends we shop with, obviously significant others past and present have a clue, roommates, ect… – but everyone in the mall/grocery store/city doesn’t know you like that, so it’s just awkward.
The second issue is one public vs. private interest. Almost no one wants to know every topographical detail of your ass, especially if they don’t know your name. Your doctor doesn’t want to know that much about your ass. Please, keep the dimples and jiggle to yourself. If you’re wearing underwear, I don’t want to see it. If you’re not wearing underwear, I don’t want to know and I really don’t want to see it. Believe it or not, I’m not alone in feeling this way. There are plenty of people who have no desire to have advanced knowledge of the muscle tone you have (or have not) achieved in your gluteal region and those that are interested aren’t going to want to have that information shared with the rest of the world. They want to feel special.
Tights are great when worn properly – i.e. not as pants. They’re great under dresses, skirts, and oversized shirts as long as they cover your butt as opposed to making it a billboard for Victoria’s Secret… or your local gym… or a strip club… or McDonald’s.

One final note for those of you who think I’m totally off-base here. Remember, it’s not just svelte twenty-somethings and college sorority girls who have adopted this pants-less look. I saw a woman who had to be pushing sixty walking around like this as well as gaggle of girls who were maybe – maybe – fourteen. It’s gross.

:Rant Complete: