Saturday, May 7, 2011

Size matters

It's all a lie! I can't believe such deceit would be perpetuated throughout the ages by and for both genders! Do you know what this has done to the children?!? Think of the children!!!

I'm upset. Allow me to explain.

Short story: Today I'm throwing away a too-small pair of pants and a worn-out belt. The pants lied to me, and the belt had no right to up and die. Why didn't it think about how that would make me feel?

Long story: When I was but a lad, my mom bought me a black leather belt. Everywhere I had to go that was dressy, that trusty belt was by (around?) my side. It lasted for six whole years. Since then, I've never found a replacement that lasted for more than a year, and half of them didn't even fit.

Soon after I began college, I became aware of my clothing sizes. My working hypothesis is that it's because I had to start buying my own clothes. I learned my waist and inseam sizes. I learned my suit coat size. I learned my sleeve size (a whopping 35 inches; I'm like a monkey!). I learned my neck size1, for cryin' out loud.

And yet, even with a graduate degree, I've never been able to figure out my belt size.

I did everything you'd expect. I went to stores that sell belts. I gained weight to try to fit in to the belts I'd already bought. I wore my dress slacks to the store and tried on belts until I found one that fit2. But no matter how I tried, I couldn't find a belt that still fit when I got home. Maybe they shrink in the wash, I don't know.

It's not that I'm a moron3, it's that belt sizes, pant sizes, and waist sizes are apparently completely unrelated!

Women are not surprised by this. You've been dealing with "vanity sizes" for years. I, however, trusted Old Navy and Dockers not to stretch the truth4. Nobody wants to wake up one day (hypothetically) and find out that their size 32 jeans that they've been drying in the dryer for seven years actually measure 34 inches5.

So that's the crux of it. Women know that a size two dress may actually be a size eight, but some are happier with a tag that says size two. Not so for me.

I'm never happy in a size two dress.

1 It's almost as large as my biceps.
2 Okay, I didn't actually do that one, per se, but it's sounding pretty darn reasonable from where I'm sitting in my elastic-waistband sweatpants.
3 No, it's not!
4 Get it? Stretch? Get it?
5 After all, they may have hypothetically cut off your circulation two weeks ago.