Growing Old Gracefully… Or Not!

Yesterday I had the opportunity (no the need) to return an item, to one of those trendy, sports stores in the mall… but first, let me digress and kick off this rant by asking, “What the hell is going on with the sizing of women’s clothing?”  

This was the third pair of sweatpants, that had to be returned in the last week, because they were too small!

Really, how hard can this be? They’re sweatpants for goodness sake! They’re supposed to be baggy and comfortable; you’re not supposed feel like your being hugged by boa constrictor!

The first pair, Adidas (Size Large) were about 2 inches too short and the waist was about 3 inches below my navel! (Not a good look for me!) The second pair, also Adidas, size X-Large, were a smidge longer, but still very “low cut,” and not loose and comfy at all. WTF?

X-Fucking-Large, seriously?

The third pair, Reebok, were a size 16-18, because based on my body measurements and their flawed sizing chart, that was supposedly my correct size. Pfft! Bullshit, but okay… it’s just a number, right?

Well, yup, you guessed it, they too were low cut, way too tight and made from some weird, fake polyester material (Hmmm, can polyester be anything but “fake?”) that felt like I was wearing a baby’s nappy!

Anyway… I decide to return these in person, save postage and get my credit quicker!

So I walk into this trendy, sports shop and the first thing I notice is that the music is blaring… “Okay, cool… I’m down with music.”  

I look around and see that the women’s section, is on the next level up… and there, in front of me, is a mountain of stairs. “Okay, cool… I can still climb stairs, kinda.”

As I arrive on the next level (breathless), and I see a few salesclerks, milling around, looking bored and staring into their phones… They totally ignore me, but “Okay… cool. I can find the sweatpants on my own.”

I soon discover, however, that “like items,” i.e. sweatpants, hoodies, tops, etc, are not all grouped together, as I would have suspected… Nope, all the stock is strategically grouped by “Brand.”

“Okay cool… I can look through every freaking brand section, to see if any of them have anything that might fit my mammoth body!”

While exploring the unlimited maze of sportswear, I get the weird sense that someone is looking at me.. “Ahhh… there, right there…” One of the salesclerks is standing about ten feet away, just blankly, staring at me. She doesn’t smile, nor does she offer me any assistance, she just looks at me, like I’m an oddity. Something to be observed and queried, but definitely not approached.

And that’s when it hits me… She’s looking at me wondering what the hell this old, obviously oversized woman, with grey hair, jowls, wrinkles and one horrible bloodshot eye…. is doing in her cool, trendy, hipster friendly store!

How dare I enter this sacred space?

It is obviously reserved for young, fit, thin, style conscious, zombie slayers! (Or whatever young people are called nowadays?) “Okay, not so cool!”

I’ll bet she’s thinking I have no business here. She’s wondering who let me in and what am I doing rubbing elbows with these young, taut, emaciated, cool, fabulous, young women?

I read her mind… and I know she was thinking, “My God, that old woman has NO thigh gap.. how is that possible?” 

It doesn’t take me long to realise there’s nothing here for me. I’m not going to find the perfect pair of cotton, wide leg, black, comfy, yet stylish sweatpants, to fit my oversized body… so I make my way to the counter.

After what seemed like and inordinate amount of time, who should come meandering over, but my emaciated, blank staring, disinterested, new friend.

She says something to me (and I know this, because I saw her lips move and she was looking me straight in my bloodshot eye!) but all I heard was music, blaring from the speaker directly behind the counter. A woman rapping something about;

Who’s that bitch?
Let me throw you some
Go, get ur freak on

I smile and and say, “Excuse me?”

She responds loudly (because I’m obviously as deaf as I am old) “May I help you?”

Me: “Yes, please, I’d like to return these sweatpants… they don’t fit.”

Her: “These “joggers?

Her: Is there something wrong with them?”

Me: “No. They just don’t fit.”

Her: “What’s your last name?”

Me: “White… like the colour.”

Her: W_H_I_T_E?

Me: “Ummmm, Yes.”  (I’m thinking I’d like to stick a fork in my eye, just to end this painful exchange).

She asks me pretty much every question in “the book,” except at what age I lost my virginity, and after about fifteen minutes, we’re done.

Whew!

I say, “Thank you,” and grab my refund receipt; she says nothing.

As I make my way down the mountainous staircase and approach exit, I’m once again deafened by music, but this time it’s a male rapper; something about:

Call me papa Glock
I got the dough
Ya dig that?
I’m a trap n***a
You ain’t know?

Okay… mission accomplished.

In retrospect, however… a word to all the “young ones” out there who stare at us old, wise, crones like we’re dinosaurs, taking up space on your planet… let me just say that in the not too distant future, (because the time passes very quickly) you’ll be exactly where we are.

Your day will come.

And if you’re lucky (or is it smart) your face will be covered with laugh lines, your eyes will be wrinkled, but still sparkle brightly. Your body will be covered with the wounds and blemishes of a long, sometimes hard life, but your inner spirit will shine through, blinding all those who look at you. Your hair will be grey and lacklustre, but your heart will radiate love and compassion…

.…but only, if you’re lucky, or is it only if you’re smart? Hmmm? You decide.

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