So, when I entered T.J. Maxx this past Saturday, I immediately went to the section in the middle of the store with the big red signs hanging from the ceiling. "CLEARANCE!" they shouted at me, drawing me in like a moth to a flame. I actually find it incredibly relaxing, when the kids go with John to spend an hour perusing the clearance racks in search of a bargain. Sometimes, I walk out with a $7 pair of purple shoes, sometimes I walk out with nothing, but it's almost like meditation to just be in the store alone with no where to be, no time to be there, and no one expecting me.
Clearance racks are not organized for the timid or impatient. You're lucky if the shirts are with the shirts and the pants are with the pants. You can't just look in your own size since 2s are sometimes put with the 12s and 14s with the...which is why I had the opportunity to see all the Size 0 pants. What the hell? When did 0 become a size exactly? What happens if a O is too big? Is there a -1? And, why are women a size O? We are WOMEN not girls. We have (or are supposed to have) hips and breasts. Butts and boobs could not possible fit in a Size 0. I actually don't think one of my thighs could fit in both legs of a Size 0 if I cut them down the inseam.
OK. I'm not skinny by anyone's standards but I don't shop at big women's stores either. I generally consider myself average. The only one who has ever called me "fat" is me...mostly inside my own brain when I've just eaten a pint of sorbet all by myself or four Bertuccis rolls after lunch when I find a bag of leftovers just sitting on the "give away counter" at work.
I can see if maybe you're battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy you might be emaciated enough to wear a Size 0. Or maybe you're suffering from anorexia or have a hyper thyroid disease. But, if that's the case, why is the fashion industry creating a Size O for this incredibly small exception to the rule?
I distinctly remember the embarrassment I felt in high school when I went shopping with some friends and I needed to look in the Size 7 jeans. The friends I was with were wearing Size 5. I felt HUGE. Do teenage girls today feel ashamed when they have to shop in the Size 2s? And, more importantly, what will it be like for Ruby?
Ruby is very tall for her age (like I was growing up) and her weight is in proportion to her height. The pediatrician says she's off the charts for height and in the 95th percentile for weight. At 5ft. tall, she towers over most other 8-year-olds in the 3rd grade. She is strong and lean, but is not wearing the size that the littler, shorter girls are wearing. First of all, the pants would all be capris since she has legs that go on for days. Based on her current rate of growth and her genes, Ruby will probably never be a Size O. I hope not.
Zero literally means NOTHING. Who wants to be NOTHING? I don't want my daughter or any other girls to want to be nothing. But...maybe they don't. Hey! Maybe that's why all the Size Os were on the clearance racks at T.J. Maxx! Maybe, the clothing designers are reading reports right now showing that they are writing off millions of dollars in losses for all the Size 0 pants that end up on clearance racks! Maybe, by the time Ruby is going to the mall with her friends, there will be no such thing as a Size 0! Maybe, when Zane is a teenager, his friends and he will be caught checking out the hot girls in Size, 10s, 12s, 14s or even "plus" sizes. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a worldwide revolt that will end with all women wearing sarongs, defeating any reason for clothing sizes!
And maybe, my cat will stand up, walk across the room on two feet, tap me on the shoulder, and ask me what's for dinner.