Xmas parties and a wedding loom, so I decide to drag Sharkboy along to Sears to look for fun and flip shirts to wear to these festive events.
“I want a green shirt and a red tie!” I announce.
“My co-worker just threw up in her mouth just a little at that suggestion,” Sharkboy replies.
Through the crowds at The Eaton Centre Sears (Oh bite the bullet and change the g-d name…EATONS IS DEAD!) we make our way into the men’s shirts. After much debate as to what colour to get, I suggest that we measure my neck before going off and getting a shirt that doesnt fit. The zombie clerk, who is visibly unimpressed that she has to actually serve someone, pulls out her tape measure and wraps it around my neck.
“18… 18 1/2… 19… 20,” she says.
I am in shock. Its been a while since Ive bought a dress shirt. I wonder if her chant is actually one big number. Sharkboy looks like he’s going to say something when Zombie clerk cuts him off and pulls me out of my stunned silence:
“You need to go over there,” she points and dismisses me.
Over there is the “Casual Wear” section, subtitled “Big and Tall”
The “fun and flip” concept of a dress shirt/tie combo just flew out the window. At this point I am willing to wear paisley with a striped tie, just dont make me shop in the Big and Tall section!! Sharkboy is light and airy and upbeat as he jokes with the clerk. Easy for him. His neck isnt 1818andahalf1920. Bless him for pointing out that all the posters had humpy Daddy Bears modeling the latest large fashions.
The clerk (who by the way was the best salesperson I have had in years: clever, funny and helpful with the strangest Downunder accent ever–go see her) takes a proper neck and arm measurement and with a flourish, picks out a black shirt from George Foreman. Yes. The punch-drunk boxer has his own line of clothes for the men who, despite grilling the crap out of cheese sandwiches on his bright iMac-esque cookers, cant get their weight under control.
I am ready to race out of there with that shirt (any shirt!), waving my debit card in the clerk’s face while shooting sideway glances to see if anyone I know can see me buying a George Foreman shirt, when Sharkboy says “Try it on!”
Good lord x 2.
I am so eager to get this over with I toss off my sweater right at the cash. Oh no, there are change rooms, sir. The clerk removes all the pins and plastic and scoots me into the first stall. Sharkboy jumps up on the chair in the next and looks over the stall as I try on this shirt.
At a 19-20 collar with 35-36 arm, the shirt came down to just below my knees. And as an added surprise, the button at the collar was attached to an elastic band that allowed the collar to expand.
I looked like a priest in his robes, ready to preach from the pulpit. All that was missing was the white collar. I had images in my head of gliding serenely into the Xmas party, hands folded, calm smile on my face and blessing the punch.
Thank god for Sharkboy. I would have got home, tried it on, cried like a girl who just found her pic on fatgirlsinpartyhats dot com (dont go there. its no longer the mean spirited parody site) and had to returned the shirt. Eventually we found a shirt that fit my arms and neck.
So. Who’s up for McDonalds for lunch?