I hate shopping more than life itself

On May 29, 2013 by Eden M. Kennedy

Here’s the latest: if you ask me to draw “an animal,” you may end up with a picture based on a picture of Steve Irwin holding a wombat that says, it’s a wombat. Because if you put your framed drawing of Steve Irwin holding a wombat someplace people can see it, then you’re not going to want to answer the question, “What IS that?” over and over again, are you? Unless you are, in which case I’ve ruined this drawing’s purpose as a conversation piece.


I don’t know where his right elbow came from, it’s not in the photo. At some point I realized that I’d gotten the proportions all wrong so I started making uncanny adjustments, and now here we are. I’m not apologizing!

Next, a request for a “random landscape” took me no further than my own back yard. Sure, I could have gone to the beach, but then all you’d have would be a drawing of a horizontal line, and if you complained I’d be all, “Haven’t you read Harold and the Purple Crayon?” Plus, I’ve had a terrible cold. Yes, that’s supposed to be Peewee. He was added as an afterthought. Clearly.


Anywho. What’s been going on? Well, Jack came back from his mother’s house with a pile of old photos. We organized as much as we could, they were mostly family photos but we found some modeling proofs and tear sheets. Such as this, which was taken when Barbara was around 18 years old:


No, that’s not Jack as a baby, it’s a model baby. A baby model, to be more accurate — I know nothing about that baby’s character or achievements so it is incorrect to call it a Model Baby. But mostly: can you conceive of an 18-year-old woman looking like that today? I’m trying to imagine your average high school senior wearing a peignoir and getting excited about doing her baby’s laundry and it’s just not working.

companion cover

The Ivory Snow ad was on the reverse of the cover of Woman’s Home Companion, but Babs had just saved the cover, not the whole magazine. If only she’d been a bigger fan of women posing with Furries, or of MEAL-PLANNING.

What else is new? I bought some blue jeans. I was going to write yet another post about how meaningless size tags are on clothing, because I gained some weight and needed new jeans. Usually I am able to lose my Christmas padding but as of April I still couldn’t squeeze into my old size 10 Lucky jeans without bursting my own appendix. So I went to the Levi’s outlet and grabbed some Cropped Whatevers off the rack. They fit okay (meaning: I could button them!), so I bought them in what also turned out to be size 10. “Well, that doesn’t make a lot of sense,” I thought, “but different brands size their jeans differently, so what do I care?”

A few days later I went down to the Lucky Jeans store and saw they had a rack of the same style of jeans, the Cropped Whatever style (“For when you just don’t give a shit anymore“). I decided to try them on out of curiosity. Since they were Lucky jeans, same brand as the ones my ass grew out of, I reasoned that I should go a size up, so I took a size 12 into the dressing room.

Now, I don’t have much experience with male sales assistants, but when he saw I was serious this buff young fellow assigned himself to me, so I just went with it. What are you going to do? If only I weren’t such a flaming hot middle-aged librarian.

“Those are too big,” he said, crossing his arms. Lucky Jeans doesn’t put mirrors in the dressing room, they insist you come out to assess yourself in their one giant mirror in the middle of the store. “See, it gaps at the waist.”

“Weird!” I said, frantically brushing my hair out of my eyes and trying to look like I was comfortable staring at my own ass in a giant mirror while various shoppers and sales assistants looked on.

My sales boy — let’s call him Tyler — then gave me the same jeans one size down (size 10, the size I thought I no longer was) and sent me back in to change.

I came out of the dressing room, again with the frantic brushing.

“Still too big!” said Tyler. Even though the jeans were in the fitted range, the waist was still gapping? gaping? at the back. We did the size lower thing two more times until I walked out of the dressing room sweating and wearing jeans three sizes smaller than I thought I was.

“Yes!” said Tyler, raising his arms in victory for having squeezed one more unsuspecting woman into denim sausage casing.

And yet, oddly, my appendix was not in danger of emerging whole from my throat. The size six jeans actually felt pretty good.

I could no longer hide my suspicion.

“You’ve added stretch to these, haven’t you?” I said.

“Of course. Are you kidding?” he said.

When he realized I wasn’t going to submit to trying on any more jeans (Cigarette? Matchstick? Bongwater?) he tried to sell me two half-price tops that made me look like Janis Joplin’s uncooperative roadie. Tyler, who was born in the year I quit film school, grew up in Gilroy, California. He seemed somewhat dazzled that I could identify his hometown as the garlic capital of the world. It’s not an impressive fact, anyone who’s driven up the 101 using their eyes knows that, but I guess if you’re paid to flirt with the customers you feign excitement about all kinds of little things.

My point in posting this is merely to say that Lucky Jeans is full of shit because they’re labeling jeans three sizes smaller than they used to, that’s all.

10 and 6Size 6 Luckys on top, size 10 Levi’s on the bottom

I still like Luckys, and even though they’re twice the price of Levi’s they seem to last twice as long.

Did I just write a product review? Goddamn it, I did.



But while we’re at it: those Fluevog boots on the left are size 10 and the Dansko clogs on the right are size 12. My feet have the same issue as my ass does! What a surprise!



35 Responses to “I hate shopping more than life itself”

  • Oh god. Shopping for jeans has become my worst nightmare, now that I’m a 48 year old apple-shaped size 10. I’d *almost* rather shop for swimsuits. WHY does it have to be so hard? And no, I will NOT buy anything called Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, I don’t care how comfortable they are.

  • It’s ridiculous. I have new size 2 Old Navy jeans that are identical to old size 10 Old Navy jeans because I never throw anything away don’t judge me. I have no idea what the actually stick-thin people are wearing. Negative sizes?

  • That is extreme vanity sizing, my goodness. Honestly, I think we need to go back to measurements. I am making a dress from a Vintage Vogue pattern and it says I should be a size 18 but I wear a 12 in modern sizing.

  • You tryin’ to tell me my size 0 Lucky Jeans don’t actually mean that my ass is so tiny it’s nonexistent? I knew it was too good to be true. I guess the mirror really doesn’t lie.

  • Oh, how I love this post. This is why blogging can never die. Please keep it up!

  • Danskos run small, I had to order mine 1 size larger. When I was shopping for them, every site I found that sells them recommended that you order them a size up.

    • Danskos run weird, is what. I wear a 10 1/2 in a Dansko shoe and a 12 in their clogs. A salesperson told me I was actually a 13.

  • I followed my wife into Jedlicka’s in Los Olivos Monday (she wanted a hat) and I was stunned to find a rack of Carhartt shorts at half price! And one even fit me! (depressingly large waist size by my standards, alas, so the size shrinkage effect doesn’t apply to guys maybe). It was an amazing deal, and I think it was so good that it caused the fire. Because that’s like the *next* thing we saw.

  • Are you still working on the drawings for the donation dealiebob for that fundraising thingie you did a while back?

  • I’m sorry your jeans are full of shit. That seems rather un-Lucky to me. And yes, I do live with a twelve-year-old. Why do you ask?

  • Girl! Ankle length jeans are IN right now. No “giving up” required you just so happen to be on trend. Also I’m sad to hear that Lucky’s run big. I had to take a pair off the other day because they were too tight. They were men’s 31s that I got at a swap meet. All day I thought my stomach hurt but it turns out my pants were just too tight. Ugh.

    • Lucky Brand is just perverse enough that the men’s jeans are probably true to size. Who cares, you got them at a swap meet!

    • I just measured my actual waist and it’s 31. My size 6 Lucky jeans say they’re waist size 27. They’re just flat-out lying. (But so cute!)

  • This made me laugh.

    Thank you.


  • Most brands do that. I think someone once told me that todays size 12 is actually a size 16 in 1950 or something, but I tried blocking that memory out with copious amounts of drinking – apparently I suck at drinking.

    I have never enjoyed clothes shopping, but let me just point out, I’d kill to have your size 6/10/12 issue instead of my 18/20 issue.

  • Stretchiness is kind of fascinating me now I’m pregnant and I can fit into the strangest things and not fit into anything else.

    I guess women were smaller in the past but they couldn’t have been utterly outside the range of women today. Could they? Aren’t we all the same species? Or did hormones in the meat or high fructose corn syrup change things forever?

  • Stretchiness is kind of fascinating me now I’m pregnant and I can fit into the strangest things and not fit into anything else.

    I guess women were smaller in the past but they couldn’t have been utterly outside the range of women today. Could they? Aren’t we all the same species? Or did hormones in the meat or high fructose corn syrup change things forever?

  • god, this made me laugh! thank you.

    i hate the f’ing stretch and it’s impossible to find non-stretch jeans that aren’t very old fashioned. i still mourn that Eddie Bauer got rid of their 100% cotton mid-rise bootcut jeans in ’06. my current labels call me a “size 6, short”. it’s bullshit. 10 years ago, when i weighed almost 10 pounds less, i was a “8-10, medium”.

  • As far as vanity sizing goes, has anyone noticed that men’s size “Smalls” are nearly nonexistent now? A result of increasingly fragile egos in our 24 Hour Fitness culture or ever expanding waistlines from increasingly sedentary lives? (or a result of both?)
    And those “X”s in front of the “L”s just seem to keep on multiplying…

  • Agreed – sizing is ridiculous. Each brand has their own idea about what a size 10 actually is. I like to stick with the same brands so I know what I’m getting myself into. I’m glad I’m not the only one annoyed with this!

  • I’m a Brit living in the USA and we are ‘supposed’ to be 2 sizes behind you in measurements. For example a British size 10 is a USA size 6. All my clothes from the UK are size 10. Buying clothes here, I find that I am a USA size 4. I’m mightily confused! Also, if I ever buy clothes labelled small, medium or large….in the UK I’m usually a medium. Here I am a small. I am the same size I was before I came here.

  • Yay, that wombat is mine! I just got back from a 10-day family vacation and my package with that drawing was the happiest thing in the stack of accumulated mail. I love it! I think it will be quite the conversation piece with or without the explanation. Thanks, Eden!

  • And the random landscape is mine! Thanks so much. I could not recall for the life of me what I requested. I just knew I included the word “random”. It is lovely, thank you!