I am off to Singapore on Tuesday with my eldest daughter and my youngest grand-daughter, my daughter is a finalist in the Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards. And while I have some trepidation about how I will cope with the heat and humidity - I am looking forward to new sights, sounds and tastes - I love Asian food and one of my friends who grew up in Singapore has given me a list of good places to eat - thanks Jo. At 54, this is my first journey overseas by plane, I have cruised the South Pacific in 2001, but never flown, never experienced customs, or leaving from the international airport - it is also the first time I have travelled overseas without my DH. So trepidation and excitement are warring with each other.
Now to travel to Singapore I needed to have some new clothes, some walking shoes (to help my back, knees and hips) and some new underwear. Doesn't sound like much to ask does it? So how could a simple shopping trip end up with me in tears twice and very close to wiping the smirk of some 15 year old shop assistant's face.
Well I am obese, yep, obese, not overweight, not plump but obese - size 24-26. I have mountains of stretched skin from giving birth to 4 babies - and I mean mountains, as I have aged gravity has taken over and now it hangs. I cover it up well, by wearing floaty tops and comfortable loose pants, but I know it is there - and buying clothes and underwear is the pits. Sure there are great clothes out now for larger women, but not if you have too much skin, not if you are pear shaped, not if you don't go for the sausage look. I have enough trouble looking at myself without sharing it with others in some tight fitting top that the size 10 designer thinks will fit a size 24. Maybe some 24s don't have left over baby skin, maybe they are in proportion and not pear shaped - but not me. So I order in some pants, nice white cool pants, go and try them on and, the bum looks good and the legs are okay - but the front well not so good, because there is no extra fabric there - they are made for people who have obviously never had children, or maybe are blessed with skin that springs back after childbirth - well folks that ain't me. But I buy them anyway as I need pants, and I know I will hate wearing them but what is the alternative. I have looked in all the shops and no-one has nice white pants that fit me.
They also have some bathers - now I haven't been able to find bathers in about 20 years, and have given up looking, but I think well these are made by a company that only makes larger sizes so they should be great - wrong. I mean people, high cut bottoms may look great if you are a size 10, but come on, I am a 24 - I mean I really don't want my lady bits hanging out for the world to see. And then the tank-kini top - well a sausage would have a better time fitting into this Lycra skin - and so in frustration I start crying, I just want a pair of bathers - it shouldn't be this hard. Swim, I am told, that will help you loose weight - well I would if I could find some freaking bathers. So I wipe my eyes and hope no-one notices they are red and watery.
So off to get some underwear - I have bought these nice knickers at Target before - they are not glamorous because no-one makes glamorous for my size, but that is okay, nice organic cotton full briefs are fine - except there are NONE - if you want high cut (again with the freaking high cut) there are heaps and heaps and heaps, but full brief - OH NO. And the frustration (and I will be frank here it is frustration with myself as much as not finding what I need - I am not blind, I am obese and I know it) makes me cry - yep in pubic this time not in the safety of some change-room. And my hubby and youngest daughter can see I am upset and they try to understand, but they can't, I am sorry - but they can't. And so again I pull myself together, for bawling in public is not a good look, snot running from your nose should be left to small children.
So we drop my daughter at her place, and head home and I say to DH, okay I will try the Target closer to home and see if they have any full briefs - and yes they do, oh Lordy the day is looking up, I manage to get 6 pairs - whoopee. That's right people, I am excited by underwear - how tragic am I.
So I think, well I will just look in the larger size clothing section to see if they have any pants or tops and find a couple of nice looking long skirts - a little off centre for me - but what the heck, so off I go the change-room and who is waiting to greet me, but 2 skinny, anorexic looking girls who probably aren't even old enough to have periods yet, and one says would you like to leave your underwear here as you have too many things to take into the change-room. And so as I hand them over I notice the other one sees the sizes and smirks - and I was not imagining this - she smirked and then saw I noticed and quickly turned away.
Let me tell you I was so close to going ballistic because there is only so much I can take, but then the bigger (and I don't mean weight here) person that I am, took control and I went off without saying a word. Then as I am walking out with my clothes (none of which looked good) and my underwear, she walks past me and smirks again. And in my head, I swung my handbag at her head and knocked her off her feet and then jumped on her, but on the outside I just kept on walking because once I was a young skinny girl too - and I hope I never smirked at any larger ladies and if I did, well I am sorry.