Consumerism often confuses me.

Statistically speaking, I am apparently taller than average for US women and (depending on what charts you use) either average or above average height for US men. I also mass more than the average woman, though I've not checked my weight in comparison to US men — that has the potential to be way too annoying! This means buying clothes is occasionally quite irritating, as "one size fits most" for women is invariably defined as about 2" to 3" and anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds less than I.

Further, as a student, I dislike spending money I don't have (to), so I believe the statement "Must-have seasonal fashion!" is an oxymoron designed to separate gullible suckers from their money. I am not a clotheshorse by any stretch of the imagination, so I really don't understand why some women get frenetic over purses and/or shoes. I tend to live in sturdy, simple, colorful shirts and blue jeans that are comfortable, which means they last a long time.

That being said, on rare occasion a colorful, pretty shirt — or something — will catch my eye as we walk through a store on the way to the mall. This happened to me the other day in JCPenneys, and my sweetie was so delighted to see me (vaguely) interested in shopping — something he enjoys far more than I — that we stopped and browsed around through the clothing to see what we might find.

It was… an enlightening experience. Because it was the end of the season, a great many clothes were on sale. Further, we soon discovered that most of the clothing set out on sale were a few Larges and a whole lot of the X sizes — from 1X to 3X. All sorts of bright, fun, pretty shirts… all for less than $10 — and in some cases for less than $5!

At one point I looked bemusedly at my companions and asked them: why don't the stores put these sizes out all the time? Ordinarily, the rare times I'm forced to go shopping by necessity, finding the X sizes is all but impossible. I usually wear a Large, but I've been told when clothing is made for the Asian market they're sized a little smaller — and in that case I have to buy a 1X. Finding comfortable, sturdy, colorful clothing that fits is therefore (as I've mentioned above) often an exercise in frustration and annoyance. Yet here they were: a plethora of larger sized shirts; a bouquet of colors — all at incredibly slashed prices! Why weren't these out all the time? Didn't Penney's want to make any money on all these shirts?

My companions had no answers for me, though one doubtfully wondered if maybe Penney's didn't want larger sized people wandering in their store? That made no sense to me, really — after all, their money's just as good as anyone else's. I really hoped that wasn't the reason, too — prejudice against large people is just as ugly, cruel, and pointless as prejudice against any other social minority.

Whatever the reason, it worked out well for me that day. I ended up purchasing about ten pretty, comfortable, colorful shirts and several other odds and ends, all for well under $50. Woo!

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