AS THE TACO TURNS
(And takes the world with it)
By Beth Berube
There is a store in Seattle called Chicos. Their clothes buyers have a brilliant philosophy. If a woman wears an off the rack size eight at every other store, she can try on a frock at Chicos in a size two. Voila! A perfect fit. A little confusing perhaps but hey, we all need an ego boost now and again.
In Mexico, the fashionistas have a sadistic polar opposite approach in sizing women’s clothing. Case in point --- There are about three sizes to choose from in the women’s department. The first is chica or small. A blouse in this size might fit someone with the physique of a Chihuahua. In fact, I don’t think I have seen anyone wearing a size chica unless they were in diapers. The next step up is mediana. Medium. On most charts, this is where I would fall. The third size is Grande. Like the Rio Grande or the Grand Canyon. Not something a gal gets excited about pulling off the rack and trying on.
In the morning, I weigh about 130 pounds, give or take, depending on how many servings of flan I had the night before. I am not skinny, but if I were to place a singles ad, I could describe myself as height/weight proportional and nobody would call me on it.
Last week I celebrated my 55th birthday and decided to go shopping in Manzanillo for a shiny, new blouse. I plucked a cute little number off the rack. It was medium, and I made a beeline for the changing room. I looked like an elephant sporting a tight teddy. Realizing that drastic circumstances call for drastic measures, I sauntered over to the lingerie department. There on a rack in front of me I found a Body Silhouette Contour Waist Length Shaping Bra that promised to reduce my girth by one whole size.
Shazaam!! Pop a crown on my head and point me towards the runway. I wanted to be certain that it would fit, so I snatched up a size Grande and headed for home. The reality of what happened next was savagely troubling. I practically needed a crowbar to get it over my head and past my shoulders. I enlisted my husband Larry’s help and between the two of us, we were able to make the necessary adjustments.
Unfortunately, the spandex material kept rolling up like a window sash, squeezing my solar plexus with boa constrictor strength. Fearing I might pass out from oxygen deprivation, Larry mustered all the energy he had left and was able to extricate me. It’s so nice to have a man around the house.
My self-worth is in shambles and my pride smashed into subatomic particles. If a Chicos store ever opens around here, I will be their first customer.