Thursday, August 17, 2006

Trial by...

Why do trial rooms have those strange doors? You know, the ones that look like they ran out wood so they just sort of fitted in whatever they had left over and hoped that people wouldn't be that upset about the world being able to see their socks?

Only, there is a much more disturbing aspect to these doors, which I discovered when I went shopping for a pair of jeans* yesterday.

Woman walks into a store. Woman does not like pushy sales people. As if on cue, she is immediately accosted by one.

Stud Boy Sales Guy: Hi ma'am! Can I help you?".
Woman: I'm...ummm...looking for a pair of jeans.
SBSG: Sure ma'am! What waist size?
(at which point SBSG looks at woman's midriff appraisingly and says, "I know size x**!", and saunters off to get it)
Woman: Actually, I want a size x+1, in dark blue...with a regular rise.
(SBSG stops in mid-saunter, turns around horrified)
SBSG: But ma'am, low rise is in right now!
Woman: Regular, please.

SBSG returns with jeans in hand and skepticism on face. Woman steps into the trial room, SBSG stands right outside, and that is when she realises; SBSG is standing right outside said trial room, which means, he is going to know when Woman takes her pants (trousers, if you're thinking Brit) off. Okay, so he can't actually *see* anything apart from sock-clad feet but still...he knows, and that's enough to make Woman want to climb up the walls, Spidey-style and then face whatever trials (pun unintended, but apt) come her way.

Woman, sadly enough, has never been bitten by radioactive spiders, so climbing up the walls is out. Lacking a plan 'B', Woman decides that a little Houdini-style-flexibility is the call of the hour.

Woman tries to squeeze herself out of line of vision (complicated, when you're in a 3x3 room) and try on jeans at the same time (a difficult maneuver, at the best of times). She is mid-wiggle into the jeans when she hears a voice.

SBSG: Ma'am, is it okay? Is it too tight?
(woman freezes, much like bunny trapped in headlights, only imagine bunny in inconvenient state of undress as well. Woman, however, not being bunny, eventually recovers enough to stammer out) Ummm...a little, yes. Can you give me the same style in size x+1?

SBSG passes it over the door.

SBSG: (at eager-beaver-best) Is it okay ma'am? Can I see?
Woman: (What?! No! You can most certainly NOT see, you dolt! What Woman *says* however, is) Uh...No?
SBSG: Is it tight around the hips?
Woman: (with tendrils of smoke beginning to snake their way out of her nostrils) Look, can I come out and have this conversation??
SBSG: (most obligingly) Ya sure!

Woman steps out and hands SBSG the jeans with an icy, "I don't like them, thank you." and a matching frosty look. SBSG, obviously never having understood the language of icy looks, takes proffered denims and further proceeds to dish out advice.

SBSG: See ma'am, the problem is, in proportion to your waist, your hips are too broad.

Woman first blinks in disbelief, then seriously contemplates whacking SBSG over the head with her handbag. Having been brought up to be polite and infuriatingly non-confrontational however, she regretfully discards this line of thought, instead, switching to that last weapon in the arsenal of the wuss, sarcasm.

Woman: (smiling brightly) Really? Thank you so much! I think you're *wonderful* too!
SBSG: (smiling brightly back, absolutely oblivious to the dripping sarcasm) That's okay, no problem!

And that would be the first, of three times in the last week, that random people have said to me, sentences ending with, "your hips are too broad".

Jeans fit weird?
"Your hips are too broad".
Slipped off the raft?
"Your hips are too broad".
Global warming?
"Your hips are too broad".


Is this fair, I ask you. Is it?



*Which, in Chronicus Skepticus' speak, translates into, 'I walked through the fires of hell', because my GOD, there are few activities* I *loathe* more than shopping.

**And just because you're the internet and know pretty much everything *else* that there is to know about me, is not reason enough for me to let you know my waist size as well. Some secrets are *meant* to be taken to graves alright? Let it go now.

16 comments:

Beth said...

Okay I love this post too. It reminds me of when we lived in the UK when I was little and I had to go shopping for a school uniform - which being from the slack-jawed US system I had never experienced before - and the store didn't have any try-on rooms at all. None! You just put stuff on over what you were wearing!

On a more serious note, your hips are fine. I get really resentful when very lovely women feel less than lovely about their physical appearance. So everyone out there, knock it off! CS is superwow!

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Ermmm...Beth, I think, from this moment on, my hips *luurrhvee* you. In fact, I think *all* of me *lurhves* you!

Say...nevermind Akshay/e, Beth, Marry me!

:D

Saltwater Blues said...

LOL ... But dames these days are so bindaas, man ... I've heard women dropping their pants in the trial room next to mine ... didnt seem to bother them one bit that i was in the next cubicle :)

so u have big hips huh? but don't most indian women? ...I thought jean sizes here were designed to take that into consideration.

Anyway, time to hit the gym you think?

*tight hug*

ggop said...

Thank goodness I have never been subjected to this incessant questioning by eager salespeople. They've always discreetly asked if things were ok and to let them know if I needed another size. Gosh! I feel for you.

BTW statistics prove that most men find a waist to hip ratio of 0.8 desirable, so I'd say celebrate your hourglass figure!
GG

shub said...

hehe awesome post! you shoulda whacked the sales guy, I say!! The last two trial room I went into had only curtains...no doors! *GAWK*

Aparna said...

Came here from desipundit....i really loved the post, I have faced the same thing so many times. And also, one more comment from these salesmen:
'Sorry ma'am, all sizes above '30' are unisex, Levis/pepe/etc. don't ahve ladies jeans above that size'
Which makes me turn around, and show them the label on the ones i am wearing.

witnwisdumb said...

LMAO!!! Great post... And you say you loathe shopping?!?!?! Boy, now that's awesome... You can count me among your undying fans for sure! :D

neha vish said...

I keep wishing I could actually laugh my ass off. No matter how many times I type LMAO - it never happens.

:(

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

As a one-time student of Political Science, I firmly believe that broad-based constituencies are more stable.

I like stability.

J.A.P.

Beth said...

To combine threads with your other recent post on language, I'll add that it took me a second to figure out what "trial room" means - I thought, "What's she done now, that she's been hauled into court?" and then "I'm sure to win the dance-off if she's incarcerated!" I know them as "fitting rooms," "changing rooms," or even "dressing rooms" (which is way too grandiose).

Anonymous said...

I so can relate to this incidentand try in chennai. Some of them look at you like you are not supposed to be asking for a pair of jeans, if your hip size is more than 30!!! If I want advice, I can go to my shrink:) You are fine gal, just live it up:)

This reminds me of the lovely Dove ad campaigns, the best ones.

The Conscience

Swapna said...

Awesome post! I can so relate.

Tachyoson said...

why do HIPS make you any less of a good person ? sheeeeeesh!

*glare at all the skinny people*

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Golly! My hips haven't been such a major topic of discussion since...well, since...oh never mind!

SwB:
> Don't most indian women have big hips?

My point exactly! Who on *earth* are these darned retailers designing for??

> Time to hit the gym you think?

*Whose* side are you on again? :P

Ggop:
> They've always discreetly asked if things were ok and to let them know if I needed another size.

Really? Maybe it's just me then! *horrified*

> Gosh! I feel for you.

I know! I feel for me too! :D

> So I'd say celebrate your hourglass figure!

Y'know, while I may someday talk myself into doing that, I'd still need clothes to celebrate in, and darn it, where are those?? One can hardly celebrate one's figure - hourglass-y or otherwise - in frumpy jeans. :(

Shub:
> You shoulda whacked the sales guy, I say!

Next time, definitely (and I'm sure there'll be one, since neither my hips, nor retail-staff in India, are showing any signs of improvement :( )!

> The last two trial room I went into had only curtains...no doors! *GAWK*

That's just..*wrong*. How on earth did you manage??

Oh and thank you! :)

Aparna:
> Levis/pepe/etc. don't have ladies jeans above that size.

Honestly, that's the most bizzare policy ever!

> Which makes me turn around, and show them the label on the ones i am wearing.

Heh! Way to go, lady! I'm sure you shock the hell out of them when you do that!

Witnwisdumb:
> And you say you loathe shopping?!?

I SO do. It *exhausts* me like nothing else!

And ummm...thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :)

Neha vish:
> I keep wishing I could actually laugh my ass off. No matter how many times I type LMAO - it never happens.

Ah! My friend! You too dream of utopia?

On another note, thank you for the funniest comment *ever*! :D

J. Alfred Prufrock:
> As a one-time student of Political Science, I firmly believe that broad-based constituencies are more stable.

JAP, as one who knows nothing about Political Science, surely there is something like too much stability?

One has no idea of whether or not such a thing exists, but one wishes one had inherited a more 'balanced constituency' structure.

> I like stability.
Hmmm...You wouldn't be willing to give up big ol' gorment job and design women's clothing, would you? :D

Beth:
> I'm sure to win the dance-off if she's incarcerated!

Oh you *wish*! :P

And incidentally, just how many men are you having dance-offs over huh?

The Conscience:

Are you MY conscience?? In which case, where've you been all these days eh? :D

> Try in chennai. Some of them look at you like you are not supposed to be asking for a pair of jeans, if your hip size is more than 30!!!

Hmmm... Chronicus Skepticus - 3, Chennai - 0!

Just so you know what I'm talking about, Chennai doesn't exactly top my list of 'Favourite Cities in the World'.

> This reminds me of the lovely Dove ad campaigns, the best ones.

I don't remember this campaign. Could you show us a link please?

But umm...thank you anyway! :)

Swapna:

> Awesome post! I can so relate.

Thank you! It does a girl good to know that she's not alone. *sniff*

Tachyoson:
> Why do HIPS make you any less of a good person ? sheeeeeesh!

I know! You'd think that more of a 'person who is good', would translate into 'more of a good person', wouldn't you?

> *glares at all the skinny people*
*joins in to double the glare*

Straight Curves said...

atleast these are just trial rooms - which means all you are doing is chnaging clothes. Before you think I am psycho for saying "just chnaging clothes" try using a restroom in the US! As if the view of neighboring feet (and lets not even reach the other senses) wasn't enough already, the doors (I SWEAR!) have slits on the sides. I say, why bother having doors at all? Why not just have pots laid out beside each other and have a community pee-potty session!

*Blech*

jedi said...

:) i like the concept of x and x+1 :D