Digging Out

Waded up and out to class today, then dropped by Old Navy to buy a new pair of khaki pants.

Unfortunatley, the one pair I liked and wanted they didn’t have in my size. Or, rather, they had it in my size, and it didn’t fit, so I got the next size up, and *that* didn’t fit, and the wash of failure and oh-dear-god-I’m-going-insane-I’m-working-so-hard-and-I’m-the-size-of-a-house feeling overcame me. I then realized they were an “ultra low-rise” cut, which means you *have* to buy them a size or two bigger than you usually wear.

Trying on regular cuts, I fit in them fine.

Panic averted.

Oh, to be white and middle class, with a cozy job with government ties and an apartment with hardwood floors and central heating! Oh, to be one of the few who can waste enormous amounts of mental energy angsting about whether or not she can fit into manufactured clothing sizes! To be so lucky!

Yes. I’m aware of the sheer idiocy of this. Now… to make myself stop.

In fact, the best way to make myself stop was to go upstairs and shop in the boys’ section. The coats all fit better (broader shoulders, and the pants are longer – for some reason they don’t sell women’s khaki pants in a “long” cut).

I was wearing a bulky black peacoat of the Chicago variety, and had my hair tucked up under a navy green newsboy cap, and I was wearing the boots I’ve got that put me at about 6 feet tall, and I breezed past one of the saleclerks trying to sell Old Navy cards. I had just come from class, so I had that boxer’s walk (read: very masculine walk), and she says behind me, “Sir? Sir…? Uh… Ma’am?”

I turned. She apologized profusely.

I, however, thought being mistaken for a boy was supremely funny, and told her it was no big deal, and no, I already have an Old Navy card.

I admit that much of my anger about the “girls vs. boys” generalizations as far as height, weight, and strength are concerned comes from the fact that I’m not and have never been very small. Not in height or weight or the breadth of my shoulders. So when I look at guys on the train, and I’m being honest with myself, I’ll think, “You know, there’s not much of a difference.”

This is, of course, because I’m as tall as, or taller than, half the men in the country (the average guy is 5’9), and outweigh him by ten pounds or so (average guy is 180-90). So, in my universe, when I have my confidence back and look around, what I’m seeing are a lot of people who don’t look all that differently, and whose differences have more to do with everybody trying to wear what they think they’re supposed to wear and eat as much as they think they’re supposed to eat, and pretend they’re bigger or smaller or whatever.

When I was in Denver, I caught an interview with Taye Diggs on the Chris Rock show. If you know Taye Diggs, you’ll know that he’s absolutely beautiful. The guy smiles and the whole goddamn room lights up. Rock was harrassing him about being so pretty, and how women must go nuts over him, and Diggs said,

“You know the first thing women say when they meet me in person? — `Damn, you’re short!'”

For the record, he’s about 5’10.

Funny, how we all get our little complexes based on what we’re supposed to be like. Women always worrying about being too big, men worrying about being too small.

Kind of stupid, isn’t it?

If the coats fit better in the guy’s section, maybe it’s not me that’s fucked up, maybe it’s the clothes.

Anyhow, it’s a mess out here in Chicago, and I’ve got to go dig out my roommate’s car from about six or seven inches of snow… and counting. For the record, it’s not that she couldn’t do this: it’s just that if I do it, it won’t take as long.

Gosh, you’d think that without a boy in the house, we’d be housebound, huh?

Bah. It’s funny, how in real life, nobody bats an eyelash, but talk about being strong and capable and smart outside a “real life” setting: in cyberspace, in a classroom, anywhere in academia, and people freak out. They forget to remember all the people they actually hang out with, the ones who get up every morning and live their lives. If you don’t get up and live, you’ll die a lot sooner.

It doesn’t behoove Natural Selection to select for dumb-and-weak-without-the-Y.

But I think this is one of those days when I’m preaching to the choir.

I’m off…

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