Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Does This Shirt Make Me Look Fat?

Some jobs are just more difficult than others.

Last year I attended the Salt Lake Comic Con with a friend of mine. (We'll call him "Chuck.") We had a great time going to some of the writing seminars, seeing some of the celebrity panels (Counselor Troi!), looking at all the merchandise for sale, and observing the people dressed up in costumes. (Note for future cosplayers: if you want to stand out in the crowd, try something besides Deadpool and/or Harley Quinn.)

One day, as Chuck and I were walking through the exhibition hall, an attractive woman approached us and began to talk to us. I'd like to say this is something that happens frequently when Chuck and I walk anywhere together, but that would be a lie. Attractive women we don't know aren't coming up to us and starting up conversations very often.

The thrill of being approached by an attractive woman was quickly muted, though, when we found out why she chose to talk to us. Chuck and I are both tall, around 6' 2", and neither of us are what could be called "petite." The woman was a vendor operating a booth that sold "big and tall" clothing. So, yes, she approached us because we were fat.

She tried to be as subtle as she could in her approach. She said something like, "Hey, guys! How are you doing? I bet guys as tall as you are have trouble finding shirts around here that will fit you. We've got some shirts right over here that would be great for you guys."

Yes, quietly emphasizing the tall instead of the big or fat was a good approach. (You don't want to insult potential customers right out of the gate.) And, she definitely had my attention because she was right: I do have a hard time finding shirts that will fit me. One of the most frustrating things about Comic Con is that so many vendors have really cool shirts that I would like to buy, but none of them will fit me because the shirts are too short! Unless my shirts are extra-tall, there's a good chance someone will be seeing my butt crack. (And no one wants that!) (See: My Crack Problem.) (Or don't.)

Once I realized what had just happened, I was filled with several different emotions. Sadness. Because Chuck and I were singled out because we are large. Happiness. Because I might be able to find a shirt that would actually fit me. Sympathy. Because I felt bad for this woman whose job it was to approach random fat people to try to get them to her store.

Fat shirt

When I got to the big and tall booth, I was a bit disappointed. They didn't have much of a selection, and the shirts they did have weren't as cool as some I had seen for sale by other vendors. On top of that, their prices were a bit high.

But, I still ended up buying a couple of shirts. Why? Well, partly because I wanted to have a couple of shirts that might actually fit me. But, I also bought the shirts partly because I felt sorry for the woman whose job it was to wander the Comic Con floor, find fat people, and bring them back to her store without telling them that they are fat.

Some jobs are just more difficult than others.

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