In Which I Am A Bitter And Unsuccessful Shopper

If someone is being paid big bucks to write an article in a New York based publication about how LA sucks, they are almost always wrong, so very wrong. There are a billion ways it sucks, and these “journalists” never get anywhere closer than “there’s a lot of traffic”, and “my waiter says she’s an actress”. Let me use this weekend’s attempted participation in capitalism to illuminate a couple of ways in which LA actually, for real, sucks.

After the movie yesterday, De and I decided to do a little shopping as long as we were in Burbank – namely, to check out a few shops we had seen and been curious about. Also, De is on the lookout for some sort of crystal-new-agey-airy-fairy-hippie-dippie-occult joint where she can get some candles or charms to use on her Altar of Female Empowerment/Employment. We stopped at one small occult place, which was incredibly dimly lit, had two dudes working behind counters on opposite ends of the tiny space, and seemed to traffic mostly in jewelry best associated with 80’s heavy metal albums, a few Norse runic talismans, and the odd smattering of Anton Lavey pics. Look, I am pretty pagan-adjacent and I know Satanism has nothing to do with the conspiracy theories of past decades, but really… there is a type of dude who gets involved with neo-paganism for the Anton Lavey and the Nordic iconography, and that’s the type of dude who figured that pagan chicks were easy – or at least naked – with a few neo-nazis thrown in for good measure. Because American Christianity just doesn’t provide them with enough white male phallus worship I guess.

So anyway, the next place we checked was less dudely, but ultimately much more commercial. Soooo hipster manic-pixie-goth-girl. I found a skull purse I would totally have bought if it weren’t black, but perhaps more of a mermaid sequin/iridescent purple, but again… only a few jewelry/candle/incense things that were uber-ironic; the rest was pretty much like Hot Topic’s kitschy yet pretentious older sibling. De is an atheist, but she feels if she buys a candle or rock that supposedly has some sort of spell or charge, there should have been a sincere witch doing the ensorcellment. As an agnostic with a healthy respect for all the shit in the Universe I don’t understand, I am considering a mid-life Baba Yaga crisis in order to help out, because this is just dire.

The last stop was at a new place called “Qurves Boutique”, which purports to be a boutique for plus-sizes. For those of you have never had to clarify “FAT women’s clothing” when asking for the women’s clothing department of a store, let me lay a few things out for you. Number one, every fat lady knows what her size is, in which brand, in which cut, in which store, in what sub-brand. There are very few fucks given by the average fat lady about what the damn number on the tag is; only that a store that says it’s for “plus sized” people has something that would fit on your plus sized body, regardless of whether the tag says “Arbitrary Low Integer” or “Super-Jolly Elephant!!!”. Also, if you have never had to trek up to the third floor, where they keep luggage and housewares, to find the single rack of clothing that fits you, I am roughly a size 16W or 1X– which is proportionally different from a 16 you might find in the regular women’s clothing section of a store, although to make things more confusing, I am a 16 not-W in Old Navy jeans, and an XL in their shirts. A 1X is not the same as an XL. Got it? Basically, if go to any half-assed plus sized department and pick up a 16W or 1X off a rack, it will go over my rack/gut and may or may not look decent.*

Anyway, so we go into this alleged “plus size” boutique and I take a shapeless greige, spaghetti-strapped jumpsuit off their rack, note immediately that it would probably be a size too small for me, even if I would wear such a thing, and note that at a size 3X (per the tag), it is the largest size in the store. A decade ago  would have knocked over that rack of overpriced dumb-ass looking schmattes (or at least made bitchy passive-aggressive comments as I shuffled the hangers noisily) but yesterday I just rolled my eyes hard enough to sprain them and laughed and laughed, only because if I’m going to be pissed off about clothing sizing, I’d rather be full of rage that even the department stores that do carry a desultory half-rack of ugly polyester shit don’t carry anything about a size 24 in the store, so if you’re a size 26 or above you’re relegated to mail-order shopping. I mean, that makes me want to kick some dicks in right there. The fact that someone a size smaller than me is WOW SO FAT YOU’RE SO BRAVE YOU GO CURVY GIRL!!! in Los Angeles county is just… typical.

So what we did after this so we could participate in consumerist culture was go to Ulta and buy a dupe eyeshadow palette, because I don’t eat my feelings.

* (why we essentially get three sizes in knits – 1X/2X/3X and pretend that three sizes is sufficient for the majority of women, or why my dad, who is in fact unambiguously fat, does not have to shop in the Big & Tall departments of stores, and is a regular size because dudes are allowed to fat and participate in capitalism, and also, why I personally feel angered by people failing at Capitalism by not taking my monies in exchange for goods, when I am in my heart of hearts pretty fucking EAT THE RICH Marxist are other topics for other times.)


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