A Clotheshorse I Definitely Ain't!Commentary • ISSUE 33•18 • May 13, 1998 By Jean Teasdale – A Room Of Jean's Own If there's anything I know, it's that nobody likes a complainer. But sometimes, well, you just gotta unload. Especially when you're sure there are other people who share your complaint. And that's the case with mine, which is... I really, really hate to shop for clothes! Okay, I know what you're thinking. "Jean, you're the biggest shopaholic this side of that one Oriental lady with all the shoes! Whaddaya mean, you hate to shop for clothes?" Well, it is true that I love to shop. Every time I go to the mall, I come back with at least two new Beanie Babies. (I probably have the biggest collection in the whole world by now!) And, even though I'm not a mom, I've been known to buy baby toys, because they're just soooo irresistible! And, as regular readers of my column know, I subscribe to just about every catalog known to man! Sure, I love to shop, just as long as it's for non-wearable items. Stick me in the middle of a Hallmark store, and I'm in hog heaven. But put me in a Merry-Go-Round or The Gap, and, by the expression on my face, you'd swear I was about to slash my wrists! Did you know that the last time I found a pair of jeans that fit me, Urban Cowboy was in theaters? And I can't even remember the last time I wore a dress with a belt. Pants, underwear, anything sleeveless and pantyhoseespecially pantyhose!are all my mortal enemies. You see, I'm not exactly the skinniest person in the world. I guess I'm what you might call "pleasingly plump." I used to be really depressed about my weight, but, a few years back, I finally decided to face up to the fact that I was never going to look like Christie Brinkley. And you know what? I now have a far healthier body image than those supermodels do. I bet, at heart, those supermodels are miserable, anyway. I mean, could you imagine never being able to eat chocolate? (Horror of horrors!) Besides, once upon a time, my body type was considered to be the most attractive. I saw this program on The Learning Channel once that talked about how, hundreds of years ago in Europe, the most desirable women were hardly what you'd call petite. (Boy, I wish I lived in those times–I'd probably be a queen, and Cindy Crawford would be a serving wench or something!) Of course, the price I've had to pay for my weight is having a less-than-high-fashion wardrobe. All I can say is, thank God for cotton casuals, fleece sweatshirts and elastic-waist stirrup pants! (Otherwise your pal Jean would have to go around naked as a jaybird!) I never used to wear sweatclothes, because they only came in boring gray or blue. Then, a few years ago, they started making them in all sorts of great colors, like yellow, magenta and hot pink. I even have different outfits for each day of the week. On Monday, I wear my darling lavender top decorated with a ballerina bear. Tuesday is my horse sweatshirt day. Wednesday, I wear a silkscreen-print T-shirt of teddy bears. Thursday is my Minnie Mouse sweatshirt day. And Friday, I wear my top decorated with little miniature dolphins. (Get it? Friday is fish day!) Besides, even if I'm not the world's snazziest dresser, compared to hubby Rick, I look like Princess Grace! I've been married to the guy for almost 20 years now, and I can think of only two occasions when he wasn't wearing a grimy camouflage T-shirt: his grandmother's funeral and my cousin Michelle's wedding. (He even wore a T-shirt to our own wedding! It was one of those tuxedo T-shirts that were popular in the '70s. Sheesh!) I'm sorry to say, however, that not everyone is supportive of my carefree, casual look. I still work that boring data-entry temp position at SouthCentral Insurance, and, last Thursday, I could just feel my supervisor Doris staring at me. Sure enough, first thing the next morning, she called me into her office. I couldn't believe what Doris said to me. "Jean, I've been meaning to talk to you about your work attire," she said. "Your animal tops are very cute, but, unfortunately, they are just not suitable attire for the office." I was soooo shocked and hurt, I felt like bawling! I thought everyone liked my outfits! I mean, when I pass through the office on Fridays, this one guy in Tech Support always yells, "Hey, it's the Fish Lady!" It always makes me feel so good and needed, like I'm part of the office, even though I'm just a temp. But now it's like the company is trying to stamp out my individuality! When Doris said that to me, I almost quit right there on the spot, but I decided not to, because I really need the money. Only problem is, what am I going to wear to work from now on? It's just not fair! Oh, geez, listen to me. Even I'm getting sick of listening to me whine! Okay, I'm done griping. The complaint department is officially closed. I just hope I didn't bum anyone out. After all, as they say, negative attitudes can be contagious! Oh, I almost forgot. Next time, cross my heart, I promise to share the recipe for my "Better Than Sex" Super-Duper Mint Fudge Walnut Divinity, or my name isn't Jean Teasdale!