November 7, 2008

Needing a Tailor

Teachers are also diverse. They come in all ages, experiences, colors...and shapes.

My shape is mostly round (maybe even pear), so when we teachers were requested to send in our shirt sizes so we could get staff shirts, I was terribly afraid. Not just a little afraid. No. Filled with raging dread. I'm not the kind of person who can just buy shirts off the rack.

Will the shirts be in men's or women's cut? That makes a difference—usually a full size. Someone sent out an inquiry about that, plus someone also asked what kind of shirts they would be because there is a difference in polo shirts and button-down shirts. We received no reply.

I sent in my size and actually went with the smaller of the two sizes I generally wear because on that particular day I decided I'd rather have a shirt tighter around my hips than super baggy on my top. The last few polo shirts we purchased were cut pretty large.

This morning we found our new shirts in our boxes—just in time for us to don them for a staff photo after school. They look like the black shirt here, only with our school's logo embroidered on it. And I thought we were getting polo shirts. Everyone thought we were getting polo shirts!

I know, I should have been super-excited to join the biggest bowling team in the district, but I took one look at that shirt—women's-sized with a fitted waist—and knew it wasn't going to fit my hips. Plus, I'm short-bodied, and finding button-down shirts that don't gap right at my breasts is nearly impossible. (If you come look in my closet, it is true that I have 4-5 classic button downs, but I've had them forever, and use them for special occasions because they were hard to find and they fit so well.)

Now, if I can make it to school without having any depressing clothing issues, I sure don't want to create any before the first bell rings:

"Happy Friday, HappyChyck! Here's your shirt that will not button around your hips and gaps at the breasts. We'll see you after school for a staff picture!"

I wanna go home!

As the day went on, I found I was not the only woman who had issues with our new shirts. Now, I can certainly lose weight to help the hips issues—no, not before 2:30 p.m., but some of my lovely colleagues cannot help, ahem, their generous top proportions. Here we are, such strong women who encourage our girls to love themselves no matter what, whispering in the back of classrooms and in the hallways, "Did you get your shirt? Does it fit? Mine doesn't fit. Ohmygod! It looks terrible! I have to get my picture taken in this? No way in hell!"

Hell came right after school as we filed into the gynasium for our pictures, hoping we wouldn't be in the first row, trying to position ourselves behind the skinny girls, trying to hide our ill-fitting shirts. In the big picture, nobody is going to notice those of us with tight shirts. It will be a sea of 100 faces wearing black. But you know every photo has a story...

I can't finish this without saying—

The men all looked really good in their shirts. I noticed—even if I'm married I can still see—that several of the guys looked particularly handsome in their shirts.

Hate them.

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