My life is glamorous and noble and true
I would like to take Target to task for placing their maternity clothes so close to their regular women’s clothes. There is no line of demarcation, no sign or anything, just bam, they’re right there, practically mixed in together, fraternizing. More than once I’ve fallen prey to the “hey, that’s a cute skirt, why does it have that funny waistband panel ohhhhhhh” trick. I mean, I applaud you, Target, for carrying such an attractive line of maternity clothes, and huzzah to you, Liz Lange, whomever you may be. But I think it’s sneaky to put them right in with the regular non-pregnant women’s clothes. I mean, come on! Can we make the pregnant ladies feel like pariahs just a little bit? They already get to eat for two and wear elastic pants for like a year; I’m not feeling too bad for them.
The other day I spent an hour or two at the Atlantic Center Target, which is an experience as draining and soul-sucking as can be, like trying to break up with a guy for an entire afternoon, only he keeps saying, “No, I don’t get it: why?”, and also he has a dozen screaming toddlers who are coated in scarlet fever. I’d spent a fair amount of time buying sensible and necessary items like toilet bowl cleaner and breakfast cereal and shower gel, and of course I’d had to smell all the shower gels, and that right there took a lot out of me, screaming people aside. So I can almost see how what happened next happened: my defenses were down and my instincts were shot. Which is how I ended up in the dressing room with a maternity top.
I was about to get in the checkout line, which is located right next to the women’s clothes, and a shiny red satin empire-waist tank top, hanging out of place with a bunch of sweaters, caught my eye. I glanced at it and thought, “huh, that’s kind of cute, could be good for New Year’s or something, I should try it on.” So I parallel-parked my cart, spoke to the dressing room attendant, received a number, locked myself into the room, took off my T-shirt, and had the satin tank suspended over my head, about to slide down it my arms, before I looked up and realized it had a pink maternity tag.
The following is the totally real thought process that ran through my head at that moment, standing half-naked under the fluorescent lights, the dressy maternity tank top dangling over my torso but not actually on my body:
-Oh, man. I’m an idiot.
-That’s such bullshit! How come the only cute thing out there is a maternity thing? Pregnant women don’t need to look cute; they’re pregnant!
-That’s not very nice.
-Oh, you know what I meant.
-No, hold on a second. Does the tag say how far along in a pregnancy you have to be to wear this? Maybe maternity clothes are sized by month, like baby clothes, and this one is like, first trimester! I mean, it’s smallish, and empire waisted, and who am I kidding, I have a serious rack. Maybe, maybe…
-How do you know it’s smallish? It’s not even on you yet.
-It looks smallish.
-Just look at the tag, for chrisakes.
-I can’t believe I’m even having this conversation.
-The tag is completely unhelpful and makes no mention of months. Oh well. Off with it.
-Wait. Wait. Why not just pull it on and see? What could it hurt?
-Uh, because how awful would it be if it fit?
-Ouch. True. Good point.
-But even worse than that would be that, if it fit, and it looked okay, or even just almost fit, even worse would be that I know myself, and I WOULD BUY IT.
-Oh my god. I totally would.
-But maybe I could pull it off! Maybe I could like, take in the sides, or wear a little cardigan over it?
-Nah, that’s a lot of work for a $12 tank top. I hate sewing.
-Plus, what if someone was like, Oh, that’s so cute, where did you get it? And then I said, Oh, thanks, I got it at Target, and then a week later they walked by and saw it on the maternity rack and were like OH MY GOD IS SARAH PREGNANT?
-Dude, knock on wood right now for even stringing those words together.
-Shit! I’m probably tempting fate just by holding this thing in my hands.
-Jesus, woman! Knock on wood! Knock on the dressing room door, right now!
-Sarah. This is the dark depths of your soul. Not that a maternity top might fit you, and not that you would buy it if it did, but that what’s keeping you from doing so, from even pulling it down over your head and finding out, is sloth. You would not buy it because it would take too much trouble to alter it with a needle and thread.
-And also fear of jinxing myself.
-Yes, and also fear of jinxing yourself.
-I am a horrible person.
I was also going to tell you this story about how I had the most horrible nightmare of my entire life last night, and actually had to call my mother on the phone at 3:30 in the morning and make her talk to me, but I think I should save my humiliating stories up, spread ‘em around a little. God knows I might run out someday.