Thursday, May 9, 2013

Why is Abercrombie & Fitch in the news?

Well, nowadays, you can't say anything without offending someone. But, this guy, Mike Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch done offended A LOT OF PEOPLE. If you haven't heard of him, google him right now. Or read this article:

Well, you know he's pissed off every other woman on the planet. Moms are outraged, teenagers are confused and people like myself, well, I am lucky I am comfortable with who I am, to an extent.

I shopped at Abercrombie in college. I bought size 8 jeans, and they were the most I'd ever spent on jeans. Maybe $40 or $50 a pair, and I wore them for all four years of college. Three different shades, same style. When I looked through the racks for my size, it never crossed my mind that I was sifting through the skinny sizes to get to mine. I just knew my size, and I went for it. That has never, ever bothered me. I was a size 2 for about 2 seconds, when I transitioned from The Limited Too to Gap. Again, these things did not bother me. Not then, not now.

After college, I stopped going in the store, probably because their stupid cologne seemed to attack me in the hallways of the mall, in a more offensive way than Yankee Candle. Even though I was only 22, I'm pretty sure I looked at their naked people posters and thought, wtf? Why are naked people selling clothes? That's more than backwards. I still wore the jeans I had though. Those were well worn in, and they still fit, so who cares?

I eventually accepted that I was more comfortable in a size 10, especially for teaching. That size just seemed more appropriate. Again, no big deal. I didn't start feeling upset about my weight until I was a 14/16. 12 didn't even bother me. You know what I'm grateful for though? My insecurities about my weight didn't occur until I was in a happy, stable relationship with Mac, I was a proud teacher, and I was pretty firm in my beliefs. So, at least I had a strong backbone to hold these hips up.

What if I was a teenager with weight issues and all my friends shopped at Abercrombie? What if I couldn't fit into their clothes, and every time we went to the mall, I just had to wait outside their dressing room while my skinny friends tried on clothes? Wouldn't that be awful?! I would be so hurt, confused and angry. I'd probably even resent my friends to an extent.

The thing is though, what he said about size doesn't bother me NEAR AS MUCH as what he said about "cool kids." He associates fit people with being cool and attractive. Let's be serious. We all know people who fit and break these molds. This is what bothers me... this quote right here:

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

I'm still shaking my head when I read that. What a douche canoe. Now, let me tell you some crazy valuable advice my mom gave me when I was younger.

Frannie used to talk about the "fast crowd" when Ashley and I were growing up. Nobody's names were ever mentioned, but we got the idea. Whenever Ashley or I wanted to be friends with someone who didn't really reciprocate, my mom would often bring up this idea of a "fast crowd." The fast crowd did everything before Ashley and I did. They stayed home by themselves, they got a phone in their room, a tv in their room, they had a later curfew and they were always picked first for kickball. They were the first to kiss boys, they smoked cigarettes earlier than everyone, and they were allowed to drink underage in their parents' presence. Now, by no means were Ashley and I angels. But, for the most part, we were pretty good kids. Because it was preached to us, over and over, that we don't want to be part of the "fast crowd." Those kids might not go to college, they might not have successful careers, they might look like they've been around the block a few times by the time we were 18 (Dad's line).

So, Ash and I did the best we could. And you know what? Turns out, Mom and Dad were right. Shocking. Some of those kids who were in the fast crowd didn't do so well. Most of the kids who weren't in the fast crowd... they did pretty well. Ironically, the kids who stayed after school and did activities, like band, softball, cheerleading, swimming, yearbook, RAK... I can't think of too many who veered off the path of "decency." But the kids who lingered in the parking lot and went home where there were no parents... I can't answer for them.

Lastly, I was working one summer for a neighbor. Her son, who I'd grown up with since elementary school, came in one afternoon and we started talking. I had just finished my freshman year of college, and we are the same age. He did not go away to school. (I'm not sure what reason; I'm sure he could have gone wherever he wanted to.) Anyways, he asked how Elon was treating me, and I was obviously glowing. College fit me like a glove. I absolutely loved it. When I asked him about his year, he didn't have the same look on his face. He told me his year was ok, but a lot of his friends stayed in town, and it was really boring. I think he wished he had gone away. He told me I was smart to have gone away. Now, this kid was part of the "fast crowd," but always so nice, always. I don't know what he's up to now, but I bet he is successful. He's just too good of a person not to be. But I bet it shocked him to see so many of his friends quickly go from the top of the food chain to the bottom.

ANYWAYS, the reason I've rambled. I may be overweight. I might be "uncool." (Please, as if.) As a person who went to band camp, I probably never should have walked into Abercrombie and Fitch. It appears this douche, Mike Jeffries wants the fast crowd to shop at his store. And you know what... I'm proud to not be a part of that.

And p.s. to any young girls from Wexford who I used to babysit.. you're beautiful. You always have been, you are now, and you always will be. Don't let some douchebag like this, or any other douchebag, get under your skin. You're cool in my book.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Like father, like daughter

I've thought about a lot of things to write, but it seemed so silly to write when I actually have nothing to update. I mean, I'm trying, but obviously not hard enough. I've gone walking, done exercise videos and hit balls at the driving range. I eat everything I should eat during the day, as far as food categories. Protein, veggies, fruits, etc. My problem is, and probably always has been snacking. I don't have just one reason for snacking... I do it for all sorts of reasons... food tastes good, I'm bored, I'm watching tv, it's in the house, emotional eating, etc. I still have every excuse in the book.

Snacking isn't genetic, but let me tell a "like father, like daughter" story.

I love my dad so much. He is a snacker. He has a technique for eating a dozen donuts in one day. He talks about sweets and pastries so much that when friends fly down from NJ, they bring sticky buns from McMillan's bakery. Seriously. When he comes up to visit us any time, he wants me to get the sugar cookies from Shoppers that have the cherries in the middle. He's pretty specific.

So, a few weeks ago, we're on the phone, my dad and I. He's asking me what's new, and I'm trying to tell him about things that he'll appreciate. He doesn't want to hear about what I wore, etc. I talk to him about dad stuff, like what kind of lawn mower Mac and I should buy, how I did ok at the driving range or what the weather's like. So, we're on the phone, and I'm tailoring my stories to him, and he just keeps saying "uh huh, uh huh, yeah, right." Dude, I know what that means. But I let it slide. Keep talking. Finish my stories, and I say, "Well that's about it, Dad." He replied, "Listen, Megan, I'm about to eat a donut, could you keep talking for a little bit?" Oof. So I keep babbling. When I tell him I've got nothing else to say, he starts to ask me about my father-in-law's neighborhood. "You know Dave's house?" Yes. "You know the stores behind that development?" Yes Dad, I lived there for two years. "Listen, is that bakery behind Dave's house there any good?" Argh. Talking to my dad that day was a lost cause. Eventually, he goes out into the garage for a cigarette and my mom gets on the phone. Before she can even get going, I tell her I feel like Dad is not listening to me when we talk on the phone, and she confirmed it. He wasn't listening to me. She told me he was distracted, because HE WAS LOOKING FOR THE DONUT and needed her help finding it. Sigh. Then she told me I better not bring him down any treats from that bakery for Easter. His love for pastries is out of control, and I am not to feed the habit. Ok. But this whole thing? This wouldn't be the last time this happened.

A few days later Dad and I are chatting it up again, and we're talking about me coming down for Easter. Decent conversation. Mom gets on the phone; she and I talk for a little bit. We're getting ready to hang up, and she says my dad forgot to tell me something. My ears perk up... this never happens. Would he talk to me about sports? His golf game? The boat? My car? Mac? "Hey Megan, listen, you remember those coconut cream eggs we used to get at Bayards Chocolate House for Easter? Yeah, they don't sell them in South Carolina, so could you look around up there for some?"

Drats. More food talk. As if I need a coconut cream easter egg with me during an 8 hour drive. I'm a SNACKER Dad. Just like you. Except your metabolism works a little differently than mine. Ahem. A lot differently. As in, I'd be 400 pounds if I ate like you do. But I still love you. :)