I have a tiny role in an upcoming movie and as part of the preparation, a very nice woman from the wardrobe department called me to ask for my sizes. "Uhhh," I stammered, as various numbers swam around my head like a scene from "Donald in Mathmagic Land." Though it's a standard and necessary question for her job — that of putting me in clothes — I felt as though someone casually asked me my weight, which she also asked me.
Here's the thing. I don't exactly know what size I am. I'm definitely bigger than emaciated Hollywood, but I'm smaller than I think I am, and generally when I go to a store I pull clothes that are too big for me and then the sales person pokes her head into the dressing room and says something quaint like, "Holy cow! You are just swimming in that!" and then brings me a smaller size. I'm pretty sure I create this situation for myself because it's preferable to the alternative — the sales woman poking her head in and seeing me red faced, struggling to zip a pair of jeans up to the bottom of a fresh muffin top and helpfully suggesting she bring me a larger size.
I pretty much hate shopping and don't know when it happened. It wasn't always this way, though my inability to find clothes I like that fit well has been a constant struggle spanning from my days of being an overweight child who had to buy adult clothes and get them tailored to being an average high schooler to an overweight college student to now, a pretty average adult. I've maintained a significant weight loss for a long time now, but I still think of stores as places where I'll walk out feeling freakish and misshapen — not unlike high school — and so I prefer to avoid the whole situation.
But back to having to give the wardrobe stylist my sizes: What I didn't want to do was deliver a dissertation on the way I wasn't sure my exact size, but here's a range, but I often choose clothes that are larger than I am, but I see myself as bigger than I am, but I probably create that situation, etc. She has a job to do. She isn't a shrink and all she wants is the number. If I were on the other end of a call with me, I'd also want to punch myself in the face.
And yet, I really don't know. My wedding dress was a sample size 10 which, according to what I read online about the designer, isn't a true 10 but is more like a 6/8 which is smaller than anything I normally wear. Also, it was a wedding, and everyone knows you're unnaturally thin when you get married.
"It depends on the designer, right?" said the wardrobe stylist when I told her I was an 8, 10 or 12. It's not untrue, it does depend on the designer, but it also has to do with the time of the month, whether I've been dieting or not and whether I feel like wearing the size I probably look best in, which is going to feel a little snug, or the size I feel best in, which is going to look a little loose.
Do super skinny people have these problems? Are they constantly vexed by the way their clothes feel against their skin? Or is there so little between their skeleton and the outside world it doesn't really matter? As someone who's pretty squishy, whose body will assume the shape of the container, I often feel squished and rumpled in the wrong ways. Is it possible to get a lobotomy for your skin? That's what I need.
Anyway, the stylist asked that I bring some of my own garments — all of which are too big — and she's also providing clothes. Between all these items we're bound to find an ill-fitting outfit befitting the character.
Hear more from Alison Rosen on her podcast, "Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend" or on the immensely popular "Adam Carolla Show" podcast. Follow her on Twitter @alisonrosen or visit her website at www.alisonrosen.com