www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald...printstory.jsp (external - login to view)
Posted on Sun, Apr. 16, 2006
Shop till you drop (in size)
BY DAVE BARRY (This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on May 25, 1997.)
I believe that, in general, women are saner than men.
For example: If you see people who have paid good money to stand in an outdoor stadium on a freezing December day wearing nothing on the upper halves of their bodies except paint, those people will be male.
Without males, there would be no such sport as professional lawn-mower racing.
Also, there would be a 100 percent decline in the annual number of deaths related to efforts to shoot beer cans off heads.
There would be no such words as ''wedgie'' and ``noogie.''
Also, if women were in charge of all the world's nations there would be -- I sincerely believe this -- virtually no military conflicts, and when there was a military conflict, everybody involved would feel just awful and there would soon be a high-level exchange of thoughtful notes written on greeting cards with flowers on the front, followed by a Peace Luncheon (which would be salads, with the dressing on the side).
So I sincerely believe that women are wiser than men, with the exception of one key area, and that area is: clothing sizes. In this particular area, women are insane.
When a man shops for clothes, his primary objective -- follow me closely here -- is to purchase clothes that fit on his particular body. A man will try on a pair of pants, and if those pants are too small, he'll try on a larger pair, and when he finds a pair that fits, he buys them. Most men do not spend a lot of time fretting about the size of their pants. Many men wear jeans with the size printed right on the back label, so that if you're standing behind a man in a supermarket line, you can read his waist and inseam size. A man could have, say, a 52-inch waist and a 30-inch inseam, and his label will proudly display this information, which is basically the same thing as having a sign that says: ``Howdy! My butt is the size of a Federal Express truck!''
The situation is very different with women. When a woman shops for clothes, her primary objective is not to find clothes that fit her particular body.
She would like for that to be the case, but her primary objective is to purchase clothes that are the size she wore when she was 19 years old. This will be some arbitrary number such as ''8'' or ''10.'' Don't ask me ''8'' or ''10'' of what: That question has baffled scientists for centuries. All I know is that if a woman was a size 8 at age 19, she wants to be a size 8 now, and if a size 8 outfit does not fit her, she will not move on to a larger size: She can't! Her size is 8, dammit! So she will keep trying on size 8 items, and unless they start fitting her, she will become extremely unhappy. She may take this unhappiness out on her husband, who is waiting patiently in the mall, perhaps browsing in the Sharper Image store, trying to think of how he could justify purchasing a pair of night-vision binoculars.
''Hi!'' he'll say, when his wife finds him. ``You know how sometimes the electricity goes out at night and ...''
''Am I fat?'' she'll ask, cutting him off.
This is a very bad situation for the man, because if he answers ''yes,'' she'll be angry because he's saying that she's fat, and if he answers ''no,'' she'll be angry because he's obviously lying, because none of the size 8s fit her. There is no escape for the husband. I think a lot of unexplained disappearances occur because guys in malls see their wives unsuccessfully trying on outfits, and they realize their lives will be easier if, before their wives come out and demand to know whether they're fat, the guys just run off and join a UFO cult.
The other day, my wife was in a terrific mood, and you know why? Because she had successfully put on a size 6 outfit. She said this made her feel wonderful. She said, and this is a direct quote: 'I wouldn't care if these pants were this big (here she held her arms far apart) as long as they have a '6' on them.''
Here's how you could get rich: Start a women's clothing store called ''SIZE 2,'' in which all garments, including those that were originally intended to be restaurant awnings, had labels with the words ''SIZE 2.'' I bet you'd sell clothes like crazy. You'd probably get rich, and you could retire, maybe take up some philanthropic activity to benefit humanity. I'm thinking here of professional lawn-mower racing.