That’s right. Short and stout.
Now, a chubby little teapot conjures up sweet images, does it not? A pastel-flowered, porcelain vessel with matching, delicate cups and saucers, accompanied by warm scones with jam and cream. An old-fashioned nursery song acted out by precious preschoolers. A Neti pot when you . . . oh, never mind.
However, the mental snapshot of a height-challenged, overweight middle-aged (oh, fine, OLD) woman shaped like a teapot isn’t quite so charming.
Let’s call a spade, a spade. I have been a short, fat woman most of my adult life. Oh, there were periods when I starved and exercised myself into a more marketable size, but it was a constant battle to stay that way. Wait. “Marketable size?” Yes, that’s right. And every woman who has ever been out there looking for love, whether in all the wrong or right places, knows exactly what I’m talking about.
But that’s not what I’m writing about today.
Today I am focusing on the SHORT element of the description. Being “stout” is always an issue when you’re shopping for new clothes. Add “short” to the mix and the complications multiply exponentially.
Well, just buy petite clothes, you say? Oh, gosh. I certainly would – if a decent supply of petite fat clothes existed. Oh, they’re out there. But it’s not like walking into the Petite section at Dillard’s where a plethora of adorable outfits are on offer for, well, petite women. That’s short women who fit into a size zero to maybe ten or twelve. I am not petite. I’m just short, okay?
Yes, there are some plus-size “petite” or “short” sizes (I prefer short; let’s not be coy), but I think most manufacturers think if you’re fat, just buy the fat pants or dress or whatever, and hem it.
I do plenty of that, but . . . . When you’re short, you also have a shorter rise. I’m sure you know the “rise” is the distance from your waist to your hooha. There’s no doubt some kind of standard ratio at work here that assumes if you have fifty-inch hips, then it only makes sense that the rise must be, say, fifteen inches. If, however, you are a shortie with fifty-inch hips, your rise may only be, say, ten inches. Get the picture? So that means with the pants buttoned at the waist, the crotch is dipping down somewhere between your hooha and your knees.
You can walk around all baggy-crotch like a gangsta, or you might try rolling the waistband over. Now, this frequently results in a pleated, ballooning effect that makes it look like you’re wearing a mini crinoline to emphasize your hips. The next step is to search for a top that reaches just below your crotch to camouflage the bunched up fabric pouch.
Or, wait – how about buying a tunic top?
Oh, my short, stout friends – the tunic is not your friend. Once again, the 2X tunic is designed for a hefty gal who’s five-six or taller (that’s four inches above me). When something hangs a few inches below the hip on a taller woman, she still has a nice, long expanse of leg to balance the tunic’s length, as intended by the designers. That same tunic on me nearly skims my knees, then the chunky little calves and feet poke out below making me resemble SpongeRoberta SquarePants. SpongeBob has skinny little legs but, let’s face it, the over-sized, boxy sponge is not a flattering look for him, either.
Earlier this spring I bought two nice tee-shirts online. They have square necklines and elbow-length sleeves (another critical factor for those of us sporting exceptionally meaty upper arms). I tried one on quickly when the weather was still pretty chilly, then washed and hung them in the closet, ready for summer.
When it hit 90 degrees this weekend, I finally pulled one out to wear and realized that it doesn’t fit at all. Yes, it’s big enough. No, it’s not actually too big. Somehow, the proportions are seriously off.
The problem is that there’s maybe a four-inch expanse between the top of my shoulder, down to where my breasts begin. The square is modest enough so I’m not giving cleavage, but for this shirt to fit, someone would have to stand behind me and pull the whole damn thing up a couple of inches from the shoulders so the armpits more or less fit where my armpits are actually situated. Instead, the bottom of the shirt’s armpit is hanging somewhere around my lower rib cage.
I look okay if I stand still with my arms at my sides. I look quite nice, in fact. But when I wore this shirt to the grocery store, I discovered this weird effect where the whole front of my shirt is elevated when I reach for the Quaker Oat Squares on a higher shelf.
This was not the top shelf, by the way. It was the second shelf down. I can’t reach the top shelf unless the item I want is already teetering toward the edge.
I was going to write this whole, other part about my freakishly short arms, and my thoughts on fat arms and big boobs and ladies’ golf, but I’ll save that for another time.
But on the plus side, I can buy the currently fashionable (I think?) ankle-length cropped pants and just wear them as regular pants.
I also was going to write more about the plus side, but after considerable thought, I honestly can’t come up with anything else.
Quit bitching and lose some weight, you may be thinking.
Oh, go fuck yourself.
No, you’re not. Never mind.
So you may wonder, would I rather be thinner? Or taller? The answer, of course, is BOTH. Duh. In the meantime, if you run into a short and stout woman at Giant Eagle with balloon-y pants, holding her arms tightly to her sides, that could be me. Or one of my height- and weight-challenged sisters.
Be a doll and ask if we need anything on the top shelf, hmm?
15 thoughts on “I’m a little teapot”
If I want pants that fit properly I have to special order online. No one carries pants with the length I need. My legs are too short. I don’t understand why we have big and tall stores, but not short and fat ones.
Yes! I think you’re on to something! I once ordered, I think, something like five or six pairs of pants from different manufacturers in my size but “short,” just trying to find one brand that actually worked on ME. It took that many to find one I really did like.
Another thing we have in common that I was not aware of…. T-Rex arms! I feel like the gator thing at lunch who says he will get the check but can’t reach it so someone rolls their eyes and says I’ll get it. Love those odd Curry/DeJoy genes!
Hahahahahha! Since you’re such a great golfer, I thought you must have NORMAL arms, Pen! I will tell you about a little preview for my short arms story when we talk. Love you!
I love this!
Thank you, Jane!
Just after I hit Send, I thought of my problems with pants. I’ve got long legs. My sister has bought me several gift cards from Damons & Drapers (or maybe it’s the other way around) so I could beef up my pants wardrobe. They’re average 12-14 pants are 30″. Before you wash them. I got a terrific outfit that I loved wearing. Until I washed it. Then I was in “floods” and my wrists stuck out of the jacket. So, maybe you want to try Drapers & Damons. They’ve got a Petites section that goes up to Plus sizes. And they’re on-line! Wanna buy some unused gift cards????
Geez Louise! How tall are you, woman? Just kidding. Will check out Drapers & Damons (I can’t help it – Dungeons & Dragons! Angels & Demons!) and let you know about the gift cards! XOXO
That’s my mom! Thanks, Norm! 🙂 She says “so true” because we basically have the same body. I don’t think she’s every been as stout as I am, but we share wonky neckline and baggy crotch issues due to our height and chubbette clothes sizes.
Another funny post! You described the issues with the fit of the clothes so well. Sponge Roberta cracked me up!
Thanks, Ellen! xoxo!
“… ballooning effect that makes it look like you’re wearing a mini crinoline to emphasize your hips.”😉 As a 5’10” meaty-armed gal, our problems are differently the same. When I go to the store and see cute clothes, I think, none of this is for me. Sigh.
Amen, sister! Seriously, I wish I could get away with wearing mu-mus with three-quarter length sleeves. Maybe I should move to Hawaii? Nah. Can’t stand the heat. My mu-mus will need to be fleece for Ohio winters. 🙂
Yes, sister! I acid all you’ve cleverly said!