You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Pulling My Weight

Yesterday was my big meeting with the guy from the financial office to review the revised budget I did for 2005/06 and the new budget I created for 2006/07. My predecessor assisted me with the early stages of the budget before she retired in December, but I was left to do the bulk of it.

I first ran it by my boss (the faculty director) who said it looked good. But the big meeting was to be with the financial office – and that was yesterday.

And it went exceptionally well! He’s making a few revisions to certain items (salary related) that I have no control over, but everything that I had done was done accurately. YAY ME!

And how did I celebrate? I went to class last night. Let the craziness begin.

Oh, and I’m going to gripe about clothes again, if you don’t mind. I feel like a broken record but this is really getting to me. For Christmas I received a gift certificate to L.L. Bean. I’ve been to the store once or twice and the only thing I’ve ever purchased there was a book bag…and that was 15 years ago. I went to the website during the holidays but was unable to buy anything because everything I was interested in was out of stock until February or March. Ugh.

I went back last week and found a few things that were available (two t-shirts, a polo style shirt and an oxford shirt). Going on my friend, Chris’, advice, I ordered everything in size small. I did this with great reservation because I just don’t think my frame is small. I’m average height and average weight so I’d think I would be a medium. For the oxford shirt, I was thrilled to see that you could customize it any way you wanted (so I could get a 15 neck and 36 arm, if I wanted). So, based on my horrible shirt-buying experience back in September, I ordered the 17 neck and the 32 arm.

The clothes arrived yesterday and all I can say is….WTF!?!?!?!

The two small t-shirts are ENORMOUS! I looked at the tags to make sure they sent the right size and they do, in fact, say “small”. I’ve not dared to try on the polo shirt yet. And then we get to the oxford that I ordered “custom”. I put it on over the clothes I was already wearing (because I was too lazy to remove them). The arm length was perfect. The neck size was perfect. But you could have fit two of me in thie rest of the shirt.

It went down practically to my knees and was just “wide” all around. I don’t get it. I mean, I can admit that I’m thin, but I’m in no way scrawny. And what about the length? Do they also expect that I’m 7 feet tall?  Seriously…look at the picture to the right (or in my photo gallery link on the top right). I’m average size. Why am I all of a sudden having no luck finding average clothes? L.L. Bean didn’t seem to offer any EXTRA small shirts…and to be quite honest, I’m not too keen about having to admit to wearing an extra-small shirt. It makes me feel like I should be shopping at Gap Kids.

Ugh. Now I’ve gotten myself angry.



  1. Comment by Lise on February 7, 2006 11:10 am

    Honey, you need to get yourself a sugar-daddy (chocolate or not) who can dress you in all tailored clothes.

  2. Comment by karyn on February 7, 2006 11:19 am

    If you start complaining about the big box of twenties you have in your platinum vault behind the country house, I’m going to stop reading your blog. Oh wah! The “smalls” are too big! Wah! I’m too svelte and fabulous! Wah! How DO you stand it??? Ugh indeed.

  3. Comment by Karl on February 7, 2006 11:34 am

    Actually, Karyn, it’s quite the opposite! I’ve had co-workers come up to me over the past year and say “You’re so skinny!”. That is NOT a compliment. I find it to be an insult – just as if somebody came up to somebody and said “you’re so fat”.

    “skinny” is not flattering. I’ve already got low self-esteem…and it doesn’t help to have people (repeatedly, for some) call me skinny or “wicked thin”. I’m not dieting. I’m not exercising. Hell, ask anybody around me who watches me as I eat entire bags of gummy bears in one sitting.

    It’s funny how, despite our nation getting fatter and fatter, society still frowns upon people calling somebody fat (to their face, at least…it most definitely happens behind peoples’ backs) yet people have no issue calling people skinny to their face. An extreme in either direction (fat or skinny) is not complimentable, in my opinion.

    Maybe I’m over-reacting. But it is something i’m rather self-concious about (just an overweight person is self-concious about their appearance). I’m definitely not “woe is me’ing” because I’m “so svelte and fabulous”. It’s the opposite: I’m annoyed at how much trouble I’m having finding clothes that fit. I’m annoyed at people feeling it’s okay to repeatedly comment on my weight.

    HMMMM – sounds like the same issues an overweight person deals with…yet when they complain about them, people sympathize. I just get mocked.

  4. Comment by Brad on February 7, 2006 12:06 pm

    I agree with Karl in all respects!

  5. Comment by Lise on February 7, 2006 12:33 pm

    And why do people feel the need to tell you that you look “tired”. Oh thanks. As if I didn’t know. The giant circles under my eyes and the pasty complexion a tip-off?? Now I’ll really feel good for the rest of the day.

  6. Comment by Sean on February 7, 2006 2:03 pm

    Karl- it’s amazing how our experiences with LL Bean are polar opposites. I love the way their clothes fit me, and especially love that things come in tall sizes, so shirts don’t become untucked whenever I bend. I used to buy XL for the length, but then it would look like I was wearing a tent. I’m sure I have better luck with the clothes because I’m sort of a fat ass.

  7. Comment by karyn on February 7, 2006 4:02 pm

    First let me say that I do agree, generally, that people should keep their comments about another’s physical traits unless they are sure it’s going to be well received. However. When people tell you, ‘You’re so skinny!’ (Which i’ve not done, by the way, let us bear that in mind -), they are essentially putting their own self esteem issues and envy out there for all to see. Further, while the issue may be the same to those experienced by the overweight population, it is SO not the same. “Fat” is the last acceptable bias. There’s even a medical term for it: Obese. People will appear on the news saying they have no respect for overweight people, that they need to exercise common sense, get some self respect going on, that they need to take the matter in hand. Nobody EVER says that about the terminally thin, or the emaciated. You never catch people saying , “Come on Calista, get a grip, eat a cookie. Stop sticking your fingers down your throat.” You never see the Man On The Street ragging on the underweight or the Bulimics. It is perfectly fine though, in the name of the Obesity Epidemic, to crack on the heavy members of society. I’ve weighed far less than this in my life; but I’ve weighed far more, too. The difference in the way society receives you when you drop a few pounds is jaw-dropping, I find. Then again, I suppose if I wanted to get behind your position, I could say that at least overweight people have “Big And Tall” stores whereas those of slighter build have no “Small And Thin” stores from which to select wardrobe items. Still, while the principle (of it possibly being best to not make broad remarks about a person’s appearance) holds up, when you get down to it – it isn’t the same. It just isn’t. But for the record, let me say that my original post really was just intended to serve as a ‘there, there’, to reassure you that you really are attractive and generally fabulous (if a pain in the ass) and that if finding something small enough to fit your neck or waist perfectly is your greatest complaint about being dressed, then in the grand sweep of things, you’re fairly fortunate. It really was meant to be positive. Really.

  8. Comment by karyn on February 7, 2006 4:05 pm

    Ok, can i just say, i was in such a rush to try to get the damn thing ‘published’ that i forgot to go back and correct typos and so forth – this reads like it was written by an illiterate chimp – hopefully you can glean what i was getting at from it…. oh bother.

  9. Comment by Karl on February 7, 2006 4:08 pm

    YAY – debate! Karyn, I do agree with you about much of what you said. But I disagree wholeheartedly that people don’t say bad things like telling Calista Flockhart to eat a cookie. She’s BOMBARDED with comments by the tabloids all the time. Same goes for Linsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Rene Zellwegger, Nicole Kidman, etc… (and I think I just mis-spelled every name…but you get the point).

    People find it just as easy to mock/dis/insult the “underweight” as they do the “overweight”.

    Otherwise, I agree with you about most things…including your being an illiterate chimp (that part was in jest).

  10. Comment by karyn on February 7, 2006 4:14 pm

    Bite me, Snarl. And the tabloids don’t count – I am talking about the Man On The Street portion of the news. People are really comfortable ragging on the overweight, but they tread lightly when it comes to the “eating disordered”. Big difference, no? Eating Disorder vs. Glutton, when in actuality, both under/overweight conditions result from eating disorders? I better stop now before I get into real trouble.

  11. Comment by Karl on February 7, 2006 4:19 pm

    You hit the nail right on the head (“both under/overweight conditions result from eating disorders”). I said something similar in my first comment! NEITHER condition should warrant ridicule or “compliment”.

  12. Comment by matt on February 7, 2006 5:39 pm

    I just ran into Calista Flockhart and I pelted her with cookies and told her to go eat a sandwich. (just kidding) —- However, as both Karl and Karyn know I tend to laugh at the most inappropriate things. I think both make good/solid points.

    Karl — LL Bean. Think sweaters and shoes/boots. They also were making some “ok” messenger bags a couple of years ago. Go to H&M if you must — but I urge you toward DKNY on Newbury Street or L&T if they still exist. Do they?

  13. Comment by matt on February 7, 2006 5:41 pm

    Oh, and congrats on the budget! I’ve been trying to get you to move back into management for years! …and go to Europe! I guess you had to dump me to do these things. LOL!

  14. Comment by karyn on February 8, 2006 12:41 pm

    Matt, come back to the east coast!
    Karl, I’m all for compliments – as long as the complimenter is sure that the complimentee is going to take it as such. Feel free to comment on my general fabulousness, which could not be more different from YOUR general fabulousness but regardless, exists in all its resplendent glory. 🙂

  15. Comment by Chris on February 8, 2006 1:37 pm

    Hey Karl,
    I think you should just not wear clothes… 🙂

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.