Monday, 10 December 2012
Recently, a couple of situations have come up that have highlighted some of my pet peeves so I thought I’d write them down and see if any of my readers find the same or whether it really is just me.
The first is something I find both puzzling and annoying in equal measure – clothes sizing. The UK is, as we are being told constantly told, a nation in the middle of an obesity epidemic or, to put it less diplomatically, a nation of lardy fat-arses. Why then are clothes shops selling less and less clothing for those of a larger frame? It seems that every time I go to buy myself a new selection of boxer shorts, I have gone up another size even though the waist measurement is still the same. I am 44-46 inches (around the waist, you dirty minded people; if I was that size in other areas I’d have a job in a freak show by now or in porn) which was originally considered ‘Large’. ‘Large’ became ‘XL’ and has now become ‘XXL’ within the last couple of years. In fact, at all the shops I went to a waist measurement of 44-46 inches is the largest size they stock. I half expect to go to the shops next time and they won’t stock my size at all.
I have a number of family members who are, from no fault of their own, larger framed individuals. They have gone on diets and exercise every day but nothing shifts the extra padding they carry. Each time they go to the shops to buy new clothes, they find the same problem. Each year, the dress sizes seem to change; what used to be a size 14 is now a size 16 and so on ad infinitum. Larger sizes stop being sold in ‘regular’ shops until soon the larger framed will have to go to ‘freak’ stores to buy their clothes.
I can only assume that this changing of clothes sizes is to make men and women adhere to the new modern expectation of the pencil-thin model ideal that is pushed down our throats in advertising and the media. Women are made to feel fat if their waist measurement is in double figures and their dress size is greater than a size 6. Men have a little more latitude in clothes sizes but are still made to feel like crap if their clothes size hits ‘Large’.
The thing that really gets to me is that ‘regular’ shops should be catering to the needs of a larger framed population as it’s a growth market, whether that’s a good thing or not. The ‘freak’ stores charge much more for their clothes so it’s difficult to remain even partially well-dressed if you’re working with a reduced budget. ‘Regular’ stores should pay attention to what’s going on in the world and steer away from the reliance on smaller sizes and the artificial body shape and size ideals that are completely ridiculous.
There are, however, online companies who cater to the larger framed individual which leads me onto my next pet peeve – the reliance of the internet to sell goods by major stores.
I was Christmas shopping for presents and I went into HMV for a particular DVD box set for one of my relatives. My local store doesn’t stock it and, as I was going up to London anyway, I thought I’d pick it up at the store on Oxford Street where I saw it last. Unfortunately, the last one was sold a week or so before I went up so I was unable to purchase it but what really annoyed me was that the sales assistant said that he could order it for me but it would be quicker to buy it online. This statement had me mentally shouting “If I could buy it online don’t you think I’d do that rather than walk around the cold streets of London looking for it?” I, however, stopped myself from vocalising that thought.
Yes, there are loads of things I’d like to buy online but to do that you need a credit card, a debit card, an online bank account or the willingness to have your financial information floating around in cyber-space waiting for some unscrupulous hacker to steal. I do not have a credit card or online bank account and I sure as Hell am not going to use my debit card or bank details online for the risk it poses. Websites might have as much security surrounding the financial transactions but that doesn’t stop a determined hacker from getting hold of that information and I’d like to keep what little money I have for myself, thank you very much.
I understand why smaller companies need to utilise the internet for commerce but why do larger stores? They already have large bricks and mortar stores so all they have to do is improve the distribution network that supplies them. If HMV’s online store can get most titles to you within a couple of days, why does it take them so much longer to supply their own stores?
I know I’m probably a dinosaur when it comes to certain things but, when it comes to money, I like to know what I’ve got and spend accordingly so that I don’t find myself in debt. I prefer paper money and coins to plastic so why can’t shops recognise that some people feel the same way and improve their service accordingly? Why can’t the Government make it a legal requirement to offer smaller stores cheaper rents so that they can afford to have bricks and mortar stores so the public can go into a shop to buy the stuff that at the moment they are forced to buy online or not buy at all?
I know we’re heading for the day when hard currency will disappear totally and we’ll all have some kind of implant shoved into our bodies that will allow us to buy stuff just by waving our hand or head over the till. I dread that day as I don’t like the idea of being forced into having an implant or the negative implications for my personal liberty and safety. I also believe that a system such as that would be open to abuse from the Government and offer criminal opportunities for any unscrupulous individual (which includes the Government).
Anyway, pet peeves over…for now.
Until next time…