Walk of Shame

Readers!  Have you ever had to do the walk of shame?  I don’t mean any of these.  I’m talking about something different.  Here’s the scenario:

You wake up one day and realize that you never wear real pants anymore.  Mostly only sweats, usually with shorts over the top.  You realize that you’ve only got one pair of pants that still fit you, and they’re about 10 years old, threadbare, and covered in paint splotches.  You’ve put off buying new pants because you don’t want to admit that you’ve gone up a few sizes, but you finally convince yourself that you should just go buy some new pants.  You know, just to wear until you lose some weight and can fit into the 15 pairs of pants sitting in your closet.

But then you realize something awful: the only pants you can fit in to wear to the store are sweats.  You feel a little better about it because you’ve smartly paired them with some shorts, but you’re still not that excited about wearing sweats to the store to buy new pants.

Feeling like you have no other choice, you slip on your sweats & drive to Sears.  That’s when it hits:  the walk of shame.  It’s when you’re walking around Sears browsing for new pants while wearing sweat pants.  And everyone knows that the reason you’re shopping for new pants in sweats is because you’re too fat to fit into any of your other pants.

So you pick up a few pairs of pants and head towards the dressing room, trying to avoid eye contact with the dressing room attendant. The walk of shame.  She sees you coming, eying your sweat pants.  You want to think she doesn’t realize what’s happening – that she thinks you’re just some guy who likes wearing sweat pants while shopping for real pants.  But everyone knows the truth.  She’s seen it before – the frown on your face, the way you slouch as you walk.  You look away, hoping she won’t call you out on your embarrassing situation.

“How many?” she asks.

“One,” you admit.

“It’s really come to this?” you hear her thinking.  “What’s happened to you?  Get yourself together.”

“Go ahead,” she says without looking up from her iPhone.

Relief.  There’s no telling what someone less compassionate may have said.

Finally hidden in the solitude of the dressing room, you pull up a pair of pants two sizes larger than you’ve ever worn before.

“Oh, Shit,” you say under your breath.

“Do you need me to get you another size?” the attendant calls out.  You didn’t realize she could hear you.

“No.  They fit perfectly,” you confess.

Your imagination begins to take over. Your gut grows larger and larger inside the small dressing room.  Your pants get tight & finally the button shoots off at about 100 mph.  Your shirt splits down the middle as your chest quickly expands.  You grow larger and larger until you fill the entire dressing room.  Then your expanding gut begins knocking down walls.  Buildings cannot contain you.

You allow this daydream to consume you for almost a full minute, and then begin to wonder if you should buy the pants that fit, or buy a few sizes to larger to save you from having to make the walk of shame again next month.  You want to wear the new pants out of the store, but you’re worried it will create an awkward situation at the register as you try to explain to the 16-year-old employee about how “30-year-olds are different and can’t easily control the size of their gut” so you decide to just wear the sweat pants again.

When you finally decide which pants to buy, you make the second walk of shame – this time from the dressing room to the cash register.  The situation is painfully obvious to everyone.

“HA!  Look at THIS fatty!  He’s wearing those sweats because he’s too enormous for any of his other pants!” they think.

“They’re just more comfortable, ok?” you want to shout back in your own defense. But you know they’ll see through your ruse.

After you finally exit the store and escape the judgments of 16-18  year old teens working the Sears counter, you’re emotionally defeated.  You shudder at the thought of what might have happened if you had tried to enter a store with a little more class, like JC Penney.  You reminisce about brighter days – back when you were so slender that you preferred the fit of women’s jeans – you fondly recall the days when you had to start wearing a belt with your size 6 women’s jeans to keep them from falling off.  As you drive home, you start to feel your stomach rumbling, telling you it’s time to eat.  Searching for comfort, you stop for dinner at KFC – where sweat pants are the norm and nobody judges you if you have to sit on two chairs at once.

So readers – ever done the walk of shame?

No?

…yea ….me neither.

13 comments to Walk of Shame

  • Ugh, I hate it when you realize that your pants aren't fluke pants, you just don't fit into the amount of space that you used to. But, let's look at the positives:

    1. If you're only two sizes up from when you were so skinny you had to WEAR WOMEN'S PANTS, you're not fat by any means.

    2. You won't have to wear sweatpants in public again. Anyone who sees you from here on out will just be all, look at that normal-sized man, wearing normal pants.

    3. No more women's pants. Dude. Srsly. Bro.

  • Stephanie, thanks for pointing out the positives. For the record, I'm def more than 2 sizes away from the size 6 I mention in the post, and I've entirely phased women's pants out of my wardrobe. Emo is behind us now.

  • Well at least you had the good sense to go to sears for your pants. If you ever want to feel real shame you should have gone to Ambercrombie, The Buckle, Hollister, or Express in your sweats. Their staff isn't trained to deal with "frumpy" customers… it causes them severe distress.
    I have done the walk of shame before and I shall do it again…

    Ps. My word verification was mantarc. LOL I don't know why but those things crack me up.

  • Were they those jeans you wore on Saturday? Those were pretty nice (and new looking). I think you chose wisely.

  • Tacy – Sears and I have a pretty good working relationship. I know exactly what I will find there – and most importantly, the Sears at the MOA has a door directly outside – which means I can enter and exit Sears without ever having to see the rest of the mall. ..now if I could find a reliable and conveniently located place to find pants without visiting any malls, that would be ideal.

    Ben,
    Yes, those were the new pants. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

  • Totally done it. And will have to do it again soon after ripping a hole in the crotch of my pants this afternoon.

  • Emily,
    Setting aside my curiosity about how such a thing happens, I'll just say that you're describing a whole new level of awkward.

  • Lilly

    Nope. Not that walk of shame. bahaha.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, you're never 'Finally hidden in the solitude of the dressing room' because of the surveillance.

    I am glad you were able to find solace in fast food – I have done so many times.

  • Have you heard David Sedaris' story about his sister taking him shopping; she gets him to buy women's pants because they fit him better. Then he goes to the mens room, walks up to the urinal and realizes he has to unzip from the side…

  • Lilly, it sounds like you should share your walk of shame experiences with us.

    Anonymous, you are more paranoid about surveillance cameras in dressing rooms than I am..

    david, I haven't heard it, but it sounds funny.

  • Reuben, you made my day. I'm still giggling, as I sit here in pants that I bought when I was 4.5 months pregnant with my last kid (who is quickly approaching the age of four). Maybe you hava a date with the Get in Gear run too?

  • Is it still considered a walk of shame if you have Grillz?