What size are you? Only in Israel would I wear a size LARGE in some things, yet be too small for the smallest size in other stores. Go figure. I have never managed to get a handle on women’s clothing here. Here are a few choice moments from a recent shopping expedition:
- On asking a clueless sales-dude what “size 1” means (as in 36, 38, etc.), he said, “Small. I think.” Yes, but what is it in sizes?
- A sales clerk asks me what size I am. I tell her. “Oh, no,” she says, sadly shaking her head, “you’re at least <two sizes larger>.” I am confused, but agree to try on the skirt in the size she says. It is enormous. I ask for a smaller size. “That is the smallest we carry,” she says. Aha. The coin drops. I now understand why she attempted to supersize me.
- “Are you shopping for your mother?” asks a very snooty sales clerk when I accidentally wander into a plus-size shop.
- “Oh, all you have to do is take it in here a bit,” enthuses a sweet young thing. I explain that I would rather not pay their outrageous prices and then pay my seamstress to alter it. Oi.
- “Try this,” suggest another helpful and equally clueless ditz, handing me a skirt that would be age-appropriate for a girl in junior high.
- “How about purple?” in response to my request for a grey skirt. Of course! They are so similar.
- “Why do you want that?” is the quintessential Israeli response whenever you ask for something that they don’t have. (Close second: ein devar k’zeh—as in, “there’s no such thing.”)
I suppose that I should be used to it by now, but sometimes it still annoys the crap out of me.