Oh. So it turns out there is something worse than shopping for plus sized clothes.
Shopping for maternity clothes! Unless you're REALLY into horizontal stripes! In which case, holy fuck this is really your time, my friend.
After several failed attempts to find just regular, normal-looking clothes that don't say "baby bump!" or "boy on board" and aren't littered with weird designs and the aforementioned horrific number of horizontal stripes -- I went shopping! To the mall. Me and my cankles are mighty swollen and angry now.
So listen. A store dedicated strictly to maternity clothing ought to carry normal clothes that are just larger in the belly area. I'll even allow the side-ruching. Ruche away!
But unfortunately, the store I went to today 1) was really small, 2) had mostly shirts with horizontal stripes 3) the remainder of the shirts had those horrible string-ties you're supposed to tie above your belly but I hate them because, hello, they're frigging ugly 4) seemed to believe that being pregnant meant suddenly you have an intense desire to travel back in time to 1983 and wear crocheted stuff, lace, and copious amounts of polyester 5) employed a sales person who tried to convince me to buy a hideous crocheted tunic and a nightgown, which she then explained would be for the hospital after my son tears out of my vagazzle and I need to be wearing diapers or something. According to this 20-year-old, who has a kid, and made sure I knew it.
(It's never going to be OK for strangers to approach me in public and discuss my vagina with me, especially when it comes to the havoc that shall be wreaked upon said vagina when all is said and done. I know it. I don't need a reminder. THANKS.)
(And actually, the sales chick asked me if she could help me find something, so I said I was looking for "a nice shirt." She didn't even pretend there was such a thing as a nice shirt in that store, and instead pointed me toward the aforementioned crocheted nightmare.)
It was a disappointing experience, after striking out at a few other department stores with "maternity sections" that consist of two racks of shitty clothes immediately adjacent to the 3X clothes. I don't want to wear a tent, dudes. I want to wear something cute that's meant for pregnant ladies.
So yeah. The workaround is, as my twitter friends advise: bang your head on the nearest wall; buy basics and wear the shit out of them; wear regular maxi dresses; deal with it.
I'mma deal with it. I have my handful of basics and a couple maxi dresses, and that's pretty much how it's going to be for the next several months.
P.S. I didn't even get into A Pea in the Pod, which ... I mean. $200 for a maxi dress I'll wear for a few months? No.