I guess I don't buy new clothes very often. Usually I buy old clothes that other people have gotten rid of for one reason or another. I always assumed that everyone was getting rid of those clothes because they thought they were ugly, but now I know the real reason. They got rid of their old clothes because new clothes are smaller.
Well, okay, they're not really smaller. But the sizes are. I discovered this today after I tried on six pairs of shorts in the size I thought I wore, then several more in the size I used to wear, then several more in the size I vaguely remember wearing when I was in college, and finally, several more in a size that I'm pretty sure I wore in elementary school. That's right, I bought shorts today three sizes smaller than my regular size. (Or six sizes, if you want to count the in-between sizes that they don't actually make.)
Does this mean that my wonderful plans to exercise from Lent until Memorial Day were wildly successful and I lost 30 pounds and four inches off my waist? Yes, if "wildly successful" means "abandoned after about two weeks" and "30" means "3" and "four" means "zero". But what this really means is that Target has developed an amazing marketing strategy: sell to vanity. They know that the vanity of women runs deep, that women would rather buy a smaller size than a more comfortable dress, that we'll buy shorts with a smaller number on the tag just because it makes us feel skinny again.
But I'm onto them. I'm going to add a one to my lying single digit shorts, making them two sizes too big instead. Besides, I've seen myself naked; I know what size I really am.