I turn 50 in two weeks. I’ve been preparing for months to do this, in my head and in my writing. I took up yoga. I’m ready! Well, I was ready until yesterday. Yesterday, a package I ordered two months ago arrived in the mail.

Two months ago, something else happened too. Right before I ordered this package, I embarked on a big project with two colleagues. We decided to launch a new conference and powered through our first planning meeting full throttle.

In that very first meeting, we decided we wanted to set a fun business casual tone for the event. We dove into all the things, all at once! We talked about big picture goals and programming as well as nitty-gritty branding ideas. We went so far as to declare our intent to wear our brand colours in brightly coloured jackets at the event.

Our vision was taking shape!

Suddenly inspired, and before we had so much as settled on a logo design, there I was searching online for the green jacket I would need. (P.S. There aren’t any unless you want to spend over a thousand dollars.) There wasn’t anything in my brand green anywhere, so I settled on a more emerald tone and found a couple options.

In fact, once I found a couple of green jackets that I liked and clicked on them, then visited the pages a couple times, those jackets followed me every damn place I went on the Internet after that, like the persistent little retargeting drones they are. I was highly impressed and slightly unnerved before becoming annoyed.

“I already bought that!” I would bark at the screen.

I was retargeted by these two particular jackets until I was green in the face. One was a beautiful high-end designer blazer, hundreds of dollars worth of gorgeous. There was another green blazer too, the econo-quality fabric was in a style that looked pretty okay at a very affordable price.

So I clicked on the sizing chart a few times, picturing everything in my mind’s eye. (I should mention here that my ‘mind’s eye’ still thinks I’m a flatter 40 and not a fatter 50.) After I spent time mulling over the Chinese sizing chart and convincing myself that the smaller sizing could work, I pulled out my credit card. Normally, I would buy the large and tell myself that I’ll lose ten pounds by June. But I decided to be smart about it and get the XL, which surprisingly was the biggest size they had — a Chinese XL it was!

Now, that I’m 50 and fatter than I was at forty. I’m no longer a medium-to-large Canadian jacket. At 50, I’m a large Canadian jacket on a good day, and an extra-large most other days just to avoid the stress and anxiety.

With some flimsy reassurance from the comments and reviews I read, I settled on the affordable green jacket that matched the green in my bank account. Thank you, Facebook. Thank you, Google. Thank you, Internet. Thank you, China.

I was all set.

Then yesterday (after two months of waiting patiently and happily postponing that moment-of-truth when my right arm would slip into the right sleeve) my package arrived!

This, my friends, is me in a Chinese XL.
Tina's small XL green Chinese jacket

(Talk amongst yourselves.)

Well shit. I’m a Chinese XXL tall, I guess, or an XXXL tall.

Oddly enough, I still think of myself as a regular-sized human woman, and I MARVEL at the idea that if I ever go to China, I’m going to be an Amazon. (I’d consider going to China, actually, because WONDER WOMAN is an Amazon!)

But the chances of me going to China, are fat. And the chances of me fitting into this jacket five months from now are fatter. In order to fit a Chinese XL, I’ll have to slim down all my middle-age midriff fat, narrow my shoulder blades, shorten my arms, and get a double mastectomy.

(Anyone want to buy a nice green jacket?!)