Transplanted Life
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
The new wardrobe
Wow, that was a lot of rain.

Carter couldn't just make it easy for me. I understand his desire not to go out in public; I basically had to be threatened. It is, in a way, so tempting to try and pull something similar ("If you don't meet me after work, I'm telling people who you are"), but I don't want to be that person. I want to be the supportive, helpful person I didn't have; I want him to feel safe and not afraid; I basically want to be a good role model.

It's just a matter of inconvenience, but when I called home at 4:30 to see if he could meet me at BioSoft so that we could exchange the clothes Janet Haskins bought after work, he said he wasn't comfortable leaving the apartment. Couldn't I just bring them with me to work, check on the sizes, and just do it myself? I told him it didn't work that way for women, that the fashion industry had the screwed-up idea that putting a smaller size number on an article of clothing would make women more likely to buy it, but that since they didn't do this in any consistent fashion, you have to try everything on to make sure it fits. It's a real pain in the neck, but there's no getting around it. After nine months I've become able to figure out if something will fit me by eyeballing it, but you...

Still, he wants me to come pick him up. I grumble a little about what a pain in the neck the B-Line is, but since I figure otherwise he won't leave at all, I say I'll do it.

If you've never had to deal with the "B" spur of the MBTA's green line, it's awful. There's a million scheduled stops, and since it's a trolley, past Kenmore Square, it stops at traffic lights. And maybe, if it's stopped at a red light, folks might get on and off there, too, slowing us down. And then my apartment is another five or ten minutes' walk from the Harvard Street station... At least Carter's ready and we can just turn back around, head back to the T stop... And that's when it starts raining. At first it doesn't seem like much, but by the time we're back downtown there's thunder and lightning.

Carter, meanwhile, is sure that everyone on the subway is staring at him like he's some kind of freak. I tell him that the very idea wouldn't enter into most of their minds. Maybe if he was still wearing Sam's goth-style clothes and makeup, they'd be staring at him, but that right now he looks like any of a million college students in Boston. He still insists people are watching him, so I tell him it's probably just my boobs. I'm actually wearing an outfit where they don't look huge, but he accepts it.

Finally, we get back to Filene's (and I thank my lucky stars that (a) Mrs. H did all her shopping in one place and (b) it's accessible underground, even if you do have to know your way around the Park Street and Downtown Crossing stations pretty well to get there), locate the customer service desk, and explain the whole "Sam's mother meant well but didn't have a clue what her daughter liked" thing. We get store credit and start looking around.

It winds up being pretty straightforward - Carter wants slacks, shirts, and sneakers, so we go for that, adding a couple big, shapeless sweaters for cold days. We're done well before they close, get back on the subway, and head out. As soon as we get back to Allston we see how bad it's raining, and that's when we realize that in keeping hold of all the shopping bags, we'd left the umbrella on the train. So we basically just run back, getting good and soaked.

Carter does admit that it feels good to get into some clothes that fit. The next challenge is going to be getting him to start wearing a bra. Sure, Samantha's breasts are pretty small and likely don't need much in the way of support, but after running through the rain, it's pretty clear that they exist.

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