One Size Fits All

Playing Dress Up Cat Wearing Shirt Tie Shoes Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Dress Up” today, my mind immediately went back to when I was a little kid and would try on my father’s clothes. This was equal parts wanting to be a big kid and wanting to be just like my dad. The shirt was a mess of fabric and it felt like being inside a big tent. Ties were sometimes tied, but more than often it was just a clip-on tie. And the shoes were like two impossibly big leather boats that made me wonder if my dad was actually some kind of giant. It was fun to play like I was him even if I couldn’t actually move one step once I was buried in the too big attire. Indeed, as I grew older, I would grow taller than he was and my feet eventually grew even larger than his. I became a bit thin and gangly as my body stretched out. This meant that when clothes were marked “one size fits all” it never seemed apply to me. And truly, I always thought this claim was a bit of a stretch in itself. We’re all so unique, that things never fit each person in exactly the same way.

Soon this claim on clothes was changed to “one size fits most,” which still didn’t apply to me. I wasn’t even part of the “most” crowd. I imagined they all attended the same parties and talked about how they were all mostly the same. Those parties sound perfectly dull, so I was never worried that I wasn’t a part of that club. These days, I still can never usually find a pair of jeans that fit me at the store. They’re all too short in the leg. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be a bit shorter. While I’d certainly get access to more clothes, I certainly think I’d miss the view. My mother is much shorter and used to always look up at me and ask, “how’s the weather up there?” This was a rhetorical question, but it made me wonder if the change in altitude had any effect. After all, I did always seem to have my head in the clouds.

What I’ve learned over the years is that it’s fine to be different and not exactly like most people. Indeed, it’s actually a bit more fun. As a “creative type” I’ve always been used to thinking a bit differently as well. To me, it’s always felt like a gift. Though sure, sometimes I’d find myself at parties getting a completely blank expression from whomever I was chatting with at the moment. I’d break all of the rules of polite conversation and just say whatever came to mind. This, I suppose, is startling for the “most” crowd. There’s apparently a list of assorted banal things one is meant to discuss instead. But, I was never able to understand the point of that. Can you believe how sunny it was today? The sun isn’t something we actually share in common. It’s something that exists with or without us. I can’t learn anything important about a person with a conversation like that. So I just stopped going to such parties, and I’m sure I’m not missed. I’m equally certain that I’ll simply never be a very good fit whenever the goal is one size fits all.

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Playing Dress Up Cat Wearing Shirt Tie Shoes Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail
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30 Comments
  1. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Absolutely wonderful, Charlie!! Happy weekend!!!

  2. writerleenda 1 month ago

    Charlie you are not alone. My mother was 5″10″ and one of her brothers was 6’7″. They would dress him in a top hat and put him on a unicycle for the MayDays parade every year. I am the family squirt. In those days they didn’t have clothing for tall people so arm and leg lengths were always cropped. Oops I haven’t drawn my sketch yet. I will do that right now.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      So glad I’m not alone! Yeah, sometimes I think they still haven’t figured out clothes for tall people! hehe 😉

  3. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    The one aunt I had on my father’s side was quite tall at 5’9″ for a woman of the day, especially since she was Scottish/Irish. My poor uncle was so jealous of her at 5’5″ (as was my grandfather). Both of her daughters were tall, so I really hoped I might be. My 5’3″ height was one of the biggest disappointments of my life. I don’t think much about it these days, unless I’m trying to get something off the top shelf at the store. Then I curse my genes a little bit!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      I’m always the one at the store who gets asked to help get that thing off the top shelf! 😉 hehe

  4. Linda Kennedy 1 month ago

    I am so happy to have landed on this website. I love the daily doodles and also your commentary, so quirky and thoughtful and fun.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 So thrilled you found Doodlewash! Hope you’ll stay and enjoy it more!

  5. Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

    Okay, let’s do the math: we have established that you are cuter than a Corgi, you have blue eyes that can melt butter, and now you’re telling us that you’re tall, which is sexy and the first thing I asked the Lord for in a husband? I think I may bake you some cookies. 💜💜💜 haha haha I ‘m teasing you! 😋😋 I agree with you on the “one size fits all” meant ” except chubbies. ” I HATED buying school clothes because back then, they didn’t include chubby kids. Old pictures show that I wasn’t THAT chubby, but for the time, I was treated like Godzilla. Upside was that I had cool clothes (adult clothes) and wasn’t reduced to wearing a pink t-shirt with some cat on it. haha My mother has always taught me to purchase or have or do things that no one else has. Why have the same as everyone else, she would ask. Of course, with a name like Marisela, you’re already pretty unique. Plus, with my personality…..forget about it! I was always a popular kid, but the one with a good head on her shoulders. You are absolutely right, Charlie. It is fabulous to be unique! The Lord created us to be unique. He doesn’t do “cookie cutter” in anything! Oh, believe me, I have gotten the scrunchy, frowny face at church. It seems everything is “wrong” with me. NOT! I think it’s pronounced JEALOUS.💜
    Side note: My abuelita (grandma) died when my dad was about 7 or 8 years old. No pictures exist that we know of and with a tight-lipped grandfather, she was a mystery. I badgered my grandfather with dozens of questions that he refused to answer. He never remarried even though he was only 27 when she died. My hateful cousins teased me because I wasn’t like them (thank God). My grandfather heard them one day and pulled me aside. He swore me to secrecy and said that out of all of his kids and grandkids and great-grandkids, I was the only one who was like my grandmother. He saw her in me. WOW, what a moment. I had her bubbly, loud, funny, bright personality, which brought her much grief for the time that they lived in. It wasn’t lady -like. They tried to force her to not have her personality. I understood. My father (scrunchy old man) hated my personality. It was okay. I was in good company. 💜 Priscilliana Soto Delgado and I had a bond.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww I think you’re perfect just as you are, Marisela! 😃💕 Yeah, there’s no need for a cookie cutter approach in life… it’s way too boring. And that’s wonderful that you take after your grandmother. She must have been lovely as well!

      • Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

        Awww, shucks, Charlie. I was trying to make you blush, but you made me blush instead. 💜 Thank you for such a wonderful compliment. You ‘re pretty sweet yourself! 😋

  6. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    Wonderful Charlie! This made me remember two things. My cousin would put doll dresses on her cat which was tolerated for a short while before running off to hide. The other was trying on my mom’s fancy dresses that she had before I was born. They made me feel like a princess until I was caught which never went well.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 hehe! I love those stories. Particularly you trying on your mom’s fancy dresses. Fun! Except the getting caught part, I guess.

  7. Fascinante, Charlie, me gusto

    • Lisa 1 month ago

      Some days I keep my night shirt on all day. Fine except when someone comes to the door. I have surprised a few folks with my casual Friday attire. When we first moved here there was no one around and I picked beans in my pjs!. Now I have four news houses near and I have to watch myself.

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

        hehe! Picking beans in PJs sounds like a blast indeed! 😃💕 Honestly, in these quarantine times, everyday is super casual with me now! Kinda nice!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Muchas gracias, Eduardo! 😃💕

  8. Nellie Nellie 1 month ago

    Well Charlie , I can tell you the weather down here can be different! Sometimes at parties it rains beer and pretzels on people my height😆 That’s why I don’t go to the same ol’ parties either. As a person perpetually hemming and rolling sleeves I have to admit a bit of vertical envy growing up😉 That little kitten has a look of wonder, so he needs blue glasses, he wants to grow up and be you!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Hehe… I decided to make this Little Charlie who wasn’t wearing glasses yet. And I bet the weather down there is perfectly lovely. Whatever we actually are is always the loveliest thing indeed!

  9. Gary Middleton 1 month ago

    Great doodle, Charlie.

  10. LoriCtoo 1 month ago

    Ah, he brought a giggle to me this morning. Something I could use this morning. We woke to fog and cooler temps this morning, so that is good. The smoke is still very bad. I guess they are saying our air quality is the worse in the world right now. Telling us to not go outside, unless necessary. We’ve had a lot of practice these past months! Rain still not until Monday, but the winds have shiffted from the west and that is what they needed. It’s blowing the fires away from residential areas. This weekend can’t get over any faster.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Glad this brought a giggle, Lori! 😃💕 Ugh… here’s to rain and a cold front all at once to slow that all down. Sending you much love my friend!

      • LoriCtoo 1 month ago

        Thank you, things were calmer this weekend. Sort of eerie. Still no rain.

  11. Mugdha 1 month ago

    Hello Charlie,

    That kitten looks like I felt as a kid when trying out the “normal” clothes for kids my age. Everything for other people my age was always too big or long for me and I still struggle to get the right sized shoes. So please don’t wonder how it would be to be a bit shorter. Its no fun. Though I did master one thing – cheekily retorting “all good things ONLY come in small packages” to any tall people who teased me for being so short. Recently when I read that Queen Victoria was my height (4′ 10″) I waa ecstatic! And yes, seemingly normal party conversations don’t make any sense to me either. If I’m forced to attend a gathering, I usually end up finding myself a corner no one will (hopefully) notice – again, that’s one of the rare times being short is a blessing. So celebrate your being tall… unless you get dragged to a party. 😉

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 That’s a lovely way to look at things. Yeah… being tall at a party is not a good thing at all. SO tough to hide. And I think good things DO come in small packages, so you should always celebrate that!

  12. Priscilla DeConti 1 month ago

    I too used to dress up for fun especially the makeup part. today no makeup low hair maintenance. one size does not fit all..I was the petite one not so today. In any case I think it is great we are different, makes for a better world…and yep those parties were dull and boring thank goodness I don’t go to them today either..And like yourself I have always been a little different than those around me..and I like it!😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Yes indeed, my friend! Yay for being different! 😃💕 Life is SO much more fun that way!

  13. Kathy Delumpa Allegri 1 month ago

    Absolutely lovely, Charlie! I’m quite the opposite, height-wise, so, I’d swim in one-size-fits-all anything. Parties—I look forward to fun gatherings with eclectic, diverse, and creative friends, once again, the dance music, laughter, and food!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Kathy! 😃💕 Yay to the return of parties with creative friends! Those are the kind I love… but still a small group of them at a time. 😊hehe

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