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[personal profile] ladyfalcon
Today was a Day of Shopping. Last week I realized my jeans were basically disintegrating around me, had a bunch of weird tears and worn spots, including high up on the thigh area which quickly makes the pants inappropriate to wear while teaching children. And I just got paid. So I had the means and the motive, so off to the mall I went.

One thing I am completely over: hip-hugger jeans. I think America has more or less gotten the memo on this one, but apparently Europe's notice got lost in the mail. For one thing, my hips do not need to be hugged. For another, they make your legs look shorter. And I have 34 inches of leg, if they wind up looking stumpy while I'm wearing your pants, I am not even going to take the blame for that.

(That being said, after years of wearing highwaters back home I should probably just thank god that 34 inches is a standard inseam length in Europe and take whatever other lumps come).

Anyway I was ambivalent about giving my money to the store where my rapidly-dissolving former jeans came from, since it's been only four months and that's a short time for a pair of jeans, which are after all supposedly worker's pants, to wear out. But after fighting with low-rises and weird rinses and oddly trampy embellishments in other places, I bit the bullet and went in, only to find they were having some sort of massive sale, so I got a new pair of jeans for less than $25. This made me happy with the world.

I also decided to pick up a pair of shoes, since my sneakers are a little ratty for teaching and my other comfortable teaching shoes also have their best days behind them. And this is a weird thing about Czech Republic: You remember how in Married... With Children Al Bundy is a "shoe salesman," and that means he actually has to talk to his customers and find them shoes and actually put the shoes on and take them off for them? And how we've pretty much dispensed with this custom in the States? (I mean, I know in department stores you show the attendant your style and they have to go back and hunt down your size, but I pretty much only shop at those big-box stores where all the stock is on the sales floor and it's up to you to find and kill your prey.

Well, in Czech shoe stores, they kind of still have the Al Bundy person. Even in shops where all the stock is there for you to peruse yourself. Usually I can get them to go away by saying I don't speak Czech, but sometimes I get a persistent person who speaks English. And then they always want to know my shoe size.

Here's a tip for clothing salespeople, especially shoe salespeople, who want to talk to me: don't.

I mean, I like my body. It does what I want when I want it. It suits any number of purposes. It slices, it dices, etc. And whenever I get in a mood where I am less than appreciative of its myriad awesomenesses, it has a charming tendency to throw in a cardiac arrhythmia, to remind me in a very basic way of what, exactly, the alternative to embodiment is.

That being said, like any woman, I have my body image issues, and a lot of them for me center around the fact that I have huge feet. Size 42, or 11, or 9, depending on where in the world I am. I don't mind telling you, my internet friends, about this, but for the random person on the street, or a bored-looking Czech Al Bundy out looking for commission, I feel that this is too much information. It takes a fair bit of mental build-up before I'm ready to go shoe shopping, because nine times out of ten it's going to be an exercise in seeing things I desperately want and can't have. To have to talk to someone else in the midst of that is just too much. I don't care if the salesperson really isn't judging me when they ask what my number is and then tell me that they're sorry, but their store doesn't even stock my size, it feels like a judgment and I'd rather not even think about it.

I had a bit of a weird moment today when the sales staff in one store were so aggressive about "assisting" me that I felt it easier to leave than put up with them, then another honestly certifiable moment in another shop where I actually bought a pair of shoes, I realize now at least 80% influenced by the fact that they were the only pair in the whole store in my size. I was hit by buyer's remorse almost immediately, walked around for two minutes, then went back and returned the shoes. Sometimes, it doesn't matter how long I deliberate over a purchase, I have to actually buy something, and then see how it feels to own it for a little while, before I know whether it's something I should buy or not. As a result, I return a lot of things. I am aware this is crazy, you don't have to tell me. If I were sales staff somewhere I would absolutely hate people like me.

In the end though I did wind up with a spiffy pair of white sneakers, that should look very professional if I can just keep them clean.

Then I went to the park and read my book and stocked up on my week's worth of vitamin D, and basically felt very happy and peaceful. I firmly believe in the power of retail therapy, and I have poor impulse control. The reality, I realize, is that it's very good for my bank account that so few people make things I can actually wear.

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ladyfalcon: (Default)

October 2011


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