Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Born to Shop

A special part of hell should be reserved for shoe shops and the people who work in them. In my clothes buying and non clothes buying phases alike I've always been forgiving of clothes shops. It's my fault that I'm fat and therefore it's my fault I have to shop in the fat shops. I'm not going to get all stroppy because Warehouse don't sell a size 22. They don't claim to be in that market. I don't want pity or special shops, I want a kick up the backside to get down to a size they do sell.

But when it comes to shoes, that's when I get worked up. I have big feet, and worse than that, they have a tendency to be big and wide (although maybe a little less so these days). Shoe shops don't stock or make my size as standard, and that's where the fun begins. My feet steadfastly refuse to shrink as I lose weight, and I'm not sure they will. Maybe I'll be able to get into a couple more size 8s, or narrow 9s, but I'm not expecting huge changes, and there's very little I can do to improve the situation.

There's usually a poster in the shoe shop saying they stock size 9. (*selected styles only, please ask for assistance). So I ask for assistance and ask them how which size 9s they stock. Bitter experience has taught me that "selected styles" means one or two from the whole shop and it would be useful to know which ones so I know whether it's worth looking more closely at every pair of shoes in the shop. Oh no, they can't tell me that. I have to choose some shoes I like and then they'll go and check them for me. So I choose some shoes. No, they don't have that in a size 9. How about these? 5 minutes later no, they don't have those either. And so it goes on. What makes it worse is that when they eventually do find something, there's still a chance it will be too narrow to fit, particularly if it has to go round my ankle which is still swollen, and always will be, from when I broke it nearly three years ago. Great. I know these things do depend on stock availability, but even if they just had a label, "these shoes come in a size 9", how much easier buying shoes be for me? Or don't claim to sell something that's only available once in a blue moon. You get my hopes up and then you dash them. After a while it just depresses me and I walk out, I have no patience for this kind of thing.

So I was left with an option I've been putting off for a while. There's one shop that makes everything in a 9, and a 9 wide to boot. They even do 10s. The only problem is, it's the fat shop. When I hit size 18 I vowed I'd never set foot inside that shop again, now I had other options. I didn't want to allow myself the thought that I would ever need to shop there again. I wanted to put it behind me. Better to act like fat clothes aren't sold anywhere and cut myself off from the option of buying them. But I really do need work shoes, and I'm running out of options fast. Deep breath time.

On the positive side, it was nice being one of the thinnest people in there. It was also strange looking at the clothes, seeing something that would absolutely swamp me and realising it was the size I used to wear. I could still shop there, of course, but I'd be needing their smallest size, and hopefully even that would be a little baggy these days. I didn't intend to try anything on to find out. God, the insecurity in my head. I hope people don't think I'm here for the clothes. I'm here for the shoes, the shoes. I hope my inner fat voices don't realise that there are shops that sell fat clothes. Walk straight through, focussing on the shoes. Don't look at the clothes. Look at the shoes. I just don't want to be the person who has to shop at the fat shop any more. They saved my life a couple of times by keeping me in clothes, and I don't mean any offence to people who do shop there, but I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be fat.

And after all trauma that they didn't have any shoes I liked.


I'm very excited, I've booked a christmas shopping trip for December and I'm already plotting what to buy. I never really took christmas shopping seriously in the past, as it was a form of shopping, but my new love of shopping is seeping through into other areas (except shoes, obviously). I was half tempted by another day in Dublin on some 1p + tax Ryanair flights. Even with transfers to and from the airport and check in time I'd have been in Dublin from about 9am to 7pm, making it a good days worth. I considered London too, as I've not done any proper christmas shopping there for years. In the end though I plumped for a day in Edinburgh. I've not been up there since 2002, and I found train tickets for pretty much the same price as the Dublin flights, with the advantage that I'd travel from Leeds station and not have to drive over the pennines to the airport and back. I get slightly less time there, I think from about 10.30 til 7, but it's a much shorter day overall once the airport run and check in time at the airport has been taken into account, plus I won't need to pay for parking or stay sober.

I suspect that the main task of the day is going to be the great "Christmas party dress" hunt. That task is bad enough when you have one or two shops to choose from. With the whole of Edinburgh to aim at I dread to think how long it will take. I intend it to be absolutely stunning to really show off what I've lost. I'll hopefully be a comfortable size 14 by then (or possibly smaller), and boy am I looking forward to flaunting it.

This is the change. It's September and I'm already looking forward to going shopping in 3 months time...


Blogger Shauny said...

The best thing about the shops here in Edinburgh is that they're all so close together, so you will have absolutely aaaaaaaaages to shop :) Plus the train station is right there in the middle of it all.

I am just catching up on some of your old entries today! You are so inspiring and motivating! I'm just like the same size/weight as you now so it is a real kick up the arse for me to read someone at the same stage but who is still really motivated. so thanks :)

10:07 AM  

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