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clothes are like snowflakes
by reem al-omari (@Reemawi)
2.27.07
general

I bought a pair of shoes the other day. I bought them later in the day-- evening to be exact-- when my feet had apparently swelled up enough to almost fill out the shoes when I tried them on in the store. Of course, when you see a pair of shoes you really want and must have and already have a multitude of outfits to go with them, the last thing on your mind is how your feet have fluctuated. Provided that I'm used to shoes having a bit of a gap in the back nowadays, I didn't pay attention to the normal-looking gap in the back when I tried them on.

When I got home that night, I just left them in the shoe box. The next morning I woke up and saw them sitting there, all shiny and 80s fabulous, waiting for an equally fabulous outfit to compliment them. I had to put them on. They didn't go too well with my pyjamas, but they were still as fabulous as the night before. I was about to do a fashion show with the shoes by walking back and forth around the room, when I noticed that when I took the first step, the shoe fell off my foot. When I put it back on again, I noticed that the normal-looking gap from last night had doubled in size.

"What the?!?!??!!!????" Could I have been that blind in the store? Was it the long jeans I was wearing the day before that obscured the huge problem in the back? I couldn't believe how much bigger than my feet these shoes were... I couldn't believe that I could buy something that wrong. I took the shoes off and checked the size. 7. That's my size all right... or that's at least the illusion I've been living with since I hit puberty.

Shoes and clothes have become like snowflakes. No two are alike. Ever since I hit puberty, I've had size 7 feet. When the shoe requires thick socks, like my running shoes, for example, I end up with a size 7 1/2 shoe. But for the most part, I'm a size 7.

After this experience and the difficulty I've been facing with clothes shopping recently, I see that with the quality of shoes and everything else going down, I apparently must go on wild goose chases to get something that works for me, even though it's labeled as something that ideally should work for me. Perhaps I'm thinking of a utopia, but I should be able to just walk into the store, go to my size and have it fit. The only thing I should worry about is whether it flatters me or not, not whether it zips or not.

So, I have to go to the shoe store.

Again.

And hope that size 6 1/2 isn't too small.


ABOUT REEM AL-OMARI

Reem lives and writes about it. She thinks that's what writers do, anyway. If it's not, then she also has a degree in journalism under her belt, along with the titles of reporter, editor (in chief, even) and, of course, opinion columnist.

more about reem al-omari

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