Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Size 10s

After having lunch yesterday with a friend at a local meat and three (working at a farming magazine for a few months now, and I’m struggling with the “meat” part, so I stuck with the “three”), she asked if I’d mind running with her to get some new tennis shoes (OK, walking, running, aerobic, whatever!). Hers didn’t fit right, and she wanted to get a new pair. Since I’ve had “Get New Running Shoes” (as well as “Start Running Again”) on my to-do list for quite some time, I figured this would be an opportune time for me to do the same.

So right after lunch, we hit the Trak Shak. For a store that sells primarily running shoes, as well as exercise apparel sure to excite only the most eager of athletes, I was surprised at how crowded it was. Apparently a lot of people run these days (or at least a lot of people are thinking about starting back again like me). The guys who worked there (only guys on this day, I might add) were all fit and healthy, exactly what you’d expect of an employee at a running shoe store. They were all dressed as if they’d just gotten off the track, and, come to think of it, they were all kind of hot! Oh, sorry, tangent.

Anyway, so when my guy (tall, lanky, college track-star type) finally came over to help me, I explained what I needed. Size 8 1/2 or 9 running shoes, light, comfy, don’t rub my heels or ankle bones, pretty basic. This is when the questions began. “Well, I used to be a runner and would like to start running again.” “No, I’m not really an athlete right now [as you can plainly see], but I used to be and hope to be again in the near future.” “Well, I don’t know if I’m going to start today, but …” “Yes, I believe I would like your opinion on the form of my foot and the manner of my gait.” I’m sorry, am I here to buy shoes or be interrogated by the exercise police!?!

After watching me walk (“Ma’am, you pronate, so you’ll need a support shoe …”) and measuring my feet (A size what!?!), my guy brought out three pairs of running shoes for me to try on.

All women (especially us “big-boned” ladies) know, deep down, “the bigger your feet, the smaller your self-esteem.” I’ve always wished I wore a cute little size 6, but I never have (well, unless you count first grade). Those cute little size 6s don’t look so cute on my size 9 feet. So when my feet measured a 10 in the store, needless to say I was a bit taken aback. “I just had a baby [almost four years ago]; my feet must have grown since then!” I said abruptly. “Did you measure that right? Is that thing working properly?” “My feet must be swollen; maybe I should come back another time?” Needless to say, I let the cute track-star salesman guy bring me some size 10s to try, and I did so.

I’m sorry, but size 10 women’s running shoes are just not attractive. There’s not one pair out there that is attractive in a size 10! They look like you’re wearing the entire shoebox, not just the shoe! After I’d tried on the three pairs my guy brought me, I asked him if I could try the cute Pumas I’d found perusing on my own. “Sure, you can try them, but they’re not as comfortable as the ones you’re wearing, and they run a little bit higher around the edges,” he said. “But they’re so much cuter than the other ones!” I retorted. “Ma’am, I wouldn’t choose your running shoes based on ‘cuteness.’ ” Who is this "ma’am" person he keeps speaking to?

Right then, as the word “cuteness” finished trickling out of my guy’s mouth, an older lady sitting across from me shot back at him: “Yeah, but you’re a man! You just don’t get it! Get the girl her shoes!” Then she winked at me. Damn skippy!

Even though he didn’t get it (and most guys probably don’t, save the metrosexuals out there who probably wouldn’t date a woman who wears a size 10 running shoe anyway), he got me my shoes, and, as it turns out, they weren’t quite as comfortable as the others, and they kind of rode a little bit too high around the edges. Guess it’s time I start doing my running at night.