I found lady shoes in my size! And I didn’t even have to leave the country!
Now, I know this may not qualify as a miracle in your book, but it should be obvious to you by now that we’re reading from two totally different books here.
You see, I have large feet — even by American standards. I usually wear an American size 10 or 11, which is a size 42 or 43 in China.
Even in the States, I have trouble finding shoes that fit me. Or, at least, shoes that fit and are cute at the same time. Because, apparently, shoe designers think girls with big feet don’t like cute things.
Either that or all the big-footed-girls have beat me to the cute things.
But finding cute lady shoes in my size in Asia is pretty much impossible.
Heck, finding any shoes in my size in Asia can be tricky.The last time I bought new running shoes in China, I had to buy the largest pair of men’s shoes they had available.
The shop attendant thought I was totally kidding and kept on trying to get me to cram my feet into smaller shoes. When she finally realized that I wasn’t playing some elaborate game of Mess With the Local, she got this look on her face.
It was like a combination of horror and disbelief.
Probably because she was worried I might start marauding around town eating helpless village folk.Before my trip to the Harbin this past January, I spent days scouring every single store in Wuxi searching for a pair of boots that would fit me.
The night before my trip, I finally found a pair of Uggs-like boots in my size in one of the grocery stores.
They’re really huge and make my feet look even more Sasquatch-like than usual.
In fact, it’s possible they’re not even boots, but slippers for giant people who never leave the house for fear of sending the village people into a panic. Or possibly they’re hoof-coverings for cows or some other large livestock animals.
But, hey, they kept me from freezing off any of my toes as I was scrambling around in all the ice and snow. This was a good thing as I kind of like my toes. Even though, losing a few of them might mean I could, quite possibly, fit into a size eight. Do you know how many cute shoes I could buy if I were a size eight? I mean, do you?I knew before I moved to China that I would have trouble finding shoes here, but I still only brought two pairs of shoes with me. I didn’t even bring a pair of sandals because, apparently, I thought my feet would have to be fully covered the entire time I was in China.
You see, I was going through this really annoying minimalist stage in my life right before I moved here. I had just spent a year roughing it in Southeast Asia during which I wore the same pair of flip-flops every single day. That is when I was being all fancy by wearing footwear. Quite often I was barefoot as shoes aren’t really recommended in the rice paddy — as you need your toes to help you grip the mud so you don’t fall down so much.When I arrived home, I started giving away all my personal belongings without a worry in the world that I might actually, you know, need some stuff in China.
Because, hey, I was a rolling stone!
This rolling stone didn’t need strappy sandals! Or really any sandals! At all!
All I needed was two pairs of sensible black flats, and I’d be fine, right?
Well, this rolling stone might not have gathered much moss.
But my shoes certainly have.
Or maybe that’s mold they’ve been gathering.
Either way, after a year of non-stop wear, my two pairs of shoes are on the brink of disintegration.
I knew the day would come when I’d either have to break down and buy some men’s dress shoes so I’d have something appropriate to wear to work. Or get really crafty with some super glue and spray paint.And then the miracle happened.
Yes, that miracle.
I was in this huge sporting goods store in Shanghai this weekend, when I rounded a corner and spotted a big huge rack of sporty Mary Jane shoes. And there at the very tippy top of the rack was a pair in my size.
Now, I’m not usually into sporty shoes. Mostly because I’m not really into sports. Or really anything that reminds me of gym class.
But I knew I needed those shoes.
They had flowers on them, you guys. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve been able to buy shoes with flowers on them? I mean, do you?Unfortunately, the pair I needed was way out of my reach. They were at least eight feet up because, apparently, any lady with feet as large as mine must also be some kind of giantess.
But I wasn’t about to let that stop me from getting them. I positioned myself below the rack and started jumping up and down. And waving my arms frantically above my head. And grunting. Loudly.
This didn’t work.
I glanced around in search of a salesperson to help me.
There was no one.
I found this a bit odd as in most stores in China there always seems to be a salesperson hovering around trying to convince you to buy something they think you totally need – like two pounds of laundry detergent or individually packaged chicken feet.
But for some reason there was no staff to be seen that day. It’s possible they were all just hiding in the backroom waiting for the big-footed, grunty, white woman to go away and not eat any of them.Undeterred, I came up with a genius plan to throw one of the smaller pairs of shoes from a lower shelf at the larger pair of shoes on the top shelf in the hopes of dislodging them.
I should probably mention here that I’m not particularly good at throwing stuff. Or at least, I’m not good at throwing stuff at any kind of target. I can throw stuff. But there’s really no telling where that stuff might land.
But, hey, being surrounded by all those athletic goods kind of made me feel athletic — or at least like a person who was born with hand-eye coordination.
Luckily for me, my scheme totally worked.
The shoes tumbled into my hands.
I shoved them on to my feet.
And they fit.
I’m telling you guys, it was just like that moment at the end of Cinderella. Except these shoes weren’t made of glass. Plus, I don’t remember Cinderella having to hurl stuff around in the middle of a sporting goods store. She probably just had some mice do that for her.
And, then, as I was moseying through the sandal aisle, I came across this pair of lovely lady sandals in my size. Look, they have flowers on them, too! And I didn’t even have to throw anything to get them.
Seriously, it was like the sporting goods store of miracles! Miracles, I say!
(Yes, yes, I know. This is not your definition of the word “miracle.” But, if the word “miracle” can be used to describe a type of mayonnaise, I’m pretty sure I can use it to talk about shoes.)Have you ever had a shopping miracle? What did you buy?