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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: The Long and Short of It
By Allison Egley


Looking at my "to-do" list for the day, I let out a groan. Shopping. Now, shopping in and of it's self isn't too bad. Grocery shopping isn't too bad, I could lose myself for hours in a bookstore, and I'm still waiting for kids so I can have an excuse to spend an hour at the toy store. It's clothes shopping that is my sworn enemy. As I look at the list, every item falls into this category.

I trudge my way to the car and drive to the local mall. The first item is a new pair of jeans. Well, that shouldn't be too hard. All I have to do is find the section with the big crayons as decorations. You see, I am shorter than about ninety-five percent of the adult female population, so I still get to shop for my jeans in the kids' department! Yay!

I remember once the cashier explained the exchange policy. "If your child wears out the jeans before she outgrows them, the store will replace them for free!" she explained excitedly.

"I'm pretty sure the policy doesn't apply if the person wearing the jeans is over the age of twenty-one and no longer growing," I snapped. That shut her up pretty quickly. I paid for my jeans and looked at the next item on the list: dress pants. Since these are a bit more form fitting than jeans, I have to move over to the petite department. So far, I have only found one brand of pants that works well for me, and even then, only if I buy size zero or two petite short. Now let's see here... size zero, petite, and short. Let me check with my mathematician friends.... Yes. I'm pretty sure that rounds to "small to the third power." "Small cubed," if you'd like. After scouring the racks and looking at every single label, I finally find the correct size. I try them on, just to make sure, and discover I'll still have to take them up an inch or so. Thus is the life of a twenty-something year old in the body of a twelve-year old.

Next is a dress shirt. This proves to be another formidable challenge. For, while I may be stuck in the body of a twelve-year-old, the body has some extra... bulk in a rather... strategic place. Even in the petite department, unless it's a knit top that stretches, it will fit in the shoulders, but not "down below" or it will fit "down below" but not in the shoulders. Yay. After searching every store in the mall, I finally find something that will fit... in the last store. It's always in the last place you look, isn't it?

The last things on my shopping list are shoes. One pair of tennis shoes and one pair of dress shoes, to be exact. Most members of the female half of the species love shopping for shoes. I am not one of them. This is another area where all I have to do is look for the large crayon. I wear a size two in shoes, or a two-and-a-half if I'm lucky. It's quite depressing to see shoes with cartoon characters on them in my size. They don't exactly promote the "mature" look I'm going for. Neither do shiny black dress shoes with straps across them. Now, I realize that pink and even purple are very popular colors for shoes, even in the women's sizes. For me, however, they just make me look younger than I already look. To add insult to injury, in some stores, my shoe size is listed under the "preschool" section. Great. Maybe when I'm a preschool teacher, I'll just ask the kids where they shop for shoes. Well, to make an excruciatingly long story short, I did finally find some shoes that weren’t shiny and black or pink and purple with flowers and cartoon characters on them. However, it took me six hours.

While I may have trouble finding clothes I like which look good on me, I do have one comfort. I am made in God’s image. He must have a sense of humor. Even if people look at the outside of a person, the Lord looks at the heart.* For that, I am forever grateful.


Author’s notes:

Scripture taken from I Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

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This article has been read 1161 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/08/07
Heh heh, I can so identify! In my case I'm as thin as a twelve-year-old and have *nothing* "in the stratigic place", yet I'm 5'6". Meaning pants are either so big around I could fit five of me in them, or they only come up to my knees. Shirts at least I can usually buy in the kids section as long as they aren't very fitted.
Leigh MacKelvey03/10/07
Oh, this was enjoyable! Oh, if I only had the same problem! I'd jump for joy if I could by a size 1 jeans. Guess we all want something different. I loved the conversational tone and the humor. The ending was a pleasure to read. Well written piece.
Jacquelyn Horne03/12/07
I always enjoy reading about others' plights. This is one I have never encountered, even through friends. It must be frustrating. Good job of relating this story. And I loved the ending.
Laurie Glass 03/12/07
I love this, I can so relate, and thanks for speaking out on behalf of all of us little people in the world. :) If I have to hear one more person say how easy it is to shop for small sizes, I won't be held responsible for my actions! lol
Jen Davis03/12/07
A cute story and a "fitting" title. I enjoyed the humor. “Let me check with my mathematician friends.... Yes. I'm pretty sure that rounds to "small to the third power." "Small cubed," if you'd like.” I chuckled at this line too: “It's quite depressing to see shoes with cartoon characters on them in my size.” I feel for ya. Have you tried internet or catalog shopping? :-)
Jan Ackerson 03/12/07
This is so cute--what a great tone you've used! Lots and lots of grinny bits here.

Be careful of it's self / itself.

Your tone was conversational and relatable, just as if we were sitting together and having a chat. Very nice.
T. F. Chezum03/12/07
I like this. You did a good job. I especially like how you wrapped it up ... being made in God's image.
Cassie Memmer03/13/07
Cute! Reminded me of Erma Bombeck's style. Very entertaining. Great job!
Bonnie Way03/13/07
Really liked this story. I think we can all identify... I'm a nice "hour glass" shape and even then can't find clothes to fit. Find a friend who sews. :) I loved how you tied it up at the end with being made in God's image - He created us all just the shape we are (no matter what the stores say about one size fits all!). :)
Joanne Sher 03/14/07
Perfect title - and I love the conversational tone. Great close too!
Sara Harricharan 03/14/07
Aww, this is great! I've always wondered what it's like to shop from down there when in reality you're grown up(21+) and having to deal with people who think you're 10. Great title for this and I love the descriptions, especially the piece with shoe shopping. Excellent writing! ^_^
Joanne Malley03/14/07
Very nicely done! I enjoyed the lesson you used to wrap up your story. Blessings, Jo
Catrina Bradley 03/14/07
I like the casual tone of your writing here. Very amusing and an entertaining read. The ending and the scripture is perfect!
Julie Arduini03/15/07
This was a fun romp through the kids' department! You made us feel for the character without patronizing her. I can relate with my voice, I still have people ask if my mom is home when people call and I'm in my late 30's!