Strenuous workouts are out. Shopping is in.
Conversations on a run are out. Chatting while sipping tea is in.
Burning major calories is out. Trying not to burn a new recipe is in.
Scheduling my rest day is out. Planning a walk is in.
Climbing trees is probably out. Planting trees is definitely in.
So, things have had to slow down for me over the last couple of weeks, and I am starting to appreciate the new things I get to do because of it. It’s not simply a coincidence that when my athletic prowess came to a screeching halt (okay…so it halted years ago and it has just taken this long for my head to catch on) that I am finally invested in pursuing more feminine activities. I’ve lived my world in the male-dominated sporting and athletic arena, and I feel like I am visiting a foreign country. The only problem is that I don’t know the language, and everyone knows I am a tourist.
I took my four-year-old shopping with me the other day to buy a new pair of jeans. I wanted fashionable and comfortable, and definitely girly. I walked into an extremely trendy store and I am pretty sure silent alarms went off in the headsets of the employees.
“Intruder…intruder…NOT a shopper!!! Everyone look at her with the “Pretty Woman” stare.”
Right about the time I started filing through the clothes at the second rack I realized that I was being watched. I glanced up to see three of the employees, folding clothes at three separate areas, staring at me with a look of disgust.
Panic began to set in and I literally started to sweat.
Thinking to myself…”what the hell does the 30L mean or the 34 r? Since when did womens’ pants start sizing like men’s? I have no idea what size I would be of these.” I look up again, and it is absolutely obvious that these women can read my mind, and they are annoyed that I’m even thinking it.
I started to shift my eyes around the store, and I realized that I was the oldest person in there by probably 10 years. It’s not that they knew I couldn’t shop, they just knew I didn’t know WHERE to shop…and it definitely wasn’t supposed to be there. They knew better than to greet me and it was much easier for me to slink out with my daughter, resigning myself to the fact that I will likely not be in a store like that again until my daughters are old enough to be trendy. Maybe if I was a more seasoned shopper and looked comfortable doing what I was trying to do, I could have gotten away with shopping there. Not as a novice!
When I went to a different store that was better suited for me, I was able to ask the questions I needed about the sizing for pants and I learned how to convert the European sizing to the numbers that I had always known. The employee was incredibly helpful, and I was impressed when she offered to start a room for a different woman in the store who had piles of clothes on her arms.
“Sure, your room will be right back here, and your name is on the door.”
I think I might have had an “I don’t usually shop” sticker on my back because she didn’t ask to start a room for me…she let me find my own way to the dressing room and she never asked my name. Maybe when I go in next time, I will go without a kid on my arm and I will pile with a ton of clothes to see if the reaction is different. I started sweating…again…as I hurriedly tried on the clothes, because I was starting to think I didn’t belong there either.
I have likely burned more calories shopping and curling my hair in the last week than I have been able to burn lightly working out, because for me, I am learning a new language, new techniques, and new strategies because this whole girly girl thing is still “work” for me.