Shoe shopping is hell
Allison and I made another pilgrimage to Marshalls today, and I spent a half hour trying on boots, working myself into an obsessive frenzy about whether any of them fit. After agonizing over the decision until I was sweating and nearly had to run screaming from the store, I gave up and bought a pair of London Fogs that are too small for me. I feared as much at the time. Now that I have walked around the house in them, it's been confirmed.
I almost bought a similar pair in another brand instead (I've already forgotten the name), but those ones felt too large, even though they were also size 10. I probably would have been comfortable in a 9 1/2 of that brand and a 10 1/2 of the London Fogs, but there were no half sizes available.
I panicked. I wanted to get the hell out of there, but I didn't want to leave empty-handed. Shoveling snow in hiking shoes with my socks pulled up over the bottom of my jeans, as I did earlier this week, is ridiculous. My wardrobe should be better equipped than that. I should be a better person than that.
The number of times I have purchased shoes and returned them because they are too small makes me shudder. It's at least every other time. The hiking shoes I have now are in this category. I bought them years ago, in New Mexico or someplace out west. The shoes they replaced were basically new—I had bought them for that trip—and I ended up giving them away. I may have abandoned them on a park bench. I couldn't stand to have them in the car with me.
There was also a pair of Nikes in New York about a decade ago that gave me fits; I think I returned them twice.
And many others.
I was complaining to my father about my tendency to buy shoes that are too small for me, and he said, "Well, a lot of people do the same thing."
I couldn't argue with that. But are they as bothered by it as me? As I stood in Marshalls this afternoon, sweating, trying to decide which boots to get, Allison shrugged and said, "Just get those ones, and if they still feel too small at home, you can just return 'em. They have a great return policy."
Of course she's right. It is easy to return things at Marshalls, and besides, she likes going there, so why not just make another trip? Why not, indeed. Why not remind myself again—and again—of how much I hate shopping for clothes, especially shoes. It's maddening.
In the parking lot, I told Allison I might need to lay down for an hour when we got home just to recover.
And yet ... if I prepare myself mentally, perhaps I can enjoy the return trip. At the very least, I should be able to find a pair of boots that fits. In the meantime, I will just have to resist the urge to take the London Fogs—and the infuriating failure they represent—into the backyard and set them ablaze.