Most of the time, I don’t feel like a giant.
There have been a few times when I have felt like one.
When I sprouted from a normal 5′ tall to a 5′ 8″ amazon height in the fifth grade . . . then I felt like a giant.
It probably didn’t help that my classmates called me Amazon Woman (the fragile female adolescent ego doesn’t take that so well).
But, eventually the boys caught up, and I felt pretty much normal again. Tall, but not so tall that I felt like a freak.
When I went to Bangladesh, there I felt like a giant. I was very much the giant among the Lilliputians. I towered over many of the men, much less the women. I pretty much felt like a sideshow freak for most of my three months there. I was a novelty to them I’m sure, this big, white haired giant of a woman with the strange colored eyes.
They’re probably still talking about me today, twenty years later. “Do you remember when that giant girl who said she was young, but who must have been old, because she had white hair, came to visit? Do you remember her strange eyes . . . and so huge! Do you remember her feet!” and then they shudder at the outlandish freakishness of the memory. . .
Yep. I will become a myth passed on to their children. Maybe I’ll morph into and angel over the years, or maybe a vampire or a demon as the stories are re-told.
That could be kind of cool. The big white-haired freak will become their boogey man. I’ll keep their children from sneaking out of bed at night. I’ll be the tale to spook the little children into obedience. Awesome.
Perhaps I have a complex. Maybe it’s residual PTSD from the experience . . . I went to help, and instead I left pathologically warped. So much for karma!
Yep, definitely felt like a giant then!
But, for all of that, I am not so tall that I haven’t at times felt downright small.
(Okay. Maybe I should restate that. On one lone occasion I felt small. And maybe it doesn’t count. Standing next to a 6′ 7″ Scandinavian freak of nature probably isn’t fair to count . . . )
So, maybe the idea of feeling small is foreign to me, BUT I don’t usually feel like a freak outside of the aforementioned unique circumstances.
And when I go shoe shopping.
Yep, shopping for shoes does it every time.
Look at me! The big ol’ giant with the ginormo feet!
When shopping for shoes in Bangladesh, (the sandals I brought broke) I became a spectacle of enormous (catch the pun, haha, enormous, taheehee) proportions. When I, using halting Bangla, communicated what I was after, the shop attendants started staring at my feet (no no, that’s too polite, gawking would be more accurate), talking rapidly, all the while using great hand gestures to express their awe at my greatness (catch it, another pun . . . aren’t I hoot!).
Picture it. The one blond head towering over them, and a crowd of little men beckoning other little men forward to stare at the anomaly, feet the size of . . . well, I doubt they had a decent comparison! Quite literally, a crowd of people started jockeying for position, all to get a glance of these feet. I was the bearded lady. I was the freak they didn’t need to pay to see.
And this is when I wore a size 10 shoe.
But then I got married, and had this wonderful idea that having a slew of little babies would be fantastic!
If someone had told me that my feet were going to get even bigger as a result, I think I may have changed my mind!
Who needs affection and cuddles when your feet are at stake!
Alas, no one warned me, and I got pregnant not once, but four times.
Little Serena did minimal damage. She was little. I stayed little. My feet stayed in the realm of . . .well, at least not obscenely huge by American standards.
But then I got pregnant with my son, all 9 pounds 13 ounces of him.
I turned into a whale.
My poor feet had to carry said whale around.
My feet, large though they were, were not made to carry around a whale.
In protest, they spread. They morphed from feet into flippers.
Yes, I am now known as “she of the flipper feet.”
Thank you, Gavin.
I did not just go up a size. Oh, no.
I went up a size and a half. From an, “I can get shoes anywhere” 10, to an
“I’m sorry, we carry shoes not . . .whatever it is you call what you put on your feet” 11 1/2.
I don’t know where it is they expect us giants to shop. I sure haven’t figured it out.
Even places that used to carry shoes in my size, are no longer carrying them.
Out of desperation, I used to wear the cheap faux shoes at Payless, because at least I could make them fit (If I tried really, really hard . . .think Drizela from Cinderella–“They do fit . . . I tell you they do . . . ” as I force my foot into an obviously too small shoe . . .).
But these days I have about four choices at Payless.
Ugly, UGLY, UGLY-ASS and
“Dear God, would anyone be caught dead wearing those!”
Just because I have huge feet, does it mean I have to be completely lacking of any sense of style! I mean, seriously!? Grandma shoes! That’s what you’ve got for me? Really?! Nothing but, God awful, so ugly even my grandma wouldn’t wear them, shoes! Come on! I’m a girl too–if a giant one!
So, over the last few weeks, I went to store after store, and left deflated.
No shoes at the store for me (I felt like Mary being turned away from inn after inn–rejected, unwanted, marginalized!).
Finally, in desperation, I scoured the internet, and scoured some more. Finally (do you hear the chorus of angels singing?) I found shoes in my size.
So I bought some.
And I bought some more.
And, “Oh! Those boots are so cute! And they have them in my size?!” so I bought some more.
I went a tiny, tiny bit crazy.
My inner girl could finally, after a decade of plastic, too tight trendy shoes or comfortable ugly-ass grandma shoes, come out and not only play, but downright dance a jig.
So, yeah, I bought a few pairs of shoes. . .
And then my husband saw the bank statement . . . (damn it! The one day he beats me to the mail box!) and asked me why in the world I spent that much money on shoes without at least talking about it with him first (the audacity of him!).
So, I did what every girl cursed with flipper feet would do. I broke down in tears. I mean, I started balling. Full on, sobbing basket case.
Because: “You just have no idea how hard it is to be me! I’m a girl too! I want to have pretty shoes too!”
I think he was probably sorry he even asked.
My latent psychosis was definitely more than he had bargained for.
But finally, I too, have pretty shoes!