Shoe Math

by Marinka on September 26, 2014

I don’t know about you, but I always welcome the opportunity to feel like one of Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters. Wait, were her stepsisters ugly or just mean-spirited? Is it too much to hope that they were both, in addition to huge-footed? Anyway. I never miss the opportunity to feel like one of them.

So I go to a shoe store to get a pair of shoes and ask for a size 11. Now I ask for size 11 because that’s my shoe size, and since I’m buying a pair of shoes, I see no reason to be coy. Yes, I know that’s big, but you know what they say, “big feet, big-” oh. Anyway. My feet were a size 10 for the longest time, but with each pregnancy they grew. It’s one of the reasons I had only two children and decided not to follow in Michelle Duggar’s surely-they-must-be-huge-by-now footsteps.

I ask for the shoes in 11, and the sales clerk nods her understanding and goes to procure the shoes. After a respectable time, she re-emerges.

“We didn’t have a size 11,” she informs me, but then instead of committing hari kari, as I’m certain shoe salespeople have been trained to do, she springs this tidbit on me: “But I brought you a size 10.”

Want to sit with this one for a while? I am a size 11, but she brought me a size 10. I don’t know why, maybe they didn’t have a size 5 and a 6 that I could try simultaneously. Admittedly shoe math is not my forte.

“Do they run big?” I asked.

“Not really,” she said.

“Do you have a toe amputation kit?” I asked.

“What? No,” she said.

So there you have it.

And then I thought how festive it would be if this shit happened in other areas of our lives.

Like if you ordered a chicken salad sandwich and were served a tripe burrito instead.

A glass of Chardonnay, you say? Eh, one Dr. Pepper, coming right up!

A tune-up for your car? Okey dokey, one demolition coming right up!

A Brazilian? How about some extensions instead!

Really, the customer service industry could learn a lot. And we’d all be happier. Or at least more surprised.

One year ago ...

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Suebob September 26, 2014 at 10:06 am

I love when people chirpily tell you “Oh, Nordstrom has a great selection of larger sizes!” Yes, and filet mignon makes great hamburgers, too, but that isn’t going to happen, either. (I’m just bitter because last time I went to Nordstrom, 2 bras cost me as much as my car payment).


September 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

I pay the big bucks for those Nordstrom bras, and I don’t regret it. It takes a marvel of engineering to keep these girls hoisted up to anywhere near my armpits.


Roshni September 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm

I guess she was expecting you to squeeze your feet in, just like the step-sisters did, no matter what!!


alexandra September 28, 2014 at 10:53 am

The thought (and joy) of Michelle Duggar being a size 20 by now thrilled me. (you are the best)


barbara sigelbaum
September 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Extensions when you were planning a Brazilian would make you enviably flexible in your thinking.


Mama bird diaries
September 28, 2014 at 7:10 pm

I had never thought of hair extensions in that area. Totally mulling it over. You are funny!!


Ari September 29, 2014 at 4:48 pm

As a fellow size 11, this happens to me all the time! I have had them bring out a 9.5 to try on. Unless we are taking a time machine back to 6th grade, that shoe is never going to fit.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes October 1, 2014 at 8:12 am

As a size 5 to 5.5 (shoes only) I often get referred to the children’s department, so for me that would be “Sorry Ma’am, no classy black pump for you, but how about these Glow in the Dark Hello Kitty ballerina’s?”


magpie October 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm

You too, huh? Feh. The only good thing is that back in the day when my feet were a 10, shoe stores never had shoes in size 11. Now that I need an 11, the shoe stores have caught up.

Of course, when I had to buy new hiking boots, I ended up with a pair of men’s boots. Oh the indiginity.


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