Tread lightly



We all have problem areas. Some are invented by media, some are altered as ideals change. Some are real. Like my feet. I had the same shoe size average grown women wear when I attended primary school. Today, I wear an American size 12 (a UK 9,5 or a German 44). If I am lucky with the brand that is. Sometimes I even need a 13.

Currently I own one single pair of shoes that really fit me. It is also the pair that is falling apart and that is not presentable in professional or fancy contexts. I think I know all the stores, as a teenager my parents would drive hours with me to go to shoe stores specialised on what the German language calls children’s coffins or Elbe boats. Later, online shopping became a thing and I received packages of shoes that took up half of my student room. Needless to say, knowing the predicament of their customers, retailers sell chaussures for bigfoot girls beginning at three-figure-prices. You get the idea, shoe shopping is a sensitive issue.

But when I almost lost my non-fitting ballerinas at dance class for the second time, I knew something needed to happen. It’s really challenging enough to coordinate the steps without worrying about your shoe deserting you at any minute. I was expecting that dancing shoes would not even be made in my size or if they were I would have to travel to some exotic place to acquire them. Imagine my surprise when we googled and found a shop for all things dance literally around the corner of my home that advertises on their website with women’s shoes up to sizes 13.



It must have been one of the fastest and easiest shoe purchases in my feet history.  Instead of the poor selection or ill-fitting styles being the center of attention, the most remarkable thing about this adventure was the 18-year-old who was embarrasssing her mother with her exhibition of ill-bred character (“You have no taste! I want these! I always have a 15 centimeter heel!”) and the overstrained elderly shop assistant. When a third pair of shoe-seekers came in (seriously, how many people buy dancing shoes in one day in Dizzel?), she barked at them, “It’s very crowded as you can see! You will have to wait. I cannot help you right away!” And to me she said when I rejected the first pair of shoes as too tight, “It could be your feet are changed because of your pregnancy”.

Lesson learned: You can say anything to your customer – as long as you sell a ressource so scarce as dance shoes in size 13!

[Disclaimer: Sorry for all of those who have been waiting for me to announce a baby for, what, a decade…Despite anything the shoe sales lady might think, I am not expecting. And I have it on good authority now that my dress is really not that unflattering.]


Saturday otherwise consisted of good food and great encounters: A took me out for breakfast at our favorite cafe, and later we stopped at the market that I always wanted to go to and got fish for lunch. In the afternoon I briefly met my dear friends Michelle and Henrike on the way to Osnabrück where I attended a family gathering and met my bonus siblings.


Anna and I drove by the “Milk Station” where you can buy milk in a machine 24/7.


Anna and Gerrit taught me Doppelkopf. It’s a complicated German card game that I am determined to master.


Family Party

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