Today was the day. For the first time in the year we have lived here I went clothes shopping in a Japanese store. Not only that, but I went bathing suit shopping in a Japanese store! (gasp) Now, I'm not calling myself fat, but I am definitely larger than the normal Okinawan woman. A few of the reasons I was hesitant to shop in a Japanese store were:
1. When Chris had to buy bike shorts at the sport store here he was a large to extra large! If he's an XL, I don't want to know what I am.
2. Their sizing is different. For example, if you are a size 10 in the good old US of A, you are now a size 15! Thanks Japan!
3. I heard a horror story from a friend who was previously stationed here. She's about my size and when she went into a boutique she literally got shooed out of the store and told "we have nothing that fit you." Ouch. if that doesn't crush your ego, nothing will.
However, this weekend as we breezed through a Jusco (think large department store with a little bit of everything) I saw some swimsuits that looked like they would work for a triathlon and it looked like they would have my Japanese size. Combine that with the fact that Jusco is big so I was pretty sure I wouldn't get shooed out and I figured I was ready to shop.
I tried on four suits and liked two. I only bought one but I am thinking that this is a great success. It's nothing sexy - kind of a zip up tank and some bike short looking bottoms. I was feeling pretty good until I went to the register. The cashier made sure that I had tried it on because there is no bringing back swimwear. I told her I had and we were good to go. She takes the top off the hanger and unzips it (not sure why - probably so she could fold it into a beautiful piece of origami before putting it in my bag) and says a sentence where the only word I caught was "big". Well, I politely say, "sumimasen?" and again I hear "big" in the sentence multiple times. Due to my fragile mental state caused by bathing suit shopping I interpreted it as "I have never seen such a big piece of material except when my grandfather was making a car cover." So, I replied, "No, no. It fits." She folded it up, I paid, and I was on my way. But now looking back I think I'll interpret her words as, "how could this big piece of material fit on someone as svelte as you?". It's amazing how much better you feel when you employ positive thinking.