Something really horrible happened on Saturday. I "lost" a pair of jeans. Everything was going fine, nothing out of the ordinary, when disaster struck. We were washing clothes and somehow my jeans tore in the washing machine and there is no way they can be repaired. If I was at home this would just be a minor annoyance but here this is a major crisis.
I've written in the past about the lack of size diversity with women's clothing and now I am facing the problem head on. I'd always had enough clothes with me to last for a year in Korea but apparently this time I was under prepared. Winter is here and I now have one pair of dress pants and one pair of jeans that fit properly (I have another pair but they were bought hastily and aren't really comfortable at all). This is a big problem. I do have numerous skirts but that requires tights and nylons, which I also have, but in a limited supply. Once they get holes in them I can't buy more (since the nylons/tights here are also in one size fits small). I had another pair of dress pants but they met their demise earlier in the year in a tragic bleaching accident.
Matt and I headed over to Itaewon last Sunday to try and rectify the situation but it didn't go that well. I thought I'd grown a thicker skin from being constantly told by small Korean children how fat I am but I've always had issues with clothes shopping. I am the type that prefers to be left alone and back home I always go shopping (for myself) alone and rarely ask for any help from the salespeople. I don't like trying things on and parading them for other people. I know what fits and what looks good and I don't need a second opinion. Shopping in Itaewon for pants was incredibly traumatic and degrading for me.
As we wandered the streets there were a number of stores proclaiming they had "BIG SIZE". We looked for the shop my friend Andy suggested and this was the only place I went. Yes, I know I should shop around to try to find the best deal or whatever, but I just didn't have it in me. The ajumma running the place was nice enough but it was just a humiliating experience all together. Most of the clothes were totally not my style and the jeans that I did end up buying, since I'm desperate, are only "okay". In fact, now I have a new problem because they are about 10 miles too long and also too large in the waist so I need to figure out where to get them altered and hope that the language barrier doesn't result in them fucking up the jeans altogether.
It really doesn't do much for your self esteem to have your boyfriend and some ajumma discussing your big ass while you try on countless ugly pairs of pants. Some of them were 6 inches larger in the waist than the size I buy back home because they were trying to find something to accommodate my hips. Really at this point I don't even want to look at the jeans I ended up buying. It makes me so sad. So the next time you're shopping in Canada and lamenting on how they never have your size, please remember it could be much, much worse.