Well, it's that time of the year again! The most anticipated time that is like a second Christmas, only for adults!
French stores everywhere have been preparing for this moment like a carefully executed war. Stores closed to the public on a couple of working days so the employees could organize the interior and arrange the items for the oncoming hoarde of customers that were going to barrage their shelves and aisles and form a stampede to the checkout.
Yes, I'm talking about the month-long experience known for steep discounts on quality items like clothes, shoes, CDs and clothes.
And when the French mean soldes, THEY ARE NOT KIDDING.
I decided to take a walk down Dijon's Rue de la Liberté, which has effectively become a sea of red and white posters stating why you need to shop NOW:
This informational overload, for my female fashion-centered mind, is far too much for me to withstand. I am not immune to all of the posters proclaiming sudden monetary joy and I get lost in a Soldes Wonderland in which bankruptcy is non-existent and my Carte Bleue (French bank card) goes ballistic contenting my heart's every desire and whim.
Okay. I have to calm down. When I hear that a store has a sale, I spend my money faster than a girl with $100 in a shopping mall.
No. I have to pace myself and make a plan. I can't just buy everything that I lay my hands on!
I need to make a list of things I've been aiming to own.
The jeans are especially important. I've lost so much weight that the jeans I originally brought with me from the States no longer fit.
Not-So-Priority Items (But It Would Be Nice to Have Them)
New pair of gloves
Nice cheap jewelry
Hm. On second thought, chocolate is quite a priority item. Dark chocolate ensures my happiness and love towards other people. Without it, I turn into an unpleasant, chocolate-starved grouch with the charm and appeal of a cold wet towel: no one wants to touch it.
If I spend my moolah, I also need to make a limit. No more than 200 euros because I honestly don't need to buy so much crap. Clothes, however, are my dire need.
I've discovered, with a bit of frustration, that the only clothes that manage to fit my body in France are dresses. That is fine by me because I am a girly-girl at heart, but I would like to wear something that offers my legs some proper protection from the cold!
The downside is that I am still having a difficult time finding the right pair of jeans in France. I went to several stores and tried on some jeans that were clearly designed with the notion that women are creatures with no thighs, boobs, or butts, roughly a pre-pubescent girl.
The way my body is formed, for me to fit my thighs and lower abdomen into a pair of French jeans is equivalent to testing out to see if a snowflake stands a chance of not melting in Hell.
Still, I try them on. I figured that it was at least worth a shot, right?
I slip one leg into the denim tube and then the other. I do an all-too-familiar clothing ritual of dancing as I yank and twist the blue restraints upwards on my frame. I keep yanking and yanking. My upper thighs and bottom become ensnared by the top that gapes open across my body.
My thighs, abdomen and butt will never fit into French jeans. Even the soldes posters mock my demise:
After consulting with some adult French friends, they recommended that I try shopping at stores that feature clothing that were designed and cut with women in mind. Perhaps I shall continue my quest for pants after I lose a few more kilos...
Still, I've more than made up for this annoyance. I already took advantage and bought a dress that I had been eyeballing since the month of November. Yes, since November. I'm not kidding about this.
It almost fits me, but the zipper doesn't quite close all the way on the back. Rather than disappointedly putting it back on the shelf, I took the risk and bought it. Consider it my thinspiration motivation to burn off those pesky 14 kilos that remain steadfastedly on my frame.
I also found two other dresses that were just miracles.
This one, I bought in Paris on Saturday from the store Mango. It was also 50% off and a Medium! Rather, in France, it is a Large whereas in the States it is a Medium.
Just let that sink in for a moment: what is a Medium in the States IS A LARGE in Croissant-and-Baguetteland. No wonder I feel like a beached whale next to the slim and elegant Françaises who can wear jeans.
And this dress came as a bit of a surprise to me. Before trying it on, I glanced at its price and size tags. 50% off and French size 40. "I'll never fit into that," I thought.
Still, I decided to give it a shot. AND IT FIT ME.
IT ACTUALLY FIT ME! This just had to be a fluke...there is no way I am a French size 40!
For those who are not in the know, a French size 40 is roughly an American size 8 or a UK size 12 (according to my English friends).
As a minor update on my Shakira-hotness goal, I am glad to report that I've nearly burned off the 2 kilos I gained during the month of December.
I remain nevertheless quite impatient to finally surpass the 20-kilos loss that I had back in November and despite all the walking and healthy eating I've been doing, the number has not dramatically shifted. I do, however, notice some subtle changes on my body. My tummy seems flatter. Fingers run across the base of my neck and feel the collarbone bumps underneath. Those same fingers are slowly leaving bony imprints on the backs of my hands. The outline on my face becomes more defined with each passing day.
Even though the number on the scale doesn't budge, it is obvious that something clearly works!
Today, bought a coat at H&M that cost me 34.97 Euros. The three dresses cost 74.50, 29.95 and 19.95. So far, the total is 159.37; I still have 40.63 Euros left to spend from my set limit! That could go to another dress (or two). Vivent les soldes!
By the way, here is some Parisien eye candy from Saturday's trip.