Size Does Count

Friday, December 1, 2006 by Michelle

Today I wanted to buy a dress for the holiday season; I'm going to a couple of celebrations and a concert this month and I want to wear something that doesn't make me look like I'm wearing a potato sack. Problem is, none of my very few dresses fit me any longer.

Now that I'm able to go to "regular" stores instead of just plus-size ones, I decided to take a stroll down Commercial Drive and see what there was. Retro or vintage? Nope, not for me. Hippy-ish? Uh-uh. Cutesy, nope again. I ended up at Riot Clothing & Accessories down by Cafe du Soliel (not Deux) and saw they had a small selection of rather nice looking black dresses. So I started to look through them and the saleswoman came by to make a few helpful suggestions. We settled on one that was form fitting and had a black lace overlay and a rather shockingingly low neckline; she took a size 8 off the rack and I suggested we also take a 10 because I doubted I'd fit into an 8. My size 12 clothes are too loose, but surely there was no way I would fit into an 8. What would she know anyway? I had a winter jacket and baggy jeans on for crying out loud!

So I tried on the 10 and it was too loose in the bodice, which isn't a big surprise considering my rather minimally endowed chest. So I decided, "What the hell?" and tried on the size 8. And it fit. Really well. I have never fit into a size 8 in my life. Ever. I went from a chunky pre-teen to a very overweight teen in a short period of time (I weighed 175 lbs at age 13). And although I lost some of that in high-school and university, I was barely able to stuff myself into a size 10 at my smallest (which is 15 lbs lighter than I am now, but I didn't have any muscle back then). So here I am at the store feeling completely speechless that a size 8 dress not only fit me perfectly, but that it looked good on me. For the first time in my life, I have a "little black dress" and a half-decent body to go with it. Nothing in this world compares to the feeling that all this hard work has been worth it.

The Bay, a Soldier and a Caring Gift

Sunday, November 26, 2006 by Michelle

Background: My friend's brother Vince is in Kandahar Afghanistan with the Canadian military. His wife Melanie lives in Ontario and has many health problems, not the least of which is a very bad back (making driving and getting around in an Ontario winter very difficult). The two of them live on an army wage, so things are pretty tight financially. Melanie used to be a model and make-up is something in her life that makes her feel good about herself; but with their limited income and her health problems, she just couldn't bring herself to go out and buy this one brand of mascara she really likes but is out of.

To the Story: Vincent caught wind of Melanie being out of mascara and decided to call the local Bay to ask if they would send it to her and just charge it to his credit card. Her birthday was coming up and he thought it would be a nice surprise for her. The workers at the Bay were really touched by the story and thrilled to get a call from a soldier in Kandahar, so they went around to all the make-up counters and accepted donations of make-up for Melanie. Coincidentally, Melanie was on the phone with Vince when the package arrived - a 10"x10" box of make-up all for the price of a mascara. They were both touched and very happy with the generosity of the people at the Bay, and the moral support their gift implied.

Moral: If there's a moral here, it's simply that even if we don't support the war in Afghanistan, we can nevertheless treat the soldiers and their families with dignity and respect. That and, sometimes it's the simple things that make the biggest difference; like a bit of make-up for a former model who is feeling unwell and alone.

Free Hugs

Sunday, October 22, 2006 by Michelle

I was just at a website called Free Hugs, about a movement to reach out and (you guess it) hug people. From the website,
"Sometimes, a hug is all what we need. Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whose sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives." Check out the video on the site; it's very heartwarming.

Additional background information can also be found at Sydney Morning Herald website.

10 km

Sunday, October 15, 2006 by Michelle

Today... (huff, puff)... I ran... (gasp, wheeze)... 10 km... (pant, puff)... for the first time. Oh my god!

To be honest I actually wasn't huffing and puffing (except on the hills), but my legs were pretty jello-like when I was done. I had originally set a goal in June or so to do this by the spring of 2007, then when I reached 7km this summer I revised my goal to the end of the year. Here it is mid-October and I reached it! Yeah for me!!