swim. love. travel.

my life daily

queen st. west

It’s the end of my junior year and I feel like it’s time for a change…a drastic change. I need a change in style – new clothes. My whole life, I’ve been wearing the same clothes. I’m a junior in high school wearing the same clothes as I did in the sixth grade. Okay – most of my clothes are from the ninth grade but I do have some from the sixth grade. Now…I just feel like I’ve done enough observing of what other people wear to go out on my own and get some new clothes. I think I deserve it, don’t you?

I decided to prepare a trip to go Downtown. Where else would I go to get the latest clothes? Queen Street West, here I come!

Always the bookworm, before my excursion, I did some research. I did loads of research. I wanted to go for bohemian chic meets euro prep. Fashion icons? Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen combined with the ever-fashionable Emma Watson. She’s one of the reasons why I want to go to Europe so badly. I wanted to hit stores like Zara, American Apparel, and Forever 21. Little did I know how hard that would be.

I’m no stranger to Downtown, Toronto. I’ve been there many, many times. I arrived at Queen St. West and University Avenue but before I tell you what happened, let me warn you. I am not the best shopper. I feel unusually uncomfortable when shopping despite knowing exactly what I want. So that day…I ran into two problems.

PROBLEM #1

I started off on one side of the street but I was too timid to enter any of the stores. One of my biggest fears is sales employees coming up to me and harassing me. Entering a store alone and clueless would make me the perfect target. I continued walking to build up my confidence but before I knew it, I had already hit the end of the road. I was at Queen St. West and Spadina!

Oh boy, it was going to be a long day.

No,” I told myself. “I have been looking forward to this day for too long. I’m not going to go home empty-handed just because I’m scared.”

So I mustered up some courage and entered H&M. H&M was a good store; it was a decent option for me; it had the style I was going for. I walked with determination to the nearest clothing rack and flipped through furiously, trying to find something I had seen online – something that was “my” style (not that I had one at the time but the style that I wanted to go for). Nothing.

I left, disappointed. Next, I went into Zara. I fell in love with Zara’s clothing on the Internet. I entered the store and found nothing that I liked. Every article of clothing had something on it – be it sequins, beads, buttons, or zippers in places where I didn’t want them to be. Without the sequins, beads, buttons, or zippers, those clothes would have been perfect.

PROBLEM #2

So I ran into my second problem. I couldn’t find anything that I liked. Maybe I was a picky shopper like I was a picky eater (although I’m not as much of a picky eater as I used to be). There was always something wrong. As I mentioned earlier, there would be some sequins, beads, buttons, or zippers in places where they shouldn’t be. Zara was out. American Apparel? Too expensive. Lemor? Intimidating and over-friendly employees with an attitude consisting of I’m-smiling-and-being-nice-but-you-better-buy-something! Not cool. Mango? I had walked in and accidentally went to the men’s section (unknowingly). I swear it was an innocent mistake. I knew something was up when I saw two men standing there but I saw a woman looking at what I thought to be women’s clothes (but were really men’s) so I approached the rack. Little did I know that the woman was actually a man and the clothes I thought were for women were actually for men. I turned bright red as I saw faces turn and, humiliated, I ran out of the store. This happened twice.

Defeated, I roamed up and down Queen Street West, basking in my inability to shop. Everything I had imagined in my head just wouldn’t turn itself into a reality…as always. The clothes I had imagined in my head were perfect. Why couldn’t I find these perfect clothes anywhere?

Suddenly, a man clad in red briskly walked past me. Unknowingly, I followed him. I didn’t follow him purposely, of course. Everyone was walking in the same direction. I just so happened to be walking right behind him. This sounds creepy but he was attractive. He wore a red Adidas sports jacket and carried a black sports bag. Hanging off of his sports bag was a pair of red soccer cleats. He wore black shorts, which revealed his tan, tone calves. Oh boy, he had nice calves. He wore white and red Pumas and his black hair was up in spikes – not the gross, too-much-gel-in-your-hair spikes which make your hair look ten times taller, but the nice, short spikes. Not only was he an attractive guy but he was an attractive soccer player. FIFA World Cup, anyone? And not only was he an attractive soccer player, but he was an attractive Asian soccer player – the tanned, muscular type – the best kind. He started to walk a bit too fast for me. I guess he was too athletic for me or something but I was too defeated with how my day was going so I just let him slip out of my sight and keep on walking.

Back to square one.

I then reasoned with myself. Maybe I was just the type of person who will never be like Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen. I’ll never be as fashionable as Emma Watson. I’ll always be the nerdy, bookworm with clothes from five years ago. Maybe that’s just the way things are supposed to be. I’ll always be the girl in the background, just observing everyone. I’ll always be the one watching all the other girls get complimented on their new tops or new haircuts. I’ll always be the person seeing all the other girls get asked out by guys who would never ever consider me.

As these thoughts raced through my head, I had unknowingly started walking up Spadina Avenue. Then…I saw him.

I saw him again…that attractive Asian soccer player clad in red.

If this had happened to one of my friends, they would have instantly sighed, “Oh, boy. It’s fate! We’re meant to be together!” For them, that statement might’ve proved itself to be true. That soccer player would’ve turned his head around to take a second look if I had been one of my attractive friends. But it’s me. So he didn’t take a second look. He wouldn’t even give me a first look. He didn’t glance at me once. Because it’s me. I’ll never be the one who would get asked out by that attractive Asian soccer player clad in red. That soccer player would never go out with a girl who can’t shop. And that’s me. I’ll always be the girl who can’t shop. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe that’s just the way things are supposed to be. Who am I to say otherwise?

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