April 12, 2011

Take A Picture...

I’ve recently decided that I should probably start walking around with wallet-sized pictures of myself in sweats to hand out to the random people I see on the street who seem to have serious staring problems. This way they can spend their time looking at the picture and not at me.
I must admit that I am used to a certain number of stares I receive on any given day. I’m really, really tall, so I understand that people want to marvel at my height. I don’t even really blame them, because when I see someone my height or taller I tend to stare too, but mostly because I’m excited to see someone who can empathize with how annoying it is that all the other people stare. So basically, I’m in a catch 22 whenever I see a fellow 6-foot-&-up-er, which is becoming a very prestigious club in case you were unaware!
Anyways, my point is that I’m used to being stared at because I’m tall. However, once I got to Switzerland I realized there were a couple of other habits I have that invite more stares than I’m accustomed to. For example, we have workouts during the middle of the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Right after those workouts I have to rush into town to have lunch at my restaurant before they close for the afternoon. Now, I’m what anybody who has ever met me/played basketball with me would call a sweater. Some people are cardigans, but not me; nope, I’m a sweater. You see where I’m going with this? There is absolutely NO WAY I am going to put on jeans and a nice shirt after a mid-day workout just to feel constricted and prolong the amount of time it takes me to stop sweating. The problem? Apparently Switzerland (or possibly all of Europe) has an 11th Commandment I didn’t know about: Thou shall not wear sweats in public. Needless to say, my wearing of sweats allures the stares of what I call the fashionistas, or people who are constantly aware of what they’re wearing and what others are wearing. This about doubles the amount of stares I receive on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Inappropriate Swiss attire - most likely. Otherwise, irrelevant.
That brings us to today…the perfect storm. After a great workout at noon (I’m talking drenched shirt, red face, legs shaking – the whole nine yards), I quickly showered, threw on my sweat pants, and get this – flip-flops. I can't believe I had the audacity to put on flip-flops! I felt like I was at a black-tie event in a bikini. Literally everybody I passed on the street stared at me. Attention overload. I just don’t understand what the big deal is. If it’s okay for your dog to come into the restaurant, why can’t my flip-flopped feetsies? By now all the people who work at the restaurant know my deal, so they expect my sweats and casual attire, but to the other patrons, according to their stares, I’m pretty much Satan.
I know I’m venting, and I don’t mean to complain, but the wearing of sweats just isn’t going to change after those mid-day workouts, and as the weather gets nicer, my feet want to be free, so that’s not changing either. If I’ve gotten used to grandmas on razor scooters, I think everyone else can get used to an athlete in sweats and flip-flops. Don’t you?


  1. hilarious!!!! It's the same here, I feel your pain!

  2. LOL... according to Kristen, they don't wear sweats, hoodies or flip-flops in France either...

  3. It certainly is one of the major downfalls of living in Europe...

  4. You go girl. I played in France in 1978, and nothing has changed. At 6'2", lots of stares -- and teammates would grab my baggy jeans (then the fashion in the U.S.) and say, "You think these pants are attractive? Alors!" Alors indeed. Hang in there. And stand up straight. Tall is beautiful.

  5. Thanks Mariah! I wore a pair of jeans with rips in them the other day...that guaranteed some stares too. What can I say? Over here, I'm foreign!