Unapologetically

(Legacy – Nicole Nordeman)

So I experienced gender discrimination last night.

For Christmas I got an IOU for new skates.

My old skates were somewhere around a size 12 in Men’s that really only worked for me because they were lace up only so I could tighten the laces enough to make them fit albeit not the way they were intended to fit. The only problem was getting them back off once they were tightened around my feet…(you just gotta plan ahead if you’re going to need to go potty).

Well, I suppose that wasn’t the only problem.

They were a cheap garage sale find that had clearly seen quite a bit of use before I got them, and then I used them for many many years. At this point they were supposed to have 4 wheels on each skate, but currently have a total of 5 or 6 wheels total attached between the two skates. Some of the wheels are held on with rubber bands because the hardware got lost.

And some spiders apparently thought the skates would make a good home this winter and made a huge disgusting web inside one of the skates…

So all that to say that when I went shopping the first time the stores didn’t really have anything because it wasn’t really skating season and they suggested coming back in March.

So we called the stores we were recommended by some people who skate a lot and they said they had their stock in and were ready for skate sales.

In to the store we went. The first store employee was really trying to be helpful, but the store only had one pair of skates in my size, and they had a tiny spot of pink on them so I wasn’t interested. It wasn’t the employee’s fault; That employee tried really hard and looked at every box to try to find something that would work for me and it just didn’t exist – apparently the customer service’s assessment that they had their stock in wasn’t quite so accurate. In reality they had one or two skates of each style to start the display and that was all.

So on to the next store.

The next store clearly is ready more for ice skate than actual skate sales, but does clearly have a good amount of skate inventory. The problem at this place was the employee. I tell him what I am looking for and point out the like 9 different styles I really like. I also comment that a common thread of the styles I like are that almost all of them are red, so other styles in red I may also be interested in looking at.

The skates he takes out for me to try on are hot pink. I go along with it because a good idea of size isn’t going to change much with different colors. I figure out what size I need and the guy seems to think the transaction is done and I should buy the pink skates. Umm, no. Not interested. He eventually gets that I am not going to just buy the first pair that fits and shows me a lime green pair that is the most expensive pair in the store. I try them on to not be rude, but remind him that the ones I like best are the red pairs.

He looks at like two boxes. Two. Clearly not actually TRYING to find anything in my size. He then declares that the only skates the store has in my size are the pink pair and the green pair. I ask when more skates in my size will come into stock. His response is that they won’t; what he has is what he has. Umm, yeah. There is snow on the ground. I really doubt that you will never have any more skates in my size. I don’t have tiny feet or anything. If I had a twin brother with the same size feet would you really tell him his only options were the hot pink pair or the most expensive pair in your store? If so, you really need to take the word skate out of your store name so you stop embarrassing yourself. Plus, I probably wouldn’t even want that most expensive pair if it were red and cheaper – the reason it was expensive according to him anyway was that it had more plastic casing…and that plastic casing in my opinion makes the skate a lot less comfortable…

So off to a big box sports store to try again. They had no help available and clearly hadn’t started getting new stock for the season and had just taken out what was left from last year, but they did have a skate that fit comfortably and had no pink on it. The goal was red, but no pink is at least a start…a little more expensive than the same skate at the first store we were at was selling for, but they had it in stock in my size. They had a couple other styles in my size without pink…so I know it isn’t just that my size is only sold in pink…LOL, the dude at that second store was like but it isn’t that much pink…umm, yeah, only three quarters or more of the skate is pink…

Umm, if we were talking about shirts or maybe even pants I’d be willing to consider that perhaps you don’t have something that will fit well that has no pink on it (maybe…but I have successfully found pants and shirts marketed to males that I can wear just fine)…but we were talking about feet. Girl and boy feet are pretty much the same with the possible exception of nail polish which doesn’t affect how skates work. Pretty sure if a dude walked in looking for skates you’d have something with NO PINK to show him, so you ought to have the same respect for a dudette. Being a girl don’t change much about my search for skates except that I perhaps care more what they look like than a boy might, and my preference is no pink. If you can’t accommodate that preference then there is a problem, and that problem is gender discrimination. I know male feet don’t magically skip from like a 6 to a 10 or anything because I usually buy my non-dress shoes in the Men’s section (and I have a basic understanding of biology to know that isn’t possible). (Don’t judge…the men’s section has a lot better selection when you are looking for shoes without pink and without childish designs, and your X and possibly Y chromosomes have no bearing on feet).

The internet sells lots of skates in my size in red that look good, but the inability to try on and ensure correct fit is a problem since skates will be expensive to ship anywhere to return…

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