I need a new pair of blue jeans. I don’t consider myself an overweight individual, but I have what a lot of women have, something what Tina Fey calls crotch biscuits: that fat in your inner thighs that rub together. So when I’m wearing jeans, the crotch areas rub against each other eventually tearing holes. I only brought one pair of jeans to Taiwan because I thought I’d be so hot all the time I wouldn’t want to wear jeans, but it’s gotten cool enough that I wear jeans quite frequently.

So…. I need a new pair of jeans. I have options: buy American jeans and have them shipped over, or go shopping for jeans in Taiwan.

I’ve noticed people have really skinny legs here. Lots of thigh gap (that’s when you don’t have crotch biscuits so where your crotch biscuits should be there’s a gap), so I should’ve assumed my mission futile and given up. But there are plumper ladies here too so I thought maybe there’ll be SOMETHING.

I head to the Levi’s store in Keelung. I’m a Levi’s girl all the way because 1) They fit like a dream; and 2) They featured Walt Whitman in a 2009 ad campaign. I walk in and say straight up: “I need the biggest size you have,” I give it the old college try with what the sales lady gives me but this will not even get up my thunder thighs, let along button over my booty.

When I’m taking this pair off, the sales lady slips another pair under the door. “Wait! Wait! Try these.” So I try this new pair and they actually get all the way up and clasp. They’re a little long, but they have deep pockets, which is a plus. There’s no mirror in the changing room so I step outside to look at them on me and see this crotch bulge and it hits me:

Duh… this lady gave me men’s pants. Deep pockets because men are allowed to wear clothes that are also have utility, too long because any man with thighs as big as mine would be at least 3 inches taller, and my crotch biscuits are rubbing together because there’s a pocket of fabric meant for a penis.

I politely tell the lady “no,” and leave*. I thought this experience would be humiliating and embarrassing, but walking out of the Levi’s store, I felt neither. I didn’t feel bad that my body was too big for jeans in Taiwan. I didn’t feel bad about my body at all. I felt proud of my body and its abilities. The thunder thighs that egg-beattered to a water polo sectional championship, that climb mountains, that walk me to where I need to go. My body positivity radiated to my shoulders, my big, huge, slouching shoulders and arms. My shoulders and arms that twice pulled a hundred yards of butterfly in less than one minute. That supported my body up 4 flights of stairs while being wheelbarrowed. That can carry many bags of groceries at once. I would never want to be slimmer just for the sake of looking skinny. I would never want to give up strength for appearance**. (I’m not trying to shame slim bodies, or say they’re weak or anything. I mean, ants are, like, as skinny as a twig but they can carry, what, like 10,000x their body weight***? And rock climbers are incredibly strong and often time are very skinny.)

I once had a conversation with a friend about body shapes. I mentioned how my body would never be skinny. It just won’t. I’ll always have broad shoulders and big thighs. And so if they’ll always be big, they might as well be STRONG.

Well, I’ve fallen off the wagon as of late. I try to go swimming once a week, run on the weekends, and not eat an entire roll of Oreos in one sitting****, but it’s hard. No one’s holding me accountable. So future Erisa decided***** to hold present Erisa accountable and run a marathon. It’s always something I’ve kinda wanted to do. Like skydiving, it’s the kind of thing you can do noce and if you don’t like it, you never have to do it again. But you can still tell people you’ve done it and they’ll think you’re badass. And what I really think would be cool is to do triathlons, so if I can run a marathon, the running part of triathlons wouldn’t seem as bad.

I’ve looked into marathons in Taiwan and found one that seems good: caters to English speakers, 7.5 hour limit (I can run 3.5 miles in 1 hour, right?), on a Saturday. It’s in the Southern half of Taiwan so I’ll be able to see a new part of the country. What could go wrong******?!

So YOU Dear Blog Reader can also now hold me accountable as will future Erisa. If you’re ever bored during the day and you want to kill some time, send me an email or Facebook message, something along the lines of “Get your butt out of bed and go running!” because when I wake up I’ll probably see it and it will encourage me to get up and get my crotch biscuits rubbing against each other (aka, running).

*She was actually really nice and earnest about helping me try to find a pair of pants. She brought me a few more while I was changing. I had expected the sales lady to basically turn me away immediately, like “we don’t have anything that could fit you here,” but she was the complete opposite of this.
**But I would like to magically not have crotch biscuits.
***Should I know that as an ecology major?
****If it hasn’t been apparent already in this blog, I have a massive, saber-tooth-sized sweet teeth.
*****But it’s the future, so “will decide?”
******Too many to list here. See the blog post after the marathon with a complete list of all the things that went wrong.

P.S. The day after I wrote this blog post, I went running and a dog BIT ME so maybe this is a sign I should not run a marathon? Day one of training, a dog bites you. What’s in store for day two?