Posted on October 13, 2010


So for my wedding, I have had to do a lot of shopping.  Erik has this theory where shopping should really be called going “hunting-” you know, you walk in, grab what you need, and run out before you are hit by a stray bullet or chased by a wild animal. Paying is in there somewhere, I swear.  It’s a great strategy, and I’ve had more than one person in Forever 21 look at me funny as I mumble “I’m a huntress, I’m a huntress!” while I walk by the accessory section.  However, no matter how well I prepare myself for my hunting endeavors, when it comes to shopping for cute clothes for my wedding/honeymoon, I feel like the saleswomen smell my fear and become the huntresses…

I went shopping the other day with a few friends and I was looking for sundresses.  I had already tried a few stores, and I was exhausted and discouraged.  While I was inside the changing room with the initial round of dresses, a woman who worked at the store saw my friends outside the changing room, asked what I was looking for, and told them that she’d come back with a few suggestions. I knew right away that she wouldn’t be very helpful- I’m fairly picky, and it’s hard to find clothes that fit me right.

You see… ever since ninth grade, I’ve had a gigantic nose.  It started growing out of the blue.  In high school, everyone would talk about it as I walked by (“there goes Toucan Shan”), until I became so embarrassed of my silhouette that I just kind of wished I could disappear.  I mean, I’m more confident now. I’ve come to believe that my nose doesn’t define me (even if I was called Schnozz Shannon for three years of my life), and at this point, I even like it! So even though I’ve kind of grown into my nose, there are still those really awkward people who feel the need to comment on it… as if no one had ever told me before (girls especially think it’s really cute to be like, “hi, omg your nose is like, so huge!”).

So when I pulled the first dress over my head, I knew right away it was a no- go (stripes make my nose look fat).  But I stepped outside anyways to show my friends, and as it happens, I stepped outside the dressing room just as the saleswoman was turning the corner with cute little dresses for me to try on in hand.  When she saw me, she stopped midstride.  She looked me up and down, and her gaze halted… on my nose. “Oh… no… these won’t do,” and she turned back around.

My eyes must have looked sad.  My friends immediately rallied.

“I’ll punch her,” Lindsey said.

“Don’t listen to her, there’s nothing wrong with being big,” Nora told me.

Amy just gave me an encouraging smile.   She had seen me try to shop for dresses, and she knew how hard it was for me to be optimistic after seeing my big nose ruin so many outfits.

The saleswoman came back around the corner.  She had some more subdued dresses, solid colors this time, with a few frills here and there.  I took two of them from her (the third obviously wouldn’t fit over my nose) and took them into the dressing room.

“I got some that are bigger up top this time,” the saleswoman whispered to my friends.  I could practically hear Lindsey’s fist clench.

I stuck my head out, “Wait, why does it have to be bigger up top?” I asked, trying bravely to be humorous instead of hurt.  I hated that I needed gigantic dress sizes because my nose was so huge, and it was even worse when people commented on it!  I pulled my face, nose and all, back inside the dressing room.

I started pulling the dress over my head when I heard the salewoman say to me from outside, “Hey, don’t worry. I’ve had TWO nose jobs, so I completely understand.”

I really wanted to stick  my head out and say,  “Actually, you telling me that you surgically changed your face so it doesn’t look like mine doesn’t help,”

or even better, “I don’t need to reduce the size of anything! Who says having a huge honker is a bad thing!”

or best of all… “Actually, that means you don’t understand at all.

I would’ve said one of those things, but the dress I was trying on was caught on my schnozz, and I couldn’t untangle it in time.

When I left, I saw the super helpful and tactful saleswoman on the way out.  I couldn’t help but be curious about the results of her nose reduction.  I peered at the results, and when I looked closely, I saw that she didn’t even have a nose.  It was slightly horrifying close-up (all that nostril and barely any cartilage), not to mention sad.  I decided that she had probably been teased one too many times in high school and had finally given in to peer pressure.  Maybe it’s fashionable these days to have a small nose, but I left the store remembering that just because other people were so horrified  by my nose didn’t mean I had to be.

As we left, I felt a tear or two slip down my cheek.  My friends and I immediately headed for some gelatto and they had me laughing in three minutes time. Shopping is a dangerous game, after all.  This is just a story for all of you about shopping- make sure you are the huntress instead of the hunted.  And always go hunting in packs.