So after two long and lovely years tucked away in rural France, it’s interesting to be around so many shops and services. I’ve been poking my long giraffe neck into the odd store here and there just to see what I’ve been missing. I don’t actually need anything, but in the midst of a sweater/boots/eyeshadow emergency, it’s important to know right where to go.

Certainly make-up and perfume are present in abundance. Of course they are, the two things in life that I want the least. What I have made a point of sourcing out is pants. I’ve looked in La Tour-de-Peilz, all over Vevey and even in Lausanne and I’ve come to a very clear conclusion: Swiss women are a bunch of short-arses. I’ve never seen such a vast collection of 32-inseam pantalons in my life. Even on the Levi’s shelves that say “34 inseam”—nothing but 32.

I’ve also noticed the clothing skews toward the young and, shall we say, uninhibited. Gem-encrusted hooker heels, crotchless shorts called skirts, and pants that appear to be applied in liquid form. Unless my future involves a stint as a lap dancer, I’ve got myself a problem. Also, anything that seems remotely my speed (although still not my length) would require a sugar daddy upgrade or a place for Finding Me in France at the top of a best sellers list. Neither of which is very likely.

The other thing here is most women’s stores are a tad thrown together with limited choices, while the men’s shops are pristine with a plethora of goods on offer. Even Neil noticed the difference. The only problem he’ll have here is being overwhelmed with options. Why am I surprised? He’s the luckiest man in the universe when it comes to the everyday things in life. He’s the guy who always manages to find a parking space in right front of any building and one of everything in his size on the 70 per cent off sale rack.

I guess I was expecting to arrive in the land of my sisters, the Amazons. Here’s how I’d worked it out: Swiss friend Michel—very tall. Michel’s son, daughter, granddaughter—very tall. Ergo Swiss people are tall and long pants grow on trees on the mountainside. And my twisted logic holds. There are indeed many tall Swiss people, it’s just that they all stand to pee and require reminders of when it’s time to clean the house.

Anyhoo, it’s unnerving to have this problem resurface yet again in my life. In Canada, I had a system all worked out. Twice a year I ordered from the limited JCrew Tall section and that was that. Even that less than stellar solution took two decades to find. If I ever do venture back into a life beyond my laptop and pajamas, I’ll be at a complete loss.

The only answer is to return to the scarecut, lower my voice an octave, leave my legs just as they are and saunter into a men’s store. I’ll call Ellen and Diane to see what they recommend.

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