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Posts Tagged ‘buying shoes’

The other day I took my daughter to get some shoes.  She had been complaining of backaches and when I looked at her feet I realized she was wearing a very worn out pair of canvas Mary Jane shoes which had absolutely no support.  I told her she needed new shoes so off we went to Payless Shoesource for their BoGo sale.  She found two pair and tried them on.  When I was paying for them, I took the time to examine them carefully for any defects.  The cashier, I think, thought I was strange for checking them out so closely but I didn’t care.  I have learned to examine things, especially shoes, before handing over the money for them.

When I was in fifth grade, I wanted some white shoes I had seen at Karl’s Shoes, a now defunct shoe retailer.  My mom said I didn’t need them so if I wanted them I would have to earn the money and pay for them myself.  So I decided to do just that.  I babysat my cousins.  It took a while to earn the money for the shoes because I wasn’t allowed to babysit by myself.  I had to go with my older sister and so we had to share the money between the two of us.  Once I earned the money (I think they were about $12; it was 1967)  I told my mother I had enough and asked her if my dad could take us to Karl’s when he got home from work.  She said my father would be too tires so if I wanted the shoes I would have to walk to the store and buy them.  Of course, I wasn’t allowed to go by myself so my sister and I walked the mile to the small shopping center to get my shoes.

I picked out the shoes.  There actually wasn’t any question in my mind.  I wanted the same pair I had seen a couple of months before.  Luckily, they had one pair of white shoes in my size.  All the others were in black but what was special about these shoes was the color.  I had black shoes.  I wanted white ones.   I was careful to try the shoes on inside the store before buying them.  I walked up and down the length of the store and across the width of it.  My mother had told me to make absolutely sure they fit before I bought them.  So I did.  I must have walked a mile inside the store before handing over the money for my shoes.

I was so excited to have those shoes!  I practically ran the mile home to show them off.  When I got home my mom told me to put them on so she could make sure they were the right fit.  Gladly, I put them on and modeled them for her, walking back and forth in front of her.  I turned to see if she was happy that I had my shoes and she was shaking her head.  She told me to turn around.  I did.  She told me to take them off and look at them.  I did.  I saw nothing wrong but clearly my mother did.  Then she told me to turn the shoes around and look at the back of them.  I did.  That’s when I noticed that one heal was black and the other heel was white!  I tried not to cry but couldn’t help it.

My mother made me walk back to the store right away.  She said I should get my money back or a pair with matching heels.  I knew it had been the last pair in my size.  I walked back and showed the salesman the shoes.  He looked in the back and assured me it was indeed the only pair of white shoes in my size.  They had others that were similar but they weren’t what I wanted.  Then he offered to bring me the same shoe in black.  But I didn’t want it in black.  I wanted to cry but I knew that if I did the salesman would laugh at me.  So I didn’t let my self cry.  Instead, my tears betrayed me and came out on their own.

The sales man looked at me and apologized.  He didn’t know what to do to make me stop crying.  Finally, he brought out some black shoe polish and turned the white heel black.  He showed me that no one would be able to tell that one heel was white.  I asked him what would happen when the polish wore off.  I had older brothers that used to polish their shoes and I knew that the polish would eventually wear off.  He said he would give me a tin of the black shoe polish to use when it wore off.

It was the best he could do, he said.  I was forced to decide if I wanted the shoes bad enough to accept the polished heel as a match for the black heel.  I knew my mother would be upset but I really wanted those shoes.  So I reluctantly accepted the shoes, the black polish, and a polishing cloth that the salesman gave me and walked home, dejectedly.

I really loved those shoes.  I took good care of them and polished the heels often.  I even put up with my mother scolding me every time she remembered about the shoes and every time I wore them.

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