“She loves shoes“, I explained to the lady at the store. She was helping us get the right fit.
“Yes, I can see that“, she replied brightly, handing over a pair of pretty white footwear for my daughter to try on.
It was meant to be a 20 minute shopping expedition to get shoes for a 20 month old. She was sleepy and we were going to make it quick. You couldn’t tell that from watching us in the shop. She was beside herself, as she tried on shoes after shoes. White ones, yellow ones, more white ones. Pink shoes, purple shoes. Different coloured shoes on each foot. Mum and dad let her roam free and run around the shop. There were stairs that everyone encouraged her to climb (the fitting area). She was in shoe Heaven.
I love shoes and I’ve heard about people crazy about shoes. Witnessing someone go ga-ga over shoes like this was a first time for me. An hour later, we were still selecting shoes and trying on different ones. There wasn’t a single complaint from her. No ‘why are you making me wear so many shoes?’ or ‘can we go now, I want to sleep?’ or ‘I am tired’. Just plain delight at getting to wear so many shoes. It was a shoe party right there and she was rocking it.
The store lady had, by now, moved on to other customers. “Have you decided yet?“, she asked us a couple of times as she passed us by.
“I think we will get the yellow one“, I said unsure, “but I will take another look at these ones here first“.
Once she discovered the mirror, her joy multiplied. I didn’t think it possible but there she was squealing and squawking like a bird. Finally, I decided that I liked both and was ready to buy 2 pairs. The husband offered to buy one of each pair if I wished but there was no chance we could afford both. Damn! I hate not being rich enough to throw money away!
“We’ll get the pink one“, I said triumphantly to the lady. She had given up on us and was even starting to ignore us by then. She kept us waiting for a bit and then stared at the pink shoes for a while. I asked her if she could get me the shoes.
I hated her voice when she said, “I don’t think we have pink in her size or I would’ve shown it to you earlier”
“But let me have another look“, she offered.
I crossed my fingers and desperately hoped she’d find a pair. Maybe the last pair!
“No, sorry. There is a 5 and 1/2 but no size 6” followed by “If you get that size, you should know that I didn’t fit that on her. It wasn’t my recommendation. A 6 is the right fit for her feet”
Gosh, I hate ladies who do that to me. I was just thinking of getting the 5 & 1/2 size shoes anyway. Damn you, woman! Now, it was a choice between the yellow and white. Start the selection process all over again! More shoes swapping. The little creature was happy as ever. I couldn’t choose. It was too hard, I loved both. So did her dad. Now, what? I grabbed her and said, “Sweetie, you have to pick now. Which pair do you want?”
She put her hand in the box and got the white pair out. She handed it to the lady and turned away.
“Yeah, like that octopus that selected names or teams at those Olympics games or something“, she muttered as she went off to prepare our bill.
A good whinge story for the shoe store lady to narrate at the dinner table. A fabulous afternoon for my daughter who was deliriously happy. If I could read her mind, she was probably saying, “Screw sleep, let’s look at more shoes!”