Shoe Shopping

I needed new shoes, so a couple weeks ago I made my rounds in the footwear departments of Meijer, Marshalls, and Target. While I failed to find shoes, I did bring home a cute pair of leopard print tights I found on clearance. But tights won’t keep my feet warm during the winter, so I went to the mall where the prices, service, and chances of success were higher. Well, okay, maybe just the prices.

I started out in a large department store with a coupon my mother had clipped out for me. The store was busy and the saleswomen were frazzled. There were about fifteen pairs shoes I could have tried on, but figuring that by the time the sizes were given to me my coupon would expire, the styles would change, and I would be in my 40s, I decided to move on.

Payless was my next stop, where a lanky college boy rattled off a sales pitch longer than the Gettysburg Address. I wasn’t surprised to find nothing of interest, so I quickly dodged past the salesman before he could go off on another discourse about super sales, orange stickers, and red tags.

As I walked down the mall hallway I saw a small shoe store coming up on my left. I debated whether to go in or not. I had visited this store in the past, and while they had some nice shoes, the salesmen were a little too in-your-face for my liking. I paced past the entryway, peering in to see if I could spot anything of interest. There were a pair of boots I thought I might like to try on, so I made my entrance, quietly walking into the store to check out the boots sitting on a display shelf. I thought no one had noticed me, but I was mistaken. The salesman made his way to the front of the store. He stood over me, leaning on the wall with one hand on his hip.

“So, what are you looking for today?” he asked.

“Well, I’m looking for some equestrian style boots,” I said.

At that the salesman gave a hearty laugh.

“Equestrian boots? I haven’t heard that one before,” he chuckled, “What are you going to do, ride a horse?”

I blushed, feeling like I might as well be wearing two pigtails in my hair and an “I heart ponies” T-shirt.

“Um, no,” I said, forcing a weak laugh, “I guess I just want it to look like I’m going to ride a horse.”

“Alright, well we can do that,” said the salesman and, still snickering, he went to the back to find my size in the boots I pointed out to him.

Now, when I expect good service from a shoe salesman, a reenactment of Prince Charming slipping the glass slipper onto Cinderella’s foot is not what I have in mind. Apparently this young man thought differently, because when he emerged with my boots he knelt down dramatically on one knee, holding the box as though it contained a diamond ring and elegantly unwrapping each boot in preparation for my feet. Before he could slide them on, I grabbed the boots from him and put them on myself, refusing to endure the remainder of the embarrassment. When I had both boots on and stood up to look in the mirror the salesman cried,

“Now all you need is the horse!”

After three hours of shopping at the mall, I came home empty handed. However, my search eventually found success, because the very next day, after spending only ten minutes in DSW, I found the perfect equestrian style boots for five cents below my price limit. I am ready for fall with my classy boots, and I guess now all I need is the horse!


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  1. I think I know the shoe store you’re talking about… if so, they ARE high pressure. I avoid that store all together. At lunch time I fully expect you to say “Pat, I gotta go see a man about a horse!” I will be disappointed otherwise.

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