Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shoe Shopping With Dad

We were halfway through dinner (and a pitcher of on-the-rocks margaritas) with my grandmother when Big Kid reminded us that he needed new track shoes.  This reminded me that Little Kid also needed new soccer cleats.  Then Spouse remembered that there was an Academy around the corner from the Mexican restaurant where we were currently encamped.  It was quickly decided that nothing about shoe shopping, shoe shopping with children, Academy and my grandmother was remotely compatible.  (This was also decided quietly, because said grandmother - God love her - does not like to be reminded about her physical limitations.  Or, particularly, about her age.  Because, quote, "What's the big deal about being in your nineties?  My sister Katharine lived to be one hundred and seven.  ONE.  HUNDRED.  AND.  SEVEN.  And she was active right up to age 105.  Nineties are nothing.  NOTH.  ING.  Stop making a to-do."  Fortunately, Gigi was enjoying her margarita, and a chicken-and-cheese-stuffed avocado, so we got in a sotto voce conversation under the radar.)

We were in one car, but we were also due to rendezvous with my mother, and somehow it ended up that, when Gigi got handed over to Mom, I ended up being handed over as well.  Which was fine, because I really didn't want to go shoe-shopping with three males, and a half hour hanging out with my female relatives, watching "America's Got Talent," sounded like the better end of the bargain.

Except a half hour turned into an hour and a half.

At the 45-minute mark, I called Spouse's cell phone and got a rather terse report:  "Yes, we're still here.  Why?  Because it's not going well.  Who's the problem?  PICK ONE."

He did not elaborate.  Another thirty minutes passed.  I called again.

"YES.  WE'RE STILL HERE.  I'll call you when we're on the way."

Finally, they arrived.  I got in the front seat.  The backseat passengers took turns shoving newly shod feet in my face.  Big Kid:  ginormous black and red Adidas running shoes.  Little Kid:  bumblebee-striped Adidas cleats to coordinate with our (very) yellow-and-black soccer uniform.   (We're the Lightning Bolts.  Spouse is coach-by-default this year and inherited the team name from a prior coach.  Spouse suggested that we put nicknames on the jerseys.  And everyone's nickname would be Usain.  Spouse was outvoted.  But I am thinking of ordering him a t-shirt with the Jamaican flag on it for the first game, just to let him know that I appreciate the joke.)

I let my curiosity win out over better judgment and ventured to ask:  what was the holdup?

Before Spouse could open his mouth, Big Kid blurted out:  "Well, I would have been finished with my shoe purchase inside of five minutes, but Dad wouldn't accept that I was happy with the first pair that I tried on.  Instead, he made both of us do this weird March Madness bracket-y thing."

Spouse started to issue a retort, but I cut him off:

"This bracket-y thing of which you speak:  was it like an eye test?"

"Huh?  What do you mean?"

"Well, when Daddy and I shop together, he does this eye test thing, where he asks me if I like something, and I say yes, and then he holds up another thing, and asks me which of the two things I like better.  And I have to choose, and then he compares my choice to ANOTHER thing, and I have to choose again."

"Exactly.  But why would you call that an eye test?"

"Because it's like when the eye doctor fits you for lenses, and he puts two different-strength lenses in front of your eyes in rapid succession, and asks you, 'Which one is clearer?'  Oh, wait - you have perfect vision.  So the eye test for you is . . ."

"Yeah, the thing with the big E on top.   But I get what you're talking about."

"And I can see why you would call it a March Madness bracket.  The number one seed plays a sixteen, and the winner goes up against - wait, was he comparing two pairs of shoes, and then two OTHER pairs of shoes, and the winner of those two contests went head-to-head?"

"No, it wasn't quite like that."

"So, some pairs of shoes got a bye?"


At this point, Spouse announced that HE WAS STILL IN THE CAR AND COULD HEAR US.

Then the Little Kid blurted out a loud and more-than-a-bit agitated "uh-oh."

"I'M STILL WEARING THE TRY-ON SOCKS.  I wore my cleats out of the store, and so I never took them off."

Of course, Big Kid had to chime in:  "Way to go, genius.  You just stole two socks.  Wait - do you still have two socks on one of your feet?"

[Don't ask.  I surely didn't.]

"Yup.  Meaning . . . "

". . . you stole THREE try-on socks."

Ten minutes after we arrived at the house:

"Mom, I need a Sharpie marker."


"For sock puppets."

"Excuse me?"


Apparently, our guilt over unwittingly committing sock theft was short-lived.

No comments: