My Rookie Mistake


It’s a ‘rookie mistake’ on my part, shopping for shoes with a woman that isn’t my wife. I should have known better, but I did it anyway.

My friend Kay claimed to need new walking-shoes before going on a cruise later this year. So I thought, “How hard can that be?”

If I had to rate it from one to ten, with ten being the hardest possible, I’d say it was a 21. We looked through several different stores for nearly five-hours. But I must admit that our last stop was a classic.

After finding a shoe she absolutely ‘loved,’ Kay took nearly half-an-hour to find the right size. She explained that she needed to make sure the pair she purchased fit in a specific way.

By specific, she meant not too tight, not too loose, not too much heel, no uncomfortable pinching, etc. I know that had she been able to see my face, she would have seen a blank stare in my eyes.

I know it isn’t nice to check out like that – but sometimes self-defense comes before friendship.

The sales woman, a pregnant young lady of 19, ran back and forth pulling shoes from their stock. She climbed up and down the ladder in the back room searching for each shoe-size Kay requested.

At the end, and with 10 shoe boxes open and shoes of every size between 6 and 8, Kay simply looked at the woman and stated as fact, “I don’t like them.”

I nearly walked out of the store so I could go hide.

That’s when Kay said, “I’ll come back Sunday.”

Triggered, I responded, finishing her statement, “…and make this nice woman run up and down a ladder and back and forth again.”

Hearing my smart-assed remark, the young woman looked at me, “Oh she can come back Sunday, but I won’t be here – I have the day-off for my baby shower.”

“You’re pregnant?” Kay exclaimed, adding, “I didn’t notice!”

Once outside and at the car, Kay looked at me and asked, “I should I go back and buy a pair.”

“I thought you didn’t like them?” I responded.

“I don’t,” she answered, “but I feel bad for making her work so hard.”

Fortunately for the pregnant woman and my sanity, I was able to talk Kay out of returning to purchase a pair of shoes out of pity. But then on our way home Kay declared, “We need to find me a new purse.”

I nearly jumped from her car as we sped along northbound 395.

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