Sunday, February 20, 2011
all my life i have had a love/hate relationship with shoes. the reason is--my feet look like barney rubble's feet. really. my hands are just about as awkward, but women don't wear gloves anymore so i don't care so much. when i was growing up my mom always took us to this swanky childrens shoe store where they were very conscientous and fitted you very carefully for high quality shoes. know what fit me there? boy's shoes. thats all. i used to dread going there and it began a lifelong fear of buying any kind of attire--if it was clothes we had to go to the(sigh) chubby section. if it was shoes--they brought out the boys brown oxfords--not the pretty little girls t straps or baby janes or anything. no pretty little buckles or bows or rhinestones . brown shoes with ties. thats it.
now i actually LIKE buying little boys shoes--they are way cheaper and since styles have changed sometimes you can't distinguish the gender of a shoe anyway. but being on the hunt for a good running shoe that will help protect my ankle that goes wonky from time to time, and my back and hip flexor that sometimes rebel, i am up against some difficulty.
yesterday DH and i went shopping for shoes. first to the dept. store where my tactic consists of sticking my foot in everything and buying whatever fits. two pair if i can find them. no luck. NONE. my actual shoe size is 4 WW but 5 or 6 will fit me depending. NO size 5 shoes at all. 6's too long. so on to a sporting goods store with a shoe department. busy saturday--and NO one visible in the shoes. kind of a problem since you have to ask someone to get you shoes to try on. so on to the other big chain sporting goods store--also with a shoe dept. complete with a running track emblazoned on the floor. after about20 min. a young girl asked if i needed something. showed her my foot and got the usual blank stare. she didn't offer to measure my foot even though they had the little measuring gadget sitting there. so i made some guesses about size. oh--well--we don't carry any womens shoes smaller than a six. wide? no. so i asked about boys shoes. oh yes we have this ONE pair that comes in wide. fortunately it was new balance--so i knew the brand was at least okay. i ask--is this a RUNNING shoe? oh yes--it can be used for running. okay--political answers have even permeated the shoe store world. i am a 55 year old woman--its obvious from looking at me that i am not an elite runner. i don't need a shoe that "can be used for running" according to a shoe stock clerk. i need a GOOD RUNNING SHOE that fits my foot. i bought it anyway because it was a) cheap, b)new balance c) fit my foot without pinching, slipping or otherwise being non functional d) i wanted something to show for my day spent in the zombie world of shoe departments.
rob found a shoe that he liked very much--a new balance EEEE (so men can have wide feet but not women i guess) but the mate was on display. someplace. while there was a location clearly marked on the box (we didn't know what it meant but the salesperson should have) the mate could not be found after a brief halfhearted attempt to hunt it down. so he decided to go back to the dept. store where he had found another shoe he liked. go to the register where we were asked "did you find everything you were looking for today?" DH answered "well no--i found a shoe i wanted but the mate was on display somewhere and we couldn't locate it."
her reply was--"can i see your card please for the last for digits? would you like a bag for that? have a great day!"
did she offer to call a manager or do something to find the wayward shoe? no. she was very pleasant with the mechanics of her job, but the intellectual leap of actually LISTENING to what was said to her hadn't made it to her conscious mind.
this is a big, nationwide chain that markets itself as THE place to go for sporting goods. i guess if you need to buy something that requires a brain on the part of the employees you have to go elsewhere.
for now i will try these shoes and see if they work. my intent all along was to buy a pair of "starter" shoes. but if i keep up with the running i will go as far afield as i have to next time to find a store where the people know what they are doing and care about their customers.