Sunday, March 04, 2007

Those Shoes

I spent last weekend in Naples, Florida, visiting one half of my four parents. They had a condo for a couple of weeks and invited me down to spend the weekend.

I didn’t know it, but Naples is apparently a retirement mecca. I’m pretty sure I was the youngest person within a fifty mile radius of the city. There was tanned, wrinkled flesh as far as the eye could see, and everybody seemed to be from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut. I’ve never been to a place where all the handicapped parking spots are always filled. Always! We went to a well-known restaurant in the city one evening, and, in a little pocket on the front of each menu, there was a little plastic MAGNIFYING GLASS! I am not making that up.

On Saturday, my Wicked Stepmother™ took me shopping on Fifth Avenue, which I guess is the shopping to end all shopping in that part of Florida. So I did what I’ve discovered works. I popped a Vicoden, put on my most comfy shoes, and we headed out.

It was fun. There were lots of sales, which makes things even more fun. Somehow it doesn’t hurt so much to pay $100 for a T-shirt if it was originally $250. No, I didn’t really pay $100 for a T-shirt, but I thought about it. It was 60% off! How could I pass up a bargain like that??

So about two thirds of the way down the street we walked into this little shop that was full of clear plastic shoes festooned with rhinestones and pink furry purses with beaded fringe and leather jackets adorned with sequined flamingos on the back and earrings that weighed five pounds. I started looking around and then some shop employee-type girl walks right up to me and says “You canNOT walk around on Fifth Avenue in Naples in THOSE shoes.”

And I just stared at her for a couple of seconds, blinking.

And then I burst out laughing. And then she laughed. And then my Wicked Stepmother™ laughed. And then all the other shop-girls laughed. Yes, we all had a good laugh at the expense of my shoes. Ha ha ha. Apparently, there was some sort of Fifth Avenue "shopping dress code" of which I was unaware. Maybe they should post it next to the street signs or something, so the riff-raff like me won’t be walking around looking unattractive and ruining the view for everyone else.

OK, so my shoes weren’t the most stylish shoes ever made. They were Tevas, similar to these:

Tevas were created, I think, by a river rafting guide. They’re very comfortable. They have Velcro straps, so you can adjust the sizing to fit your foot, and it’s perfectly OK to get them wet and dirty, because you can toss them in the washing mashine or give them a good scrubbing by hand and they’re good to go. There isn’t a finer, more practical, more versatile piece of footwear available on the market today. I love them.

I actually have three pairs. The oldest pair is usually reserved for anything that will get the shoes wet and/or dirty. Tevas are very durable, but they don’t look their best after two or three good scrubbings. So I like to keep a couple of newer pairs presentable enough to wear to work. I like to make sure those two are in different colors, one in blue or green, and the other in some neutral earth tone, so I can coordinate with whatever T-shirt I’m wearing to work that day.

I was wearing my newest pair on our shopping jaunt! The ones that haven’t been submerged in river water or encrusted with mud yet. The ones that still smell faintly of new rubber. The newest, nicest pair! And I was still insulted by a girl who sells shoes decorated with sequins and feathers.

I’m still marveling at her nerve. How did she know I wouldn’t take offense and smack her? Maybe she figured that anyone who would walk around in those shoes to begin with wouldn’t care what she thought. Maybe L. (aka Skiver) called ahead and had me ambushed. I know he hates to be seen in public with me wearing those shoes. Maybe he even paid her……hmmm.

Anyway, after all the initial laughter at my shoes, I mentioned that I was wearing the Tevas because they were so comfortable. The shop girl informed me that she could find me something comfortable that looked better than what I had on, and followed up her comment with an eye roll. And then everybody laughed again. Ha ha ha.

So, yeah, she sold me a pair of shoes that were indeed semi-comfortable. And, yeah, I wore them out of the store, at everyone’s insistence. But then I stopped at a bench about half a block down from the shop, put my Tevas back on, and proceeded to ruin the view on Fifth Avenue for the rest of the day.

So I guess I showed her.


Blogger Em said...

You make me laugh every time, Jill! I can't believe there was a magnifying glass on the menu. I mean, I believe you...but still.

And the little shop girl had some nerve, eh? Your shoes seem perfectly fine. But I'm waiting to see the pic of what she sold you? What shoe, in a store covered in sequins and feathers, did she convince you to buy. And wear. For a block.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Schmoopie said...

My Tevas are one of my favorite pairs of shoes. I've had them for about 8 years and they are sooo comfortable! I don't even own any "nice" shoes. If I am not in comfortable shoes, I get cranky.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Magnifying glasses? On menus? That is just so wrong. Remind me to never ever retire to a place with magnifying glasses on menus. There have to be warm places which aren't wrinkle ghettos!

Oh, and the shoes? Life without sports sandals is just not worth living.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

what a bitch. i hope she wasn't on commission. 'cause if she just fed her.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Evil Spock said...

Good for you! God, I'm glad my gf isn't into shopping at places like that . . .

12:59 PM  

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