As I was stepping out of the bathroom this morning, I was informed by my wife that our daughter needed a new pair of shoes. These things happen. Children grow, they need new shoes. No big deal.
It wouldn’t be a big deal except she needed new shoes NOW. Really? Right now? It is 8:23 am and they are leaving for school at 8:25 am. She really needs a new pair of shoes in the next two minutes? This really couldn’t wait? What is the emergency?
Apparently, someone left her shoes out on the porch where the rain could reach them. After the tremendous downpour we had this past weekend (and today), her shoes were not just a little damp; they were soaked. I’m thinking to myself: Just have her wear another pair of shoes. What is the big deal, right? She has other pairs of shoes, boots, slippers, whatever. She could have worn her boots except for the fact that she broke those on Saturday night while we were walking in Seattle. And it appears that all of her other shoes are now too small for her never ending and continuously growing feet. What about her snow boots? Yes, snow boots! She just wore those with all the recent snow we had! It snowed only two weeks ago! I don’t have to make a trip to the shoe store! I’m saved!
No dice. The snow boots were a wee bit tight as well. She probably could have gotten frostbite because her feet where stuffed in them and her blood wasn’t circulating correctly. Details, details.
OK, after my less than enthusiastic acceptance of being the parent who has to drag their kid to the shoe store on a Monday morning, my daughter and I head out on the quest for new shoes. Mind you, I hate clothes and shoe shopping. I hate it with a passion. I hate it with every bone in my body. I hate the driving to the store, the walking into the store, the trying on of the clothes, the matching this shirt with those pants, the changing of the outfit into a different outfit, the returning of the first pile of clothes, the bringing back of more clothes to try on…you get my point, right? I hate it. And now I have to go with my daughter on a shopping trip? I can’t stand going with my wife shopping and now I have to go with my daughter? This is the same daughter that argues me with me about which gum she wants to buy and we spend fifteen long (very long minutes…minutes I’ll never get back) minutes looking at gum in which to purchase? It is a pack of gum! It shouldn’t take fifteen minutes to decide!
However, this trip is for a pair of shoes only. No add ons, no additional accessories, no skirts or tops to go with the shoes. Shoes Only! Clear, obtainable goals!
On top of this, we also need to get to school before they send in the lunch orders or I have to bring a lunch from home during my daughter’s lunch period (when I’m suppose to be working). We now have a time deadline on our shoe quest to add more stress to this mess. First, I hate shopping. Second, I now have a time deadline, and third, I haven’t a clue on what size shoe or style of shoe. Lucky, for me (or perhaps unlucky for me), my daughter pretty much knows what she wants. Let’s just pray that she doesn’t want the $95 Nike shoes or the piece of junk “pretty” shoes that won’t last two weeks yet cost more than the pair of Nike shoes.
So what can make this worse? My daughter actually feels terrible about me having to do this. She keeps apologizing about making me miss work. She’s sorry that I have to spend money on her to buy a new pair of shoes. She feels bad that I have to do it when usually Mom likes to do these things. She says she’ll pick the cheapest shoes. OK, now I feel like a real jerk. My poor daughter has all this guilt because of these stupid shoes. I do tell her that it isn’t a big deal, that she needs new shoes anyway, however, I didn’t want to be making a shoe shopping trip during school hours on a Monday morning. I mean, I look like a terrible parent waiting until the last minute to outfit his daughter in a new pair of shoes. I can see people looking at me and thinking: What kind of father waits until his child is headed to school to purchase her shoes? Doesn’t he care?
I need to spin this back onto my daughter. I ask her why she didn’t put her shoes inside. Well, she had dog poop on her shoes. Good reason. However, that is why you wash off the dog poop outside with the hose and then put the shoes by the front door. She knows perfectly well that her shoes need to be right by the front door, under the porch roof. For God’s sake, she’s eight years old already. If she lived in a Third World country she’d be making her 15th pair of shoes by 9:15 already and working for 15 cents an hour, 12 hour days, six days a week. No wonder our country is going downhill.
We get to the local Kent Fred Meyer store and walk into a very clean and well organized shoe department. We find the girl’s shoes area. She likes a pair of purple Nike shoes (on sale) but they are a bit tight. She then tries on a pair of blue New Balance and they feel better. She likes the blue running shoes and they are on sale as well. YES! We head to the cashier, who then tells us that they have another coupon for an additional 15% off. Double YES!
We walk out of there with a new pair of shoes for about $32 and in about 15 minutes time. Not super great but not bad on price and the time spent in the store was acceptable. We make it safely to school. She is a bit late but still manages to get her lunch order in under the deadline. Sweet deal! We part ways on good terms and I’m back off home to get some Photoshop work done. Not a bad morning for an idiot father who hates shopping….now it is time for a nap!