Before the marathon of Modern Family we actually went to the mall. Yes. on the Friday void of color. It was strategy of avoidance. If we wait till the afternoon then they'll be gone. Not that we don't love you, we just don't want to push and shove no matter what the cost.
we went to the mall or one store in it at least. a store filled with everything, so much everything, topped, stacked, hung, layered, organized, color, light, seizure, I could lose my mind.
Shelby left us after we asked and then found the men's shoes after passing watches and belts and sequins and dresses and ties and big signs and names I've never heard.
His last pair, the only shoes he claimed, lasted him five years this past October. In those shoes he backpacked Sipsey Wilderness, busted beaver dams with Pop, visited at least three weddings, stood for eight and sixteen hours at work, walked so many miles on campus he's lost fifteen pounds since I last saw him. College is good.
Our conversation went something like this.
Lady: Can I help you?
Me: Do you have Merrells?
Lady: Yes. Here. (she points at a three tiered stack of don't you want to wear me)
Me: Alright, Slater. Here they are. (I pick up one as close in similarity as she has)
Slater: Yeah. Okay. (he holds it in his hand)
Lady: What size?
Slater and I in unison: We don't know.
Who remembers anything from five years ago, and those things are so worn they don't have a sole.
Slater: I was hoping you'd have a machine.
We all laugh as she pulls out a shiny new model of the exact way someone measured my feet when I was a kid. I feel relief as I think yay, they kept that the same.
Lady: Stick your foot in here. Push back. Stand. Looks like a nine and a half.
I think, no. that's a ten.
She comes back with at least four pairs of shoes and shows us one with absolutely no other similar trait to our request than it is a slip on, a brown moccasin. I'm puzzled, confused, concerned we'll have to go to a second store.
Lady: What do you think?
Slater: They're a little tight.
Me: Slater, those are brown, nothing like what you have and what about the ones we picked.
Lady: How 'bout these? (she pulls out a pair of black red and white of what look like baseball cleats)
Me: For him?
Slater tries them on.
I wonder what is happening here. The boy never liked baseball.
There is silence as Slater looks down at the shoe so I finally ask it, the question originally asked. Do you have the ones we asked for?
Lady: I only have it in a ten.
Me: Slater, take off the baseball shoe and try on the ten.
He does what's asked.
Me: Hey. (I motion to the lady to look at Slater's old shoe. It looks as though it's been through a battle)
Lady: Oh. I see where they're coming apart.
Me: That's the shoe he loves.
And whadayano, the shoe fits.
Today I am grateful to provide my son with a pair of shoes that he loves.
I wonder if he'll let me keep his old Merrells.
He just said, No.
Pictures coming soon. I promise.