Last fall, Michelle and Stephanie needed new shoes, and it happened that a couple of Lisa's college girlfriends were in town. The girls and I met them at the mall, ate dinner and began the search. This was the first time I had been responsible for purchasing kid's shoes independently. I always had an opinion about what our kids wore, it just didn't matter; until now.
As we began strolling past the stores, one caught my eye. It was big and full of shoes, racks and racks of them. I darted in and immediately spotted the kid's aisle. From behind me I heard Lucy, one of our guides.
"Back away from this store Bruce. Just back away. There is nothing here Lisa would allow your children to wear. Back away quickly."
I'm compliant. I didn't question. But the store did have a TON of shoes and the prices were remarkable from what I could tell from my short stint there. That night we found nothing and our women helpers were gone.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
My kids always had cute and stylish shoes. But where did they come from? The next day we hit Target, Kohls, Payless, Paymore; I couldn't find a thing. Finally I phoned one of my "moms on call":
"Jill, where in the heck can I find decent shoes for Michelle and Stephanie?"
"Well, there's a cute store near my house but it's not cheap."
"At this point, I don't care."
We walked in the door and the salesperson could sense I was weak. How many times a day do you see a father alone with his daughters in a shoe store? I felt like I had a target on my forehead. She began engaging the kids, walking back and forth between the Uggs, Wallabees and Toms. All cute; all expensive.
We walked out with five pair of shoes and a hair bow. I also walked out $250 lighter.
When Michelle got to school with her new Wallabees, one of her friends told her she did not like them. She said she thought they were ugly.
The next day I pulled them out as she was getting dressed. "I think I'll wear something else today", Michelle informed me.
"I spent $60 on these shoes! I don't care what Kimmy thinks about them! PUT THEM ON YOUR FEET! NOW!"
I have to give credit to DJ who came in the room and tried to convince Michelle that they were really cool shoes. It didn't work. I think she's worn them twice all year. I'm going back to the big store in the mall.