It will come as no surprise to you, I’m sure, that when a store stops carrying something I’m used to buying, it causes me to panic a little bit. Whether it’s a watch I’ve been buying for two years or an orange cake mix that I really have a hankering for, it drives me crazy to find out that either the store doesn’t carry it anymore or the manufacturer has stopped making it.
I’ve been buying the same pair of shoes from Payless Shoe Source for years now, I don’t even know how long. They’re your basic brown casual shoe, and they’re something to which I’ve grown quite accustomed. Unfortunately, like everything else, they tend to wear out, usually after a year, year-and-a-half or so. A few months ago, I went to Payless to buy a new pair, only to be told they’ve stopped making that particular style. Oh, sure, they’ll still make the black version of the shoe, but the brown version just wasn’t up to their demanding set of standards or something.
So, since then, I’ve kind of poked around at different stores, seeing what I could find. It wasn’t critical, since once summer started, I could wear my sneakers to work (of course, soon thereafter my brand-new sneakers decided to start squeaking (thereby becoming far less sneaky), but that’s a whole ‘nother story), but I knew I’d need them soon.
I couldn’t find anything. Either the ones I’d like would be too expensive or they wouldn’t have my size or they just wouldn’t have anything I liked. It was starting to get frustrating.
Then school started and it got worse. My old wearing-out pair of shoes are also one size too small. I can get by with them for a while, but after wearing them daily for a month or so, they start to cause problems with my feet and I get all sorts of pain in my index toes.
(Is that what you’d call your big toe? It’s more thumb-like than index finger-like, but it’s the first toe, so I don’t know.)
Well, my feet have been hurting for a week or so now, and I knew it was past time to get shoes. I just couldn’t find any, though. KMart (of all places) had a pair I liked more than any other pair I’d seen, but not in my size.
Growing up, my dad had always called my shoes “boats” or “skis” and I was beginning to think that I’d have to check a marina or a sporting goods store to find some size 13s.
Yesterday, for lunch, I went to the mall for some orange chicken from Panda Express (both the spiciest thing I eat and the only sorta-Chinese food I like). I had about ten spare minutes after eating, so I went to Kohl’s just to see if their inventory had changed since the last 18 times I’d checked them. I guess my resistance was down or something, because I ended up buying a pair of Skechers – you know, those shoes with the oppressively “hip” ads that make you want to kick pop culture all over the schoolyard while taking its lunch money? Yeah, I bought a pair. I feel so dirty.
I would link you to a picture of my new shoes on the Skechers site, but, frankly, I have no idea what I bought. They’ve named their shoes things like “Komodo” and “Maxx” and “Critics – Carper,” and I have no idea what’s what. Suffice to say the soles are thicker than I’m used to, so not only am I taller than I was, I’m also having trouble walking and I’m driving faster than normal because I’m not used to the distance between my foot and the gas pedal – the angle my foot used to be at when driving yields more oomph than it did when I had thinner-soled shoes.
The shoes fit, though, so I guess that’s something. I anticipate my toe problems going away in a week or so, and that’s also good. I guess for that, I’m willing to put up with walking like Frankenstein’s monster for a while.
Now if only I could find an orange cake mix, I’d be all set.