Wednesday, August 31, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

“…and they were only $5.95!” I held my new shoes up like a prized trophy for my family to see, pointing out the original half torn, price tag from Nordstrom.

“Hold me.” The toddler reached up his arms then impatiently began to wrap himself in and between my legs. Apparently, no else in my family appreciates the thrill of a great bargain like I do.

I had scored at the local thrift store.  It was closed for a few months while they were remodeling. I knew we were probably going to be paying for that remodel with higher prices. With high hopes I went to check it out anyway.

Be still my beating heart. Shoes in every shape and color, rows upon rows of them, I reached out and began running my fingers delicately over the cutest pairs. They caught my eye immediately, a brand new looking pair of thick soled, classic, red flats with a petite red bow across the top. They fit snugly. These will be perfect for my upcoming trip to New York!

This casual California girl could make in the big city with these fabulous red shoes. I’d fit right in. I’d be fashionable and sophisticated. I’d be relaxed, raise my hand and taxis would rush to offer me their services. I’d walk and look like I knew where I was going, because, I was. I was going to New York!

I’d exited the subway too early. No worries. These red shoes could have been Dorothy’s ruby, red slippers. Like magic, they carried me for blocks and blocks and more blocks but who’s counting? Maybe it was the thrill of being in the Big Apple, maybe the exhaust fumes from all the taxis that never stopped, that left me a little light headed. Whatever it was, I deny the existence of red, tender spots forming on my feet, when we finally check in at our hotel.

We met up with friends, said our hellos and headed for the nearest pub. Everyone was energized and distracted by the excitement of traveling across the country, so I pointed out my great bargain to the girls. “Nice! Cute.” They ooohed and awed. They were duly impressed.

I was grateful when we collectively decided to stop for a shake at some “famous” shake shop. My feet were pinching and throbbing. I am in New York. No one gets blisters in New York! I was nearly hobbling as we headed back to the hotel, “Oh! Already? The night is still young!” I cringed with every step.

Large, swollen and stinging blisters raged angrily at me. My heels glared, “How could you?” We had been betrayed, for $5.95.

I pulled out my old, faithful flip-flops and looked forward to going home.

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