I spent countless hours this week searching for back-to-school shoes—indoor, outdoor, ballet, basketball, white soled gym shoes, cross country runners, and even special shoelaces for a child of mine who still finds lace tying trying.
My daughter needs sturdy shoes to support her ankles. Sturdy = expensive. Geox makes a perfect pair—perfect in every way but the ridiculous price tag. I refuse to pay $120 for sneakers she'll outgrow in a matter of months. But despite the fact that I'm not thrilled about spending big bucks on kids’ shoes, I have yet to resort to shoplifting.
However yesterday, as my daughter and I tried to exit a shoe store, I triggered an alarm and a salesperson stopped me and proceeded to shake me down. She asked me to open my purse and she rifled through Avery’s butterfly backpack. I didn't have any pockets to empty and a pair of shoes shoved down my yoga pants would have left an obvious bulge, so she conceded that I didn't have shoes stashed anywhere on my person, yet the alarm continued to sound.
“Perhaps you stepped on a sticker?” the salesperson suggested curtly. We checked the bottoms of our shoes. No sticker.
At this point I was fifty shades of red and the people in line behind us were growing restless.
The shoe store lady was looking at me like I was some kind of shifty shoe snatcher so I threw my hands up in the air in an, “Ok, you got me. I swallowed a pair of Stride Rites and plan to poop them out when I get home,” kind of way.
I may enjoy wearing a soft leather mule, but I’m certainly not some kind of footwear smuggling shoe mule.
It was then as I spun around to nab the can of shoe spray Avery was actually stealing, that the shoe lady spotted the sticker. It was stuck to the middle of my back. Obviously "somebody," fed up with having shoes shoved repeatedly on her little feet all afternoon, had been playing a little “pin the sticker on the donkey.”
There’s that mule reference again. Perhaps there’s something to it since I AM a jackass who will apparently be sending her children back to school barefoot this year since I'm so done with BTS shopping.
BTS bonus: How do sneakers get you to move out of their way? They honk their shoe horns.