My son has a fat foot. Actually, two of them.
This wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that athletic (they don’t call them “tennis” anymore) shoes are the most important “article of clothing” for a 12-year-old boy. Finding a pair of shoes that: a) fit and b) look “awesome” has become a monumental task.
Last week, two very kind salesladies helped me look for a pair. They said the problem was that he’s still in a kids size length-wise, but a man’s size width-wise. Tell me something I don’t already know.
After thirty minutes, they found the “perfect shoes”. They guaranteed me that he would approve of them. My search was over. I knew these would be THE shoes.
When I got home, he opened the box and the look on his face was…
not what I had hoped.
The color wasn’t right, the brand wasn’t right, and after he forced his humongous foot into the left shoe, there wasn’t enough slack to tie the laces.
I said, “When it comes to shoes, the world is not your oyster.”
He asked me what I meant, and I told him that everybody loves seafood, but not everyone can have oysters–they have to find a way to be happy with just shrimp or Captain D’s. “Just like you can’t have the shoes of your dreams because you have your father’s feet.”
Then yesterday, I’m at another store, one with lots of choices and again a very helpful salesperson. For some reason they take pity on me. It becomes a challenge for them to find the right shoes that my son can fit into, and more importantly, will like.
I bring the “perfect pair” home, and again…nada.
This time, they’re wide enough, but something about the treads looks like he should be mountain climbing rather than walking down the middle school hallway. He tosses them back in the box. I say, “Look, there is no shoes smorgasbord out there!”
Again I have to explain.
“You can order what you want at Subway—chicken teriyaki, with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, and black olives; but if they accidentally slip a banana pepper in there, you just pick it off. You don’t say you’re not hungry anymore.”
I’m not sure he’s completely getting my analogies.
His father doesn’t understand why I don’t just take him with me so he can try on shoes in the store. That shopping disaster usually ends after an hour with twenty pairs of shoes out of their boxes and still no Cinderella fit, and with me screaming something like, “Wear flip flops to school for all I care,” as we walk out the door.
So, he’s just going to have to keep wearing the pair with the hole in the sole a little longer. Who cares if his teachers think I’m a neglectful mother who can’t buy her son a decent pair of shoes?
Let them walk a mile in my moccasins. Or down the aisles of Rack Room Shoes.