Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beautiful Shoes!

Growing up, my family didn't have a ton of money. Mom is a social worker and my father was a school teacher, so money was always tight. We never went hungry or anything like that - my parents were resourceful. I just remember that we didn't have a lot of extras...we had what we needed and that was it. As I got into high school, the funds just started to loosen up to the point that if there was something special we reeeeeeeeeeeeeally wanted, my folks would do their best to make it happen. (And then my father left us. Cue being broke again. But we made it work.)

Mom and I window shopped a lot. When I was in the tenth grade, we spotted a pair of paisley Zodiac ankle boots at a department store and drooled over them every few weeks when we'd walk through the mall. They were close to $300. In 1986, that was unheard of, even for the age-of-excess-80s. And especially for a family like ours, who cut coupons for just about everything.

Over the months, the boots got marked down. And down. And down some more, but they were still about $120. And then one day, we didn't see them there. So, as you do with things that just aren't going to happen, I eventually forgot about the boots.

That is, until Christmas Eve. We were on our way to our Fellowship for the candle light service and Mom always allowed my sister and me to open one present before church. She handed me a box she selected and as I tore open the paper and saw the Zodiac logo, I thought, "No way......"

They were two sizes too big, but with the pointy toes, the oversize was easily remedied with a small wad of tissue paper. "Do you love them?" she asked. I looked at her and said, "YES, but they were too much! This is too much..." She told me how much she paid to ease my mind - $90. She got them too big because they were the only ones left, but she knew with the lace up, I could make them work. To me, $90 was still extravagant for a pair of boots, but I can tell you that I adored them and wore them for years. I wore them out. I still have them, though, and as tattered as they are, on a cool, dry evening, you might still see me wearing them once or twice a year.

They're sentimental shoes. I got them 23 years ago.

Fast forward to last night. With my Grandma's condition, we haven't even thought about birthdays - mine and my sister's are both next week. Plus, Steinvic and I are in Columbus this weekend for a variety of fun things that I really, really didn't want to miss. I was at my Mom's to help her with some housework (more people coming to see Grandma this weekend) when she realized out loud, "Your birthday is Sunday!" I told her not to worry about it...not like we haven't had a ton of stuff going on.

"We have to give you one of your presents now, " my Mom insisted. My S-Dad seconded that and added, "Wait...which one?" They whispered to each other and then Mom ran upstairs.

It tickles me that I'm a grown woman and my folks get so excited about these different than if it were my first Christmas or some landmark birthday.

She returned with a bag. My S-Dad grabbed the camera. I opened it and there were the second coolest pair of shoes I've ever seen. A pair of special, handmade, colorful, ridiculously funky shoes. Shoes that they'd bought for me at an arts festival ages ago and that they've been dying to give me:

What do you think?
I think they're awesome and I totally dig them. I know I'll wear them a ton and each time I get a comment or compliment, I'll let my folks know. They're not practical. They're expensive. And I love them! This is a real treat.
If you dig them and want your own, you can visit this site to get information about ordering. Like I mentioned, not cheap, but made very well, extremely comfortable and by true artists.

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