Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Putting her best foot forward
London, ON, September 2010
Shopping ranks relatively low on my list of preferred things to do. If I had to actually build such a list, hitting the stores would likely slot in just above shooing those pesky flying ants from the garden and just below walking the dog in a driving rainstorm.
So you can imagine how much I love looking for shoes. It's an even more depressing version of shopping, frankly. The smell of child-slave-assembled vinyl conspires with the jumble of randomly opened shoe boxes clogging the already too-narrow aisles to make you both nauseous and disoriented before you've even tried the first pair on. It doesn't help that the Britney-esque family over there seems to have mistaken the entire store for a playground for its unruly brood of hellions.
Yet on this day, I found myself in a local shoe store with three very important ladies: my wife, our daughter and my mom; three generations of Levy women, all looking for footwear. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Since the employees seemed a little frazzled with the mini-Britneys, I thought I'd step in and play the shoe store equivalent of cruise director (Julie McCoy, where are you?)
First, I sat on a seat - standard guy's position, apparently - and cheerfully welcomed total strangers into the store. I thanked them for shopping with us and pretended to actually know where stuff was. It brought many smiles, so I kept up the charade for a bit. Eventually, I got bored and took out my BlackBerry for some really bad photography. When our daughter brought us this pair of Converse All-Stars - the kind of shoe Mr. Rogers might have worn, I think - I took one to the front of the store and set up shop on a dangerously tilting display of stylish but sensible pumps.
I told the rather surprised shoppers around me that the sun was better there. They politely declined my request to hold the shoe in place, but still hung around to see the final result. I set the BB to macro mode (this ridiculously limited little camera actually has macro. Amazing) and got to work. It won't replace my real camera, but if it helps me turn a disaster-waiting-to-happen into a fun romp in a godless temple of suburban commercialism, it's worth having.
And I do love our young lady's shoes. They're so her.
Your turn: Do you try to make strangers smile when you're out in public? Do tell!