Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Ladies Need a New Pair of Shoes

Ah. . . back-to-school shopping. I am lucky that both the Ladies have birthdays in the late summer/early fall. It is nice to get some new clothes for them without actually having to take them to a store.

Shoe shopping is a different story. After spending the last three months either barefoot with the blackest of black-bottomed feet or clad in Crocs, I had no idea what size either of the Ladies would be wearing, so I knew I would have to drag them both out to be measured.

While my mom stayed home with QT, I loaded the Ladies in Minnie-Ru and headed out to the mall. I don't know if it is just denial, or if I am still pumped up with so many post-pregnancy hormones, but I am totally under the false impression that taking only two kids with me is some sort of easy outing. Clearly, I haven't been reading my own posts from the last two years.

Anyway, the Ladies and I descended on Stride-Rite with a sense of excitement, at least I felt excitement--I was out with my big girls we were doing something fun together--what the Ladies felt however, could only be explained by methamphetamine use.

These Ladies were all over the place. Sliding along the vinyl covered seats, walking into the window display to check out the Sesame Street themed shoes, banging on the toy piano they plant in the middle of the store for God knows what reason--because you know those Sales Associates probably just want to take a hammer to it, taking the socks and the hair accessories off the hooks and yes, even looking at some shoes.

We went to Stride-Rite first because I needed the Ladies to be measured. I wasn't even sure we would be purchasing shoes there, one, because sometimes they are a little pricey and two, because the Lady was insistent on getting "Sketcher Sporty-Shortys--that light up" and I knew they didn't sell Sketchers there.

Sporty Shorty
There are things I love about the DVR and things I hate about the DVR. One thing I love is that I have access to multiple Strawberry Shortcake episodes "on the Hub." One thing I hate is that the Ladies insist on watching said episodes without me fast forwarding through the commercials. Sketchers--I commend you, you do a fantastic job of marketing your shoes to little girls. Not only are your "Sporty Shortys" very popular in our house, but we are also considering the "Twinkle Toes." Kudos to you.

Twinkle Toes
I will say that brand loyalty only goes so far and since the Lady can't read and the Sketcher's commercials are cartoons, she doesn't really have a firm grasp on what the sneakers actually look like. So, sitting there on the shelf was a pair of sneakers that looked very much like those Sporty Shorty shoes and best of all they lit up and they were on sale!

I figured if I could just corral the Ladies and get them measured all I would have to do would be to have them try those babies on and we would be out the door.

Why do people who work in stores geared towards children always seem so miserable? Granted, I would not want to measure the sweaty feet of anybody, let alone a squirmy 2-year old who may or may not still have syrup on her leg from that mornings breakfast, but come on--crack a smile or at least try to engage them a little bit. You could go a long way by telling a 4-year old you think that the shoes they picked out are cool.

Clearly, we had a sub-par Sales Associate. After she measured the Ladies, I asked her to see if they had the Stride-Rite "Sporty Shorty Shoe" in size 10 for the Lady. (She is really a 9.5--no wonder her ballet slippers don't fit, they are only a 9--thank goodness for the foresight of Santa Sheils who ordered those Lelly Kelley's in a 9.5, they still fit and she still rocks them at school.) The woman disappeared the back only to emerge later with shoes for another customer and not the Lady. In the meantime, I was trying to get the Little Lady from running out of the store in her pink socks and asked another (still kind of surly) Sales Associate for two pairs of shoes for the Little Lady. By the time she returned with the two pairs, both of which the Little Lady had zero interest in, there was still no faux-sportys for the Lady. We waited a few minutes, but waiting in a shoe store with two kids who are on some sort of shoe-fueled sugar high seems interminable.

Finally, I was able to get the attention of the second Sales Associate who promptly told me that they didn't have the shoes in the Lady's size. Ugh. We slipped the Crocs on over the socks--I know, I know, I don't want my kids looking like European tourists at Disney World either, but we were running dangerously low the amount of time it would be before someone had a meltdown or my boobs started to leak.

We made our way to Payless. No Sporty Shortys, but a lot of shoes that kind of looked like them in size 8 and 10.5. On a side note--they do have ballet slippers there if anyone ever needs them.

Then Macy's, which I thought was a long shot and it was. However, they have really cool tights there that I am going to pick up for the Lady for this winter.

I understand that malls make it virtually impossible for you to get anywhere in a straight line. They force you to take the long way around so that you have to pass every single store out there. I get it, I do. What I don't understand is why they skimp on the Directory signs. I mean come on, I just want a list of stores that sell children's shoes.

Finally. Foot Locker.

And there they were in all their pink sparkle glory, just sitting on the shelf waiting to light up not only themselves, but the very faces of the children they are marketed to. Oh Sporty Shorty! Oh Twinkle Toes! Oh dear Lord, will someone please come over here and help us? The Ladies are once again sliding on and off the bench, tossing around tissue-paper pulled from the inside of some shoe and walking through the clothing displays.

"Can I help you?"

"We will take any color/combination of Sporty Shorty or Twinkle Toes in size 7 and 10."

So what the guy comes back with is two pairs of Sporty Shortys in size 9 and 6 and then assures me that they run big.

Dude, I get that you have been way more helpful then your Stride-Rite counterparts, and maybe it is true that these shoes run big, but I am not walking out of here with two pairs of $50 light up shoes with the hope that these Ladies won't grow out of them in like two months.

I tried them on the Lady and they fit. Like, they just fit. I put on the size 6 for the Little Lady and all she said was "Ow."

So, we stuffed those ill-fitting sparkle shoes and our dreams of a successful shoe shopping outing back into those pink boxes and we left., here I come.

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