Saturday, December 11, 2010


      What is two-toned, come in a pair, and can take years off your life faster, and considerably cheaper, than plastic surgery?
Saddle shoes!
      Those of you who Facebook read my recent announcement about my intention to outfit myself with what just might be my last pair of saddle shoes. The very thought of these shoes is like butter. I don't like them, I love them. When I saw Ellen sporting a pair on TV, it was all over, Rover. They would be mine again.
      Shopping with my buddy, Lytle, I considered all the available Bass options at the store. They had black and whites, which were adorable. They had the light tan suede with dark leather; but, then I found the last official pair of mirror image dark suede with light leather. They seemed more appropriate for me to wear during my academic experiences and about town. With a long pant leg, they somewhat look like boots. LOVE THEM. As a matter of fact, I may marry them or at least sleep in them.

        My first pair were purchased at Littles Shoe Store in Squirrel Hill. The shopping trip was an incredible production which included 2/3rds of my nuclear family. Mom, Dad, Patrick, and I all piled in another love of my life, my Dad's 1965 screaming cherry red Chevy Biscayne. That bad boy auto featured Fingerhut waffle patterned plastic seat covers that left permanent impressions in your skin whether or not you were wearing a snow suit. It also had a manual transmission you don't see much these days: a "three on the tree." To the uninitiated, that translates into a three-speed with the stick shift on the drive column. The other incredible feature was the transistor radio Dad insisted sliding all over the dash board rather than having a built-in radio. Mom hated all that noise.

        In less than ten minutes we were in Squirrel Hill, Dad was swearing at other drivers and we were all scouring the street for an unmanned parking meter. Eventually, we strolled down the wide sidewalk and window shopped before walking into this elegant shoe store. 
        I first spied them in the window that August day while preparing for my freshman year at St. Paul Cathedral High School. Breaking one of my first commandments, I coveted them at first sighting. Then, as if by magic, Dad said yes! He agreed. There weren't any negotiations. I didn't need to promise anything. THEY WERE GOING TO BE MINE. My heart was singing. Those sweet black and white shoes were going to be on my feet and my feet alone.
Then it happened and the day's events took an unforgettable turn: DAD STARTED BARGAINING WITH THE SALESMAN.  He wanted a discount since he was "shoeing" his entire family. (They didn't know Mike and Kathy weren't there.) It made me want to crawl under the paisley carpeting and slime my way back over the welcome mat. Was Dad kidding me? HOW could he do this to me and my new image? You know what happened next? They ended up calling the manager over. Would it ever end? Dad shook his hand, talked some sort of animated chat, pointed at the boxes on the counter, and then he was offered a 20% discount.
         It was mortifying. It was not the only time Dad wrestled the price point in my presence. Those tales are for another time, but lets suffice it to say that I wasn't wild about any of those events either.
      I don't think I said a word going back to the car. To tell the truth, as soon as I turned the handled on the Ford gumball machine and started chewing on the rock hard ball, it was relieved to escape the store. At my advanced age I "get it" now. Morgan, you are clearly understood. However, I still can believe you did it and were successful. Moreover, I'll never forget that day's transaction. 

1 comment:

  1. Love the new shoes, Scoop! Very "Scoop-able!" SSS