|Feel free to chuckle whilst imagining the awkward angle I held my phone at to get this shot.|
First of all, I didn't have any plans to go shopping today. My plans were to take Neeps to visit my Katie, and then come home. But as I was driving back across the bridge the thought occurred to me that a) I do need new work shoes and b) the afternoon is the best time to go shopping for new shoes and c) I'd already gone through the trouble and effort of packing Neeps into his car seat and d) there was a good shoe store between me and home.
And so I took an early exit, found miraculously close parking, and swaggered in as best I could whilst awkwardly lugging a car-seat-full-of-robust-infant. This less-than-impressive arrival was greeted with a polite smile from the salesman, along with the ubiquitous, "May I help you with anything today?"
"Yep!" I announced. "I'm here for new work shoes so my boss can stop cringing!"
This led into a discussion about what I normally wear, shoe-wise;
"Doc Martens and hiking shoes," I said, sticking out a foot so he could see my Merrells. "Oh, those are great shoes," he said, to which I replied, "I know: this is my second pair. I think the last they use for this model happens to correspond with my foot."
what I do for a living;
"I'm an office manager for a brokerage company," I explained. He smiled and said, "Yes, I can see why your boss might be appreciative of a... change in footwear." I gave him a cheeky grin in return, "Yeah: I'm damn good at my job, so he's always given me leeway, but I thought it would make him happy if I upped my professional style a bit."
and my personal preferences;
"I won't do heels," I said flatly. (sorry) This did not appear to concern him: "Okay, we actually have a lot of options for that- maybe some ballet flats, or-" I interrupted with, "And they need to stay on my feet while I bike to work," at which point he just sort of laughed. I joined in and added, "I know, I know: I'm a challenge."
He had me sit so he could measure my foot.
"You have very strong feet," he remarked, and I preened a bit at that, because of all my (many) vanities, I am The Most Vain about my feet and ankles. Hells yeah, rock climbing and hiking FTW.
"Okay, I have a few ideas," he began thoughtfully, but I cut in with, "I happen to love oxblood, if that helps," and you'd have thought I'd told him the Holidays had come early. His face lit up, and he said, "I think I have just the thing, then!"
He disappeared into the back, and came back perhaps 90 seconds later with two boxes. He opened the first.
"Nice," I said, eyeing the burgundy loafer. He helped me put them on, and I stomped about and checked myself out in the mirror. "They're so cute and comfy. I really like these!" I said. And I did. (I still do. I may go back.)
"And they'll keep your feet protected from the rain while you bike," he pointed out. I nodded appreciatively, and took my seat once more.
"I also thought these might do," he said, and opened the second box.
"Ooo," was my visceral-girlie response: the shoes put me in mind of tulips, and I could see how perfect they'd be with both pants and skirts. Clever man.
I tried them on, and immediately realized that these felt even better on my feet: no slippage. I said as much, and he nodded.
"I'm not surprised to hear you say that; this brand is known for fitting high arches like yours. Plus you strike me as an artistic person, and the cut on those shoes really lets you play with fun socks."
I grinned at him. "Good call: I love fun socks." I sat back down and asked, "How much will these run me?"
He told me, and I nodded. Not cheap, but totally reasonable for what I was getting. "Let's do this."
And that is how, thanks to incredible customer service from someone who really knows his business, I was in and out of a shoe store with a brand new pair of ruby slippers, in less than thirty minutes. Damned if I don't love professionals.