Sunday, May 18, 2008

We Interrupt This Program...Or...The Saga of the Red Shoes

I know I've spent the last forever writing about our California trip (and there is more to come!), but I had to share this crazy thing that happened to me yesterday.

My dh (or HOH, as some are calling it these days) and I were heading for Quincy to attend the wedding of a (graduate homeschooler) friend. It was just the two of us, without dd, which is so rare! We stopped at our sparkling new Fallschase Wal-Mart to buy our normal wedding gift (a WM gift card). After stomping from one of the TWO lines (with 5 people in line) that were open at the Home section end of this HUGE store, (don't get me started about how ridiculous this is for a brand new store to already start acting like the old one on the Parkway!!!!) to the Customer Service desk (the 2nd time with an Assistant Manager in tow) to have them ring up my tiny purchase...I looked down at the floor. It seemed I had stepped on a cookie or something. There were little crumbs and pieces of 'stuff' on the shiny, new concrete floor under my foot. So I backed up to get a better look. At this point, I realized that not only was it UNDER my shoe....it was coming OUT of MY shoe! Oh, no!!! These shoes were absolutely fine when I put them on this morning!

By this time, my purchase was paid for and I didn't have time to go alllll the way to the back of the store to find a pair of shoes to buy. My plan? Walk very, very carefully to the car...tap any further 'crumbs' out over the trashcan. Then walk very carefully at the wedding so as not to aggravate the problem. We surely don't have the time to drive all the way back home to get another pair of shoes! Little did I know, this was just the beginning!

After arriving back at the car, my dh agreed with the plan. He kept saying "Nobody is going to be looking at your shoes!" Over and over he said this as dh's tend to do. Obviously, he is NOT a woman and doesn't know that EVERY woman there would be looking at my shoes!

Just so you know, I'm NOT a 'shoe person' like many of you. I do not dream up reasons to buy new shoes. My collection does not include a specific pair of shoes to match every outfit in my closet. If you have a navy pair, a black pair and a white pair...I figure you are pretty much covered. I'm very happy with my skimpy collection. Thus, new shoes are not a necessity; I'd rather have a good hamburger! I just happened to pick out the wrong pair this morning as I dressed. This particular pair was my one and only 'red' pair which meant I was feeling rather 'adventurous' this morning when I put them on. These shoes were obviously hand-me-downs (I don't have the intestinal fortitude (how's that for vocab, Deb?) to purchase RED! I'm much too conservative. They are Bass shoes, which I thought was a fairly good brand. (The only brand loyalty I have is to New Balance sneakers...and that only because they healed my wounded heels.) I've enjoyed wearing these shoes...but losing them is not going to keep me up nights. The only problem at hand was ...how am I going to get through this wedding? The mother of the groom had warned me this was a 'stand-up wedding.' Oh, my!

As we drove into Quincy, we noted that we had about 15 minutes to spare. So we drove down the road a bit to the beautiful, Quincy Dollar General store. My dh dropped me off at the door and I limped to the 'shoe' section of the store. There, I was greeted by quite an interesting selection of shoes. There were even a few pairs I tried on. However, these beautiful silver, gold and beaded black shoes were not quite what I was thinking. Also, I noted they were $6/pair! My frugal friends would never understand me spending $6 for a pair of shoes I would NEVER even think of putting back on my feet! (We could eat LUNCH for $6 at Subway!!!!) After all, it wasn't MY wedding...nor my dd's...so who cares if my shoe is dripping crumbs of rotten styrofoam all over the place? (Just so you know, the spell-checker does NOT like the way I spelled styrofoam...but you know what I'm talking about!) Anyway, my frugal self won out. I limped back to the car...not daring to look back at my little trail of crumbs left in the store. What was I thinking? (Little did I know that by the end of the day, I would have gladly worn those ugly, trashy looking silver shoes!)

As we arrived at the wedding, my shoe looked something like this. I tell you again, it looked perfectly fine when we left the house!

At the wedding, we were ushered into this beautiful, Victorian home. Beautiful rugs graced the dark wood floors...my crumbs would be very evident. EEEK! While waiting for the ceremony to start, I parked myself in a nice chair in the hall and tried as best I could to cross my feet so my shoe heel wouldn't show.

I stood by my chair (in the hall) for the ceremony. Not being able to see over the heads of other guests, I had a clear view of the ceremony through the huge mirror in the hallway. So, I just stood on one foot as best I could--trying desperately not to crunch any more styrofoam.

After the ceremony, the wedding party lined the sidewalk outside for the Receiving Line. As most of the guests filed out the front door, I looked down and saw that my shoe was leaving BIGGER crumbs. As folks would go by, I would nonchalantly reach down and pick up big wads of the stuff and put them in my purse...YUCK! it kept crumbling worse. Inside my purse it looked like I was gathering a sand collection. During this whole process my dh kept saying, "Don't worry about it! Nobody knows where its coming from!" Yeah, right! LOOK at my shoe!!!!

As the house cleared, I limped to the bathroom at the end of the hall and hurriedly locked the door, took off my shoe and banged it on the edge of the trashcan to release as many of the crumbs as possible in a desirable location. Deep breath. Okay, now I feel better and can face the world again.


Now that I'm feeling better about having the crumb problem stalled, at least, we head out the front door to greet the wedding party on the concrete sidewalk. As I walked out the front door I glanced back down the hallway and cringed as I looked back at the little crumbled pieces still on the floor behind me. Nobody will notice, right?

After clearing the gauntlet of the wedding party, I'm happy to see the other guests gathering around tables in the GRASS outside. Fantastic! I can sink my little heel down in the grass and no one will notice. As I started walking towards the grass (on the sidewalk) I noticed that my OTHER shoe had blown out and was doing the same as the other! Give me a break! Can my whole BODY sink into the grass?


Since all the tables in the shade are taken, my dh grabs a couple of chairs and pulls them into the shade. We don't know ANYBODY at the tables to buddy up with--our friends are all inside. Picture this! We are on this little patch of lawn area. The tables covered with snowy, white tablecloths and beautiful centerpieces are scattered about -- yet here we sit in two folding chairs in the middle of nothing --in the shade...and I'm trying to hide my feet. Again, dh says "Nobody is going to notice." Come on, get real! We're on display here! My RED shoes are glaringly obvious!

Now, they come out and say that refreshments are being served in the dining room. Oh, joy! I can't wait to hop up and run in that house with the dark floors and beautiful rugs again! NOT! My dh, who usually refuses to 'get me something' when we are at a function such as this, is so sweet and offers to go in and get refreshments for US. (This is a job my dd would gladly do for me, if she were here!) So, now picture me sitting ALONE, in a little folding chair, away from the nice tables everyone is gathered around....with RED shoes, both with crumbly heels. How should one sit ladylike with both heels plunged as deep in the grass as possible?

As my dh arrives (seems like 30 minutes later) with our refreshments, he makes the comment that someone was sweeping up my crumbs in the hallway--but they don't know where it came from!!! He says I should just take off my shoes and walk around in my stockinged feet like all the other girls who had been wearing high heels. I consider this and think I could handle it...but what am I supposed to do with the offending shoes? No trash can out here...should I just throw them in the bushes? I don't have enough room to put them in my purse because of all the crumbly stuff that is already in there! So after much consideration, I decide to continue my vigil sitting here quietly with my shoes as deep in the grass as possible.

Then the Cavalry arrived! Doo, da-doo! (Imagine a bugle sound..) The father of the groom (our friend and now my hero!) and his brother decide that the prudent thing to do in this situation is to pick up a table that is in direct sunlight and move it into the shady area. What a wonderful idea! Why didn't I think of that? Or dh? Or anybody else? Probably because we were not in the wedding party and didn't want to MOVE something...maybe the bride LIKED having her guests sweat it out in the sun! Anyway, here is our perfect opportunity to not only sit at a table...but for me to plunge my feet in the grass UNDER the snowy, white tablecloth--thus, hiding the offensive shoes. As I stood to move my chair, I looked down and saw the actual bottom of my shoe in the grass. Not the crumbly part...the very bottom plastic part! Thankfully, I still had my napkin in my hand so I nonchalantly reached down and wadded the piece of heel into my napkin and added it to the collection in my purse. I'm getting pretty good at this now!

The rest of the wedding reception was spent in relative peace knowing my shoes were invisible in their present position. We were blessed to be joined by the mother and father of the groom (our friends) at our table and many of the groom's uncles and aunts sat with us for a time. This was great fun getting to know this extended family. (The father of the groom was one of 12! No, not homeschooled.) I can't remember their names, but for the 6 siblings at the wedding, I can tell you their birth-number! Since I didn't want to lose my hiding spot, my dh was so sweet in retrieving punch and cake. After 25 years, he can be quite sweet, at times! LOL!!

Now the time comes for us to leave the party. Hmmm...how is this going to work? My dh encouraged me to just take off my shoes and walk in my stockings. Okay, I'll give up a pair of stockings if it means I don't have to leave crumbs everywhere I walk. So now I'm back to the dilemma of what do I do with the shoes if I'm not wearing them? Once again, dh comes to the rescue (didn't I say he was sweet today?!). He just picked them up in his big hands and held them in such a way that you couldn't see the crumbs falling out. (What a man!) As I moved to pick up my purse, I quickly cleaned up the big pieces of styrofoam under my chair, stuffed them in my purse and we headed down Love Street towards the car. Ahhhh....peace at last.





These pictures show you what my shoes looked like by the time we got to the car. Scary, ain't it!









Note to Self: NEVER wear red shoes again! I'm certain my sensible black flats would NEVER do this to me!

15 Click here to Comment!:

Colette said...

Wow! That is an amazing story. :)
I have never seen shoes self-destruct quite that badly (though I did have the entire sole of a pair of heels decide to come off one day...it was flapping on and off everytime I tried to walk)

Tammy said...

I tried to leave a comment, but the thing keeps messing up. Jas said it is because I am pushing the enter key and I say I am not.

Kaluha Keeping Koala said...

I'm sure these would never have been given as Christmas shoes (remember the movie?). Thanks for the giggle. And promise you'll buy yourself a pair of shoes for you next outing with DH.

Anonymous said...

goodness mom! That was pretty awesome! haha, dad deserves a trophy for that one!! I know you're not me, but I can tell you that those shoes would've been off my feet and into the trash can in an instant. If anyone had a problem with me walking aroung barefoot, they would just have to kick me out! lol you rock!

motherhen4jc said...

Too funny! Next time I read your blog, I need to do it during day time hours. I read it at 11:00 p.m. and had a hard time keeping my laugh under control.

DanceMommy said...

What an awesome story! LOL!
I continued to read your earlier blog entries and must, must, must get with you about your cross-country trip. I need informed input. We leave six weeks from today! LL

Sue Glasco said...

Thanks for sharing. I have laughed until I cried. After all those crumbs, you may need a new purse too. I didn't know you were blogging. So I will have to go back and read your previous entries.

Anonymous said...

Mary-
It's a good thing you aren't Dorothy or you'd never make it back to Kansas!
That was the most hilarious story! I haven't laughed that hard in ages. I wish I sat with you at wedding we both attended last month.
Your husband is quite a guy!
Julie F.

Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen said...

OK, So now we both know how to Up Those Comment Counts (someone asked me today if we got paid for each comment...Perhaps I've made them seem a little too important, ya think?!)

Obviously, people enjoy hearing about personal humiliation and apparel disasters.

Your story is hilarious! And I happen to know that Dollar General in Quincy very well. In fact, I think I own those silver shoes :)

Debbie W said...

Come to think of it..we DID see you as we were driving by! So YOU were the lady in the crumbling RED shoes! Tell me you are going to send photos and complaint to the manufacturer who will then send you BOXES of shoes that you will be afraid to wear anywhere!

Becky R said...

Ditto what Debbie said. Especially after MNO this past week, you are going to contact the company, right? This is a case of compensation for your pain and suffering (mental anguish).

Kara said...

Too Funny! I loved the story (not the humiliation) and pics. My favorite pair of shoes were a Bass pair and I was so sad when they "died." RIP. The sole was worn through and coming off the bottom of the shoe, but this was after years of wearing and they did not leave crumbs.

I'm with you on only needing one pair of each color! I have shoes older than my children. And they are practically brand new, since I don't wear them much. I need to get out more!

allhisblessings said...

I agree with Baker's Dozen on the personal humiliation thing. That was a great story. I was laughing hard enough to cry!

Sheila M. said...

Dear,dear Mary Is there anything you haven't done? I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard...it's 12:30am and I thought I was going to wake everyone up laughing and crying. Since the McFarlin house is spitting distance from me and I know that house like the back of my hand I could picture every step you took (or didn't take). My advice is...never leave behind any incriminating evidence, just keep'em guessing! For future reference though,there is a really nice umbrella stand near the front door in case you don't have your dh with you next time. You can stuff'em in there. I have got to share this story with Tina (the owner of the McFarlin House) she will love it!!!!!

Yanks4Ever said...

Very funny! I certainly feel your pain! I had a blow out as well, only with a pair of pants at work! It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has these precious moments! LOL!