Yesterday I decided to hit Kings Highway in search of some shoes. Admittedly, I have quite a few pairs that I currently own but don't wear for various reasons: too open = sunburned toes, too tight= blister-forming, etc. etc. In short, the gamut of reasons why one should not purchase cheap shoes are exemplified by my shoe collection. My goal was consequently to find a pair that were comfortable but also feminine. A tall order, given the younger generations love of sneakers and not much else. Can't a girl find a decent pump with a few pretty details anymore without breaking the bank?
I was thrilled when the Fabco netted a perfect pair: beige canvas/suede with just a touch of sparkles. I am a SUCKER for all things sparkly, as demonstrated by my purchasing one "Holiday" season a set of three shimmery metallic lip glosses at The Body Shop (bronze, gold, and silver). I rationed my use of them so that they lasted me the entire new year. Anyhow, when I found them, I turned to one of the salesgirls, who was no older than 19, and I asked her if I was deluding myself into thinking that the shoes were cute. To my glee, her cynical face cracked a smile when she saw the sparkles, and she agreed that they were cute. If she hadn't been so deadpan a moment before, I would've attributed her smile to simple sales protocol...I proceeded to the front and walked home blissfully happy.
I waited until this morning to unpack them from their crisp little box, but when I cut off the tag, I noticed that something was wrong. The tag listed the wrong size. I grabbed one of the shoes and looked inside. Sure enough, I had been seduced by the sparkles and had picked up the wrong size. DRAT. I figured Ah well, I'll just have to exchange them for the right size this afternoon after I finish the Shabbos shopping.
I went to Moishas and what a mob scene. I got bashed so many times while waiting in line by the takeout section, it was INCREDIBLE. To be fair, that shop is tiny, and I did go at the busiest time of the entire week. What was so sociologically interesting about it though was the fact that such a mix of yiddin of differing levels of observance all converged to buy their kosher products. I was so busy people-watching that when an older woman cut ahead of me in line, I thought nothing of it. She obviously shouldn't stand for any period of time, so by all means, go ahead Lady. She started chatting up a woman who came and politely asked if I was the last in line. Someone who asks! I was thrilled! Much to my amusement, the older woman asked Ms. Polite where she was from, and Ms. Polite responded: I'm from Brooklyn, but I live in ____. Apolegetically, as if she had jumped ship and wanted to not make those left behind feel bad. I couldn't keep my grin to myself.
After exiting Moishas, I set out to return the shoes. And Hashem decided to throw me a bone. As I was walking up the street, who was coming down but one of our friends, who I have previously only socialized with one Shabbos, the stray phone call and email aside. It turns out she was fleeing her children for a bit of sanity, and we headed over to exchange the shoes together. Now how's that for kismet? And it was a good thing that I had good company with me when I arrived at the shop, because they did not have the same style in my size (sniff). Anyhow, it was a nice turn of events, and I commented on the way home that You see? I had to buy the wrong size shoes so that we could wind up taking a walk together.
It's so important to have girl time every once and a while. So B'H'. Also, it helped tremendously that my impromptu walking partner is someone who similarly feels "fish out of water"-ish here in Flatbush. Flatbush IS such an interesting place; it really seems to incite mixed emotions in many people you meet. Given that the store was kind enough to refund my money, I suppose we might just have to go shopping together and commiserate some more. Works for me!