A Fashion Statement with Shoes - part 1

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Kate Moynihan | 1 comment
We we’re off, that being Allison, my step daughter/buyer, and I, traveling to a buying market seeking treasures and gems to sell in the shop. This trip was to Atlanta: three, 20-floor-towers of showrooms and temporary booths. It’s a spectacular experience ogling over baubles seeking nuggets. But it is also long days with miles of walking.
    Our flight left Grand Rapids several hours before dawn. I added the time needed for driving to the airport, parking, and flight check-in. “I’ll have to pick you up at 4:10 a.m. and leave my house at 3:25 a.m.,” I said to Allison, already feeling sleep deprived, knowing the long days we had ahead of us at market. Show hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and sometimes we write the best orders in the festive showrooms that stay open past 9.
    “Let’s stay overnight at Brian’s,” Allison said, suggesting my son’s house in Grand Rapids – 20 minutes to the airport which would take an hour off my red-eye trip. It sounded like a great plan. We hadn’t slept at Brian’s for years. Then I remembered Brian’s guest room was no more. My son now had a houseful of toddlers, two frisky pups, and four goldfish. There was no longer a spare room so the sleeping option was a crumb-crusted, sticky-finger couch with a mutt snoring in your ear.
    It took only a second for me to weigh the options and quickly decide, “Let’s stay at Brian’s!” Grandkids and grand-pets will do that to you every time.
    Getting out of town was a whirlwind. Mom was still living with me. When she moved to Holland 3.7 months ago she knew only my husband and I. Since then she has gotten involved mid-week at the senior center but weekends are the loneliest for Mom as we work long days on Saturday. Mom is very, yes very, hard of hearing so it is difficult for her to have casual conversations and TV is not an option. Other activities such as nature center programs and music recitals have not worked out too well, either. Planning entertainment for Mom during the Thursday through Monday that I’d be out-of-town took a bit of effort, but dear friends pitched right in and soon Mom had cookie-baking, dinner dates, and a slew of other activities – all with door to door shuttle service arranged.
    Next I left instructions for the crew at work, threw my travel needs in a bag, and whizzed off to Brian’s. We had an unexpected sleet storm blow through town so with hazardous icy roads I was more than happy to get a few miles closer to Grand Rapids before our early flight.
    I enjoyed dinner with Brian, Lindsay, Aislynn, Liam, Zoey, Bailey, George and the other three goldfish whose names slip my mind. With kids finally asleep, Allison and I pulled out blankets for a night on the couches.
    “Oh no!” I cried as I walked past the front door where my suitcase was stashed.
    There, next to my bag, were my thick fleece-lined winter boots with their wide rubber soles.
    “I forgot my walking shoes,” I screeched as my heart rate went through the roof and panic washed over me. There was no way I could stomp in these hot, oversized boots for hundreds of miles.
    “Can you borrow a pair of shoes from Lindsay?” Allison asked, referring to Brian’s wife.
    I looked at Lindsay, or should I say I looked down at Lindsay. She is 5’1” to my 5’9.” Needless to say I wouldn’t come close to fitting into her shoes.

    “Maybe you can drive home and get your shoes,” Allison suggested, still trying to be helpful. We looked outside at the thick layer of icy slush in the driveway. The spitting freezing rain pinged against the windows. It’d be dangerous driving to Holland, plus it was past ten and the early take-off was just hours away.
    I glanced at my son. Brian stood an inch shorter than me, but it was worth a try. “Brian, do you have any flat comfortable shoes?”
    In seconds we were scouring his closet. Out came a pair of florescent-striped running shoes and Birkenstock summer sandals. Now, I should remind you, I was traveling with Allison, the-fashion-before-comfort queen. Not only does she have a great eye for the shop, she also knows the latest trends and they’re very important to her. She’s the-bag-match-shoes-match-outfit kind of gal.
    Instantly I knew if I wore neon running shoes or sandals with socks she’d stand nowhere near me. Not a good thing for making critical decisions on a buying trip. I hunted deeper into Brian’s closet only to find narrow leather dress shoes. Already I could feel the blisters forming on my feet.
    I sighed and poked my head out of the closet. That’s when I spotted them. Across the room was a pair of dark brown, kind-of casual-looking, lace-up shoes. The good news was they looked comfortable with a wide toe area for my bunion. “How about those shoes?” I asked pointing to them.

    “Those are my work shoes,” Brian said. I nodded, knowing my son is a civil engineer who does both office and field work. I must admit those shoes looked as if they’d seen a fair amount of mud-stomping outdoor work. “You can borrow them,” he offered.
    “I think the shoes might blend with my wardrobe especially with my long black slacks,” I said, feeling hopeful.
    I heard a deep sucking noise. It was Allison gasping.
    “They just need a little shoe polish,” I added as I wiggled my foot into the shoe. My toe was at least an inch from the tip of the shoe, but when I tugged on the laces my foot stayed in place. This was the best choice. I scrubbed and shined the shoes.
    The next morning at the airport Allison walked a couple feet behind me. When no one at the flight waiting area noticed the brown monsters on my feet, Allison sat only one chair away from me. When the dashingly dressed flight attendant didn’t notice my fabulous fashion footwear, Allison was at my side the rest of the trip.
    We marched through Atlanta finding great product for the shop with only one more “shoe-hiccup” incident. See the next post for more shoe silliness.

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  • Amanda


    I just wanted to tell you that I am enjoying your blog. Your stories make me laugh and forget everything else for a few minutes. My favorite two stories are about you forgetting your shoes, borrowing your son’s shoes, and walking around with Allison. Allison looks amazing everyday, with her shoes matching her outfit to her purse. Thank you for sharing your stories.



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