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Home arrow Opinion arrow Jeff Petersen: ON SECOND THOUGHT arrow Spring shoe shopping tests endurance

Spring shoe shopping tests endurance

Only smart, above average, terrific-looking people read newspapers. Nearly everyone wears shoes. The shoe industry is a great business opportunity when the market includes nearly everyone except hippies, hillbillies and barefoot brides.

That’s especially true when the market includes kids, whose feet, I’m told by concerned parents, approximately double in size every three months.

Still, shoe shopping perplexes me. Maybe it does you, too. The Wonder Woman, my wife of 2-1/2 years, every so often will proclaim that we need new shoes. I will have no clue that I need shoes. The old ones, I protest, are just now getting comfortable.

“They’re falling apart,” she’ll say.

Wonder has better long-range vision than I do. Better fashion sense, too.

“I have shoes in the closet,” I’ll say. “A shipload of them.”

The last time I went shoe shopping it was about as much fun as getting a colonoscopy. I bought three pairs of shoes on a buy two pairs, get one pair for free special. Talk about pressure. Two of those pairs I have barely worn. The first pair was black and after a few minutes roughly the temperature of a pottery kiln. The second pair never truly broke in and became torture devices. The third pair I had been wearing every day to work because they make me look smart, above average and terrific looking. 

‘They’re falling apart,” Wonder said.

She wants me to look good at work and at home, even when she is not in the same county, which is most of the time. Did I mention we have two extremely modest homes 90 miles apart, thanks to the economy.

The other day, Wonder again proclaimed we needed new shoes. I begged off. 

She took a different tact and went shoe shopping anyway, dragging me behind wearing down the toes of my “comfortable shoes.”

She needed spring shoes and summer shoes, she said, in a tone that suggested I needed to zip my lips.

Now, I am not a complete dummy, with the fashion sense of a Studebaker. I know winter shoes. In Northeast Oregon, that means knee-high boots that may or may not reach the top of the snow bank.

But spring shoes? Summer shoes? Fall shoes? What’s next? Special shoes for Easter?

I sat down on a bench in the middle of the shoe store, and since I am a modern, caring, supportive husband, I pulled out my smart phone. There’s probably an app for what to do in such situations, I thought, and then began looking up basketball scores.

Wonder soon came by with approximately 99 pairs to try on.

“Those look nice,” I said.

“They don’t fit.”

“Those look great,” I said when she tried on the next pair.

“They look clunky,” she said.

She took those shoes back to their original locations — she’s a stickler for tidying up stores — and found 99 more pairs.

Finally, after I had nearly exhausted my smart phone of all its entertainment value, after I had gone through 185 emails and interacted with nine Facebook friends I haven’t seen since high school graduation in 1975, she found a pair of sandals she liked.

“Summer shoes,” Wonder proclaimed. “I still need work shoes for spring.”

I played the Oregon card. Or if you’re less generous, you might call it the tightwad husband card.

“Hey,” I said, “True Oregonians wear socks with their sandals. You’re a true Oregonian. These can be both spring and summer shoes.”

Wonder, although as Oregonian as they come, a person who loves the heavenly coast and Hells Canyon, wasn’t buying what I was selling. 

Her birthday is coming up soon. I’d buy her a shoe organizer, but I don’t want to sleep on the back deck — at least not until summer.


Contact Jeff Petersen at 541-963-3161 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Follow Jeff on Twitter @goNEoregon.

 
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