So a couple weeks ago I received an email from Gareth's teacher letting the parents know that we needed to bring in a shoe box for the kids to decorate for their valentines. Apparently it was the perfect motivation to get myself out the door and to a shoe store, since we don't have any empty shoe boxes hanging around. I ventured down to Market Street Shoes, not sure what I'd find since I didn't recall seeing many women's sneakers there, and not even entirely sure of what I wanted except for knowing I needed to be able to walk forty blocks every weekday in it and that I kind of wanted something that could be casual or dress up a bit. I was tired of feeling like I had no shoes that could dress up jeans to get that in-between casual and dressy look.
Into the store I walked, looking a bit at what was on the wall until someone came to help me. I showed her the horrific state of my current sneakers (she was appropriately aghast) and told her what I was thinking and she set to work pulling shoes for me. At some point she asked me when I'd purchased the horrific sneakers and I realized that we'd been here two years and I'd bought those between one and two years before we left Indiana. So it'd been somewhere between three and four years since I'd purchased any shoes at all, this whole time the horrific sneakers were in my mind "new", right up until they started falling apart. This is my problem with clothing in general. It's always new until I'm shocked to see it's completely worn out.
In the end I found a couple pair of shoes to buy (it helped that she gave me generous discounts on them, and one was already on sale), neither of which are sneakers. I will go out and buy a pair of sneakers at some point, but it feels good to get away from sneakers as my everyday wear for a while.
The more casual pair. I love that they slip on (something else I've been wanting for years), making quick outside errands such as taking out the trash or getting the mail so much easier, especially on rainy days:
And the second pair, which look great with jeans, but would also look excellent with dress pants or a skirt. I like the color that has a reddish tint (the shoe company is calling it burgundy), so they can go well with just about anything:
After this experience, I'm even more sold on small, local businesses than I was before. It may cost more, but it's worth it. I hate walking into big chains where it's impossible to get decent service and the employees don't really have any expertise in or passion about what they're selling half the time. I end up overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices and if I do manage to find something, am not certain at all that I really like it when I walk out. Going to the small local business I had an employee willing to spend as much time as I needed focused on me, figuring out exactly what I wanted. The employee who helped me was determined to find something that would work (she really didn't want me going home in the horrific sneakers), but also not pushy, reminding me that there will always be more shoes so I wasn't going to be missing out if I chose not to buy this particular pair this day. I walked out of the store after an hour feeling completely satisfied with my experience. Which is exactly the kind of feeling I want to have if I'm going to be spending a couple months worth of our clothing budget.