Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Shoes

"If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?"- Gloria Steinem

Yesterday I talked about Friday before Easter when I was a child.. Good Friday.. This morning I will talk about Saturday before Easter in our Childhood home. Especially our Easter shoes.
Saturday before Easter Sunday was always a busy day. There were heads to be washed and Half of those had to have bobby pin curls. The new clothes that Mama and Daddy had been paying on for a few weeks would have been already picked up from lay- away and They would be hanging on doorways awaiting Mama's final inspection. We would not have a wrinkle or smudge between us Come Easter Morning when we filled an entire pew at Our country Church.
We always ; with out fail ; got new shoes twice every year in our family. We got Loafers every year when school started. We got those in groups of two each Friday for several weeks before School started for the fall. We didn't get other shoes very often. Maybe a pair of flip flops for the beach or Camping. We did get sneakers once we were old enough to have Physical education in school. That was around the sixth grade for me. But Every year on the Saturday before Easter we would all get new shoes. Dress shoes that would be worn for Church and to school for special days like chorus concerts or maybe an induction into a club or something. You didn't wear dress shoes every day.. you would mess them up. Scuff them or scratch them. Patent Leather was easy to ruin. And if you scratched them you would have to rub them with Cold Biscuits. Naturally you didn't dare ruin your Dress shoes.
One Main street there was a shoe store. Not like today's shoe stores really Because back then there was a person there to fit your feet and try shoes on you till he was satisfied that they fit. Then you would be sent to walk up and down the aisle so that Him and Daddy could make sure they weren't rubbing and would never cause a blister. Then it was back to the stool so Mr. Haines could mash on the toe to show how much growing room you had. Growing room was important because you had to wear those shoes for a whole year. They had to fit for that whole year. you just had to have growing room at the toe. One Easter Saturday in Particular I remember that we had all went to town. We were all lined up trying to pick out shoes for Mr. Haines to fit for us. Mary always had a very Narrow foot and so she was hard to fit. I on the other hand Had a perfectly normal foot and was always easy to fit. I had picked out a shoe that even I knew would never fit.. I was hoping though. Hoping that Mr. Haines Could do magic and make it fit me. I didn't like the shoe any more than I did any of the others but This pair had a doll to come with them and I sure wanted her. She was a doll from some country far away and I loved all dolls.
When It was my turn I stepped up to the stool and sat down calmly straightening my skirt and smiling my best smile at Mr. Haines as I lifted my foot to the fitting step in front of me. Then I handed him the tiny shoe I had chosen. He smiled and shook his head no as he got up and went to the shelf behind him. He came back with a pair that naturally were a perfect fit. He was very good at his Job. I was about to raise a fuss but just then I caught Daddy's eye and knew a fuss wasn't a very good idea right then. I took my unwanted shoes and moved to stand over by the door waiting as the others were fitted. I watched people through the glass as they walked up and down the short Main street. I was almost over the whole doll issue till I saw Mary coming with her shoes. She had the shoes I wanted. She, who I was certain, was way too old for dolls, had my shoes and my doll. I was furious. I was mad with Mr Haines because he had tricked me . I was certain that he had. I was mad with Mary because I knew she had chosen my shoes for spite. I was just mad at the world. I was even mad with my feet for being too big to get me a doll. I pouted as daddy paid for all those shoes. I pouted all the way home in the car squeezed in between Frank and Mary in the back seat. I pouted all the way to my bedroom where I tossed the shoe box to the bed and flopped down beside it. Finally I heard Mama coming toward my room. She would be handing out the socks that she had bought at the dime store while daddy was getting us all fitted for New Easter shoes. She would have socks to match every one's clothes and she would look at everything together to make sure we were all ready for the Easter Morning Services. I lifted my Shoe box lid and There laying in the box along with My black, patent leather, Sunday shoes was a little doll from Spain. Mr. Haines had surprised me. Mr. Haines had realized that I knew the shoe wouldn't fit. But he had given me a doll anyway. Mama opened my door to a smiling happy girl and was proud that they had again got all of us pulled together one more time.. Just in time for Easter. And the next morning we would all eight be
Pictures of perfection sitting on our pew in our new Easter clothes and Our New Good shoes.


Josh said...

Great story Patsy. There is something to be said about buying good shoes from a store like the one in your story. Now a day Payless and Walmart are king. But a good pair of White's boots or Birkenstock's will go a long way, not to mention you can get them resoled for half the price of a new pair, try that with a pair of Nike.

Pblacksaw said...

I am surprised that there are still places to get a shoe re-soled. There use to be a shoe shop here. That closed many years ago. The shoe repairman and the Tailor were brothers. I'm sure they will make it into a story eventually. You maybe live in a larger city than I do. Thanks for reading me!

Maritzia said...

Oh, my, does your post take me back. My dad was a sergeant in the army, so money was very tight. We had 3 pairs of shoes: school shoes, sneakers for play, and dress shoes for church and special events at school. Like you, we bought them with growing room so they'd last till the next year. And, yes, we always got our dress shoes right before Easter. School and sneakers were in August before school started.

Maritzia said...

Oh, hint for a better blog. You have great stories, but if you could throw some paragraph breaks in there, they will be so much easier to read. A lot of people will not read all the way to the end because you eye gets tired without some white space in there.

Just a tip, because I really like your stories and would like to see your blog be successful.

Pblacksaw said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I always say we had a fixed income.. Fixed where we could't get much at one time.. Thanks for the tip. I'll remember not to tire out the eyes. Thanks for letting me know. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

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- Daniel