Darqstar (darqstar) wrote,

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I don't want to make a political statement, I just want a cheap pair of shoes.

I just had to buy sneakers the other day, which set me back a bit. I don't mess around when it comes to sneakers, I buy Saucony. They fit my feet better than any other sneakers, and they feel the best. I'm also hoping to start walking again and between that and the miles I put on at my job, I have to have good sneakers and I have to replace them fairly frequently. I've already cheated this year, having been out of work for awhile. But, now that I'm back at work, I've noticed that after a few orders, I have pain shooting up my calves and in my knees. That's always turned out to be worn sneaker syndrome.

So, I bought my Saucony's, these are white and red. I've never owned white and red ones before. I've had blue, pink, and a snazzy pair of green ones that I got a ton of compliments on. But never red, until now.

Today, I tested my nifty Saucony's by forcing myself to go to Walmart. We needed certain things, like toothpaste, deodorant, and the like. So, armed with a list in my head and my MP3 player, so I can listen to my audio books instead of enjoying the usual noises of Walmart, which consists primarily of crying children, I set off for Walmart.

First stop, food isle, where I get my diet Pepsi. They're only charging a dollar a bottle, while the store I work at wants 1.69 a bottle. My loyalty to my company where I work goes right out the window. Then, I swing up to the pet department and pick up two, twenty five pound bags of cat litter, because I know how to live and my cats know how to shit. Really, they're experts at it. Even though they're on diets, they still can make a career out of evacuating their bowels. And of course, I have Sir Picky himself, better known as Jesse James, who will bury his food by-products, but only if there is at least 7-10 inches of litter in the box. I indulge this little quirk of his, because it's better than Goten, who won't bury, even if you give him five feet of litter and a tiny shovel as well. Goten thinks his waste materials are sweet ambrosia to the nostrils of every living thing in a five mile radius. I admire his ego. I won't even open the window in our bathroom, for fear of the landlady walking by and wondering what stomach bug hubby and I could be suffering from. On top of that, we have Chrissy, who will not use the box for solid waste, but will use it for liquid. No, it isn't that the litter irritates her, because she will happily NAP in the damned box, and she'll pee in the damned box, but when she poops, she does it on the square of industrial carpet we have outside the boxes. I strongly suspect that Chrissy has made a deal with DuPont, because thanks to that little quirk, I end up buying quite a lot of commercial carpet. I used to buy nice little commercial carpet mats, now I just buy 10+ feet of the stuff, in tobacco brown, that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot to use as carpet runners. I just hack off what I need every few months and throw the old stuff away, screw the environment. In between, I use an awful lot of Woolite to try to keep that piece of carpet from becoming too germ infested and smelly. If I don't give her this carpet though, she will instead, decide to shit in the living room, or in another carpeted room, which is even worse. So, we deal. But, even though we only have two cats using three boxes, I still end up changing the boxes ever other day and scooping 2-3 times a day on the day I don't change and 1-2 times a day on the days I do. So, we go through lots and lots of kitty litter.

So, I pick up kitty litter. Then, we move on to the toy department, where I poke around, debating on what I should get my great niece for a birthday present. She'll be five in May and I want to have a few ideas before I run out of time.

From there, it's onto paper good and cleaning fluids, where I restock our supplies of paper towel, toilet paper, and laundry soap. I've found that I like Purex laundry soap, it smells nice, but not too feminine.

I swoop into the men's department, because I've noticed that my husband has been wearing two pairs of socks lately. This tells me that he's go holes in his socks. No, I do not darn socks. Screw the environment, I'm not darning socks. I'll wash his old ones the next time and put them in the recycle bin, but that's all you're getting out of me. And if that means that the next generation can't have their air conditioner on in May, well, that's the way it goes baby. I don't have any kids, so quite honestly, I'm not nearly as choked up about saving the earth as many parents are. Then again, I don't drive my SUV to the local "Save the Earth!" rally, so maybe I'm not as selfish as I could be. (I am not kidding about that. A bit ago, there was a huge "Save the Earth!" gathering at the park, and 99% of what I saw in the parking lot were SUV's. Not mini vans even, but SUV's. And a fair number of Hummers too, and not the tiny ones. It's like these people aren't even trying to practice what they preach.)

They have "Socks for big feet!" on sale, so I grab a bag of those. A couple of extra long T-shirts for tall guys too, because they're on sale and hopefully, I can now replace a couple of the T-shirts he's had since Jr. High, that are so thin that you can count his chest hairs through them, even the black ones, but that he won't part with. Now I can toss them out when he's not looking and claim that they just dissolved in the wash. I've done that trick rather successfully before. He probably thinks I wash our clothing in Battery Acid.

So, now that hubby is all set, I go over to the shoe department. Yes, I just bought new sneakers, but I want to get some new inserts for husband and I want to look at cheap shoes. For those who haven't been on my FL for many years, I can't leave shoes lying around the house. Why? Because I have a a cat named Goten who is a total perv and idiot when it comes to shoes Thus, all good shoes get hidden very quickly when I get home.

Of course, there are times when I want shoes to be quick and handy. For small trips outside, things like that. In that case, I want CHEAP SHOES! For Cheap Shoes, there are not a lot of qualifications. 1: They must be cheap! 2: The more waterproof they are, the better. So far, Goten hasn't tried to rape or nourish himself on any pairs of Cheap Shoes *knock wood* but, the pair I've been using for the last two years or so, are falling apart. Probably because they are cheap and I have used them to wander around in water way too many times.

So, I look around at Walmart and find these plastic sandals. They are navy blue and they are about as plastic as plastic can be. A foamy type of plastic. They're open toe, have straps up the side, and a strap across the back, which I love. They also do NOT have a post that goes between the big toe and the others. I hate that. Why the hell do we need to segregate the big toe from the others? Is the big toe the neighborhood pedophile who will rape the smaller toes if they are allowed to be too close together? I don't get it. If anyone came up with a pair of sneakers or high heels that had a post in the middle to keep the big toe separate, we'd think they were crazy. Yet, when it comes to sandals, it's considered just fine.

Well, I don't care if my big toe is offensive to all my other toes. I don't care if the big toe is a pervert and a pedophile, I don't care if the big toe smells, or tells crude jokes, or worships a different God than my other toes do, I will not segregate my toes, I do not believe in Separate but Equal when it comes to my toes. Much as in real life, my toes just have to learn to get along with each other. And, since I haven't seen my toes declaring war against each other, I believe that wearing sandals without a toe separator has done my entire foot good.

So, the shoes pass in a lot of ways. They don't have a toepost. They certainly seem to be water proof. They also have lots of little nubbies on the bottom, which I guess is to massage my feet or something.

They are also three dollars

Three freakin' dollars! Praise the Lord! They have passed the cheap test too. It's hard to get cheaper than three dollars! So, I just have to find a pair that fit.

I find a pair that are the right size and even better, they are in navy blue. Not pink, not red, not seafoam, or whatever the hell color they are calling "It looks like I vomited a lot of ocean water up." they are navy blue.

I go and try them on. Not bad for cheap shoes. I walk around a bit. No, it doesn't matter much, because they're cheap and won't be worn for long periods of time, but still I like to know that for the short times I'll be wearing them, they will not hurt my feet. I mean, what if I got them home and found out that every time I stepped down, little razor blades came out and slit my heel? That would be a complete waste of three dollars. So, we do the comfort test.

They don't feel bad at all! The plastic is a bit on the foamy side, so it has a fair bit of "give." I'm quite pleased, it looks like I have cheap shoes that I actually won't hate wearing.

And that is when some woman, who I don't know, and hadn't even made eye contact with, comes over and says, "Those aren't crocs."

My first reaction is to go, "What the hell are you talking about?" Because, remember, I'm such a people person. But, I manage to choke that one back, because I seem to remember being told before about some mythical shoe called a croc. Some clunky plastic shoe that is supposed to be God's gift to the vertically challenged. Shoes that apparently, you can walk on for weeks and months without feeling the slightest bit of foot pain.

Now, I have often admitted I'm missing a few important genes that most women have. And one of them is the shoe gene. I don't care if my shoes match my outfit. I don't want to own dozens of pairs of shoes. I want my shoes to be comfortable, and if given my druthers, I'd rather just wear sneakers 99% of the time.

But, I do remember hearing about Crocs once, and how they were entirely made of awesome, and I did check them out. I was waitressing at the time, and when you waitress, you'll sell your soul for miracle shoes. So, I checked them out, and I remember thinking, Wow, even I think they're ugly. And if I think they're ugly, I can imagine what everyone else thinks! And when I told them at the shoe store that I thought they were ugly, I was told how I could put decorations on them, to make them uniquely mine!

I believe my reaction was, "So I can take these ugly shoes and make them stand out even more?" No thank you. Besides, in all the walking around the store I'd done, I hadn't notice my feet feeling so awesome, certainly not the awesome that I feel in a new pair of sneakers. And, well, I'm sorry, but it seems weird to spend 30 + dollars on a pair of shoes that is strung together with a loop tag and hung on peg. I've bought Saucony sneakers for less than that at times, and they always come in a box with tissue paper in the toes, and that new sneaker smell that comes wafting out of the box when you open it. Crocs look like an afterthought. "Okay, I'll take a pack of mints, uhm, a roll of film, oh, and what the hell, this pair of shoes." They look like they should be on that rack between the Twizzlers and the World Weekly News at the check out stand. It's tough to pay thirty bucks for shoes that look like a joke and are sold as if they are the cheapest things on the market. I mean, the shoe store I found them in didn't even have them on the wall with the rest of the demo shoes, they were on a pegboard.

Anyway, so, this is all running through my mind at WalMart, as I'm standing in these cheap sandals. And the woman is still looking at me, expecting an answer. And from the look on her face, I figure "Oh, thank god, if they were crocs, they'd be ten times more expensive and twice as ugly!" isn't going to cut it with her. So, I shrug and say, "Eh, I don't care. I'm just buying them as cheap shoes."

She shakes her head and goes, "But they aren't crocs! They're cheap ripoffs."

I say, "We're in WalMart, pretty much everything is a cheap ripoff!" Which is true. Even if you buy genuine Levi's at Walmart, they're a special "Walmart only" Levi's which means they're made of cheaper crap than the Levi's you'll buy in Macy's. I know with some things they can't do that, like Diet Pepsi, but with clothing? Oh yes, there is a difference.

The woman shakes her head again, like I'm retarded and just not getting it. "Those aren't crocs! They're cheap ripoffs! They'll hurt your feet!"

I shrug. "My feet are masochistic, they'll probably be thrilled."

I get the "Deer in headlights" look that I find myself getting around here too much, as people try to figure out what I'm saying, and if it was really full of dirty words they'd never heard before. Either I'm getting a bit too highbrow for my own good as I get older, or people around here are getting stupider. I'll take People are getting stupider for 500, Alex.

AGAIN, this woman says, "They aren't crocs."

I sigh. "It doesn't matter. I just want a pair of cheap shoes."

She shakes her head, again looking like she's a sad little panda, forced to deal with someone who's so mentally challenged that they probably should be wearing a helmet. "Honey, you can't buy cheap shoes. Those are your feet we're talking about here. You have to buy good shoes. You only get one pair of feet per lifetime."

And, without thinking, I go, "Not necessarily. I know of a few people who's mothers were given thalidomide for morning sickness, who didn't even get a full set of feet at birth. So, nothing is a guarantee."

I get a completely blank look. So, I sigh and add, "I really don't care, I just want some cheap shoes that I can slip into for little things. Taking out the trash, getting the mail, you know, little things that don't require me to walk for a long time, so it won't matter if they aren't the best things for your feet."

She says, "But those aren't crocs. They aren't good for your feet. Crocs are good for your feet." She looks down. "Oh, these aren't crocs that I'm wearing, but I wear my Crocs a lot. They're really comfortable."

Well, I don't want to tell her that I think Crocs are the height of fugly fashion, seeing that she wears them. But I do flirt with the idea of asking her, if they are sooo much more comfortable than any other shoe, why didn't she realize she wasn't wearing them? I mean, if you had the most comfortable shoes you ever owned on your feet, wouldn't you just know you were wearing them? If you have to check, then they probably aren't that much better than other shoes you own. But, since the thalidomide comment left her flummoxed, I figure this will push her over the edge. So, I decide to stick with my original story, which is the truth. "Really, it doesn't matter. I'm only going to buy these to have a quick pair of cheap shoes I can slip in and out of easily. I'm never going to wear them if I expect to have to walk more than a dozen feet or so. So, really, I don't need to buy a pair of thirty dollar Crocs."

She again looks bewildered until I say "Crocs." Then her face lights up and she goes, "But Crocs are so much better for your feet! They're made out of this space age foamy stuff, (Yes, that's a direct quote, "Space age foamy stuff." NASA must squee with joy that they've added so much to the average person's lexicon) And they're so comfortable."

I decide to go for the agree, but disagree tactic. "I'm sure they are, and the next time I need shoes for work or for walking, I'll be sure to look at Crocs, but right now, I'm looking for a cheap pair of shoes, just for little errands. And I think, at three dollars, these will work just fine."

Finally, I believe it dawns on her that I am not going to chuck the cheap shoes into a corner, throw my arms around her and hug her, screaming, "hallelujah! I have seen the light! I shall rush forward to buy me some freakin' CROCS!" because she scowls and starts muttering darkly about how I only have one pair of feet and I owe it to them to respect them and to wear cheap fake Crocs is not the way to properly treat my feet, and when the day comes, as it will, when I wake up crippled, I'd better not come limping to her to complain.

Feeling almost guilty, I take off these inferior Croc-wannabees, and put them in my cart. The woman glares at me when she sees that nope, I haven't changed my mind, I am buying these shoes. Then, she shakes her head, yet one more time. "Those shoes, they're made in China you know. Some poor kid probably making three cents an hour to make shoes that'll mess up your feet."

Now, she might have something there. Not that I won't buy them anyway, but I can get behind people who only want to buy products made in the USA. So, I say, "Where are Crocs made?"

She goes, "I dunno, but I know all this cheap stuff is made in China, and that's bad."

Well... usually if a company makes their product in the USA, or even if they mostly just assemble it in the USA, they scream it from the mountain tops. Since I haven't heard Crocs doing a lot of screaming, I'm skeptical that they are not made in China. But, I don't say this. Instead, I just get my shoes on ASAP and book out of there, heading for the checkout line, where I buy my cheap shoes.

And, thanks to that woman, I now feel guilty for buying them. I feel like I've done something wrong.

I drive home and lug in the stuff, including the fifty pounds of kitty litter. The cats greet me enthusiastically, which they have started doing ever since we started restricting their access to dry food. Suddenly I'm number one! Of course, Goten, on occasion, forgets and tries to kill me, but once he remembers, he's usually pretty happy to see me, and pretty hopeful that I'll give him crunchies. That is, if he can subdue my pants, because of course my pants are the reason why I don't keep the food bowls filled to the rim with dry food 24/7

So, I get things put away, put my new Sauconys where they'll be safe from Goten the perv, then go into the kitchen, sit down on the floor and pet my cats, while they meow and chirp, and in general, make a lot of noises that indicate that I'm falling down on the job of caring for them. And while I do this, I tell them the story of the woman at Walmart, and ask if they feel that I have done something wrong by buying fake Crocs for three dollars. For a reply, I get "Marf!" "Mrrowwww?" and (in case you couldn't guess) "SQUALK!"

And I can't help but think that I'm having a more intelligent conversation with my cats than I was with the Croc woman, and that's just sad, because my cats are not the most brilliant creatures, even for cats.
Tags: chrissy, footwear, goten, jesse james, life in general, people are strange, shopping

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