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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

People Look at Me and Say to Themselves, I Wonder If She’d Like These Shoes…

“Hello. Hi.”

A sturdy man with a sturdy Russian accent is walking toward me.

“Hello. Hi. What size shoe you are wearing?”

I look around. It is as it appears. This man is talking to me.

What the heck.

“Seven,” I say, “Seven and a half, depending on the manufacturer.”

A short man with hair like a thatched roof and a nose like a potato, his eyes sparkle. “Come,” he says. “Italian shoes. Your size. Very cheap.”

What’s that, comrade? Cheap shoes?

I leave the book section and follow him through the aisles of the local Savers, a building stuffed with donated clothing, household items, and immigrants.

There, amongst the battered and abused footwear, is a pair of Roberto Cavalli heels.

Well, I’ll be.

Excitedly, he hands them to me.

I hold them up. The leather is like butter; the heel, sublime. They appear to have never been worn outdoors.

“Try! You try!”

I take my shoes off, balance on one foot and then the other as I put them on. It’s exciting, and I am reminded of a much earlier version of myself excitedly trying on a rabbit-fur coat at a garage sale.

That coat? It was 40 below at one point, and I was toasty warm.

But finding these shoes? Here?

Better than that coat.

The Russian beams. “Very good quality. Very good. I see shoes. I see you. I say to myself, there is voman who must to wearing these shoes. They feet?”

Do they feet?! Of course they feet!

“They’re exquisite,” I say.

“Yes!” he says. “Exquisite. That is word. You take. You buy.”

“You don’t want them? Maybe for a woman at home?”

He winks at me. “Voman at home, she is having feet like wooden boat…”

We both laugh.

“I’m sure she has lovely feet,” I say, feeling I should defend her. He nods quickly. Of course, of course.

I buy the shoes. Twenty dollars.



Riches around every corner, that’s what I always say.

58 comments:

Middle-aged Mormon Man said...

Gotta love your written Russian accent. As a man, I am happy to admit that I had to Google "Roberto Cavalli".

Joshua said...

I need a place like that to go shopping.

George said...

Why am I imagining this man to look like Boris Badenov?

♥ Braja said...

YOu and me are joined at the humor bone. My post today is called "Life is short, buy the shoes." Really.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Pearl what were you wearing on your feet that made this man think that you needed foot rescue?

Eva Gallant said...

It was lefty and stompie you were wearing, right? And the guy said to himself, "She needs shoes!"

Camille said...

Was Natasha with him? How about Moose and Squirrel? I can picture them lurking around the corner.

Loved this post - you have a kick-ass Russian accent Pearl.

Shelly said...

What a great thing! I never seem to run into Russians when I am shopping for good deals- only Americans who have forgotten their manners.

Audubon Ron said...

Cool, a little Cinderella and a little Tchaikovsky all in one story. How did you do that?

Lolamouse said...

I want a Russian to give ME a good deal on exquisite shoes! (whine, whine). I think all the Goodwill Stores around here have the old shoes from his wife!

Leenie said...

Hot dang! That's like finding a thirty point buck in your sights. Bet they feet they love they buttery shoes. If not, I know they eyes and they heart do!

Leenie said...

BTW if you don't already know, ya oughta Google Thirty Point Buck by Da Yoopers on YouTube.

Simply Suthern said...

What a find.

It's always nice when the shoe feets.

The daughter went to NYC and was led to the Knock off shops in the alleys. She had a ball.

Saimi said...

Best score of the day!! Lucky you and your 'feet'

powdergirl said...

Awesome score! Heh, "Feet like wooden boat", I can relate, I have feet like Russian ballerina. Gah.

Lets talk a little more about the shoes though? Color? Strappy? Stiletto? Open toed pump? patent? Brushed suede? We need the details Pearl!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

Ahhh... how poetic! a Russian prince in Savers, fairy tales do come true :)

Silver Strands said...

at the beginning, I thought this story was going somewhere else ... you see, when a stranger asks ME what size shoe I wear, it's sort of like him asking me how much I weigh. I'd say 7 or 7 1/2 as well. But then the story would take a whole twisty turn as I tried to evade trying them on. My size 9 wide foot would have a tough time of it. So in the end, I'd probably admire them, then snatch them up and pay $20 only to re-donate them.

jabblog said...

A bargain at twice the price!

Pearl said...

MAMM, I’ve known a couple Russians in my life. :-)

Joshua, what, no Savers?! My dear, how do you live?!

George, you know, he kinda did…

Braja, great minds and all that!! Stopping by…

Delores, nothing horrible, I’m sure. I honestly think he may have been wandering around the store looking at women’s feet… One thing I know about the immigrated Russians is that they absolutely LOVE deals and are always proud to bring one to you.

Eva, ah. Leftie and Stompie. Now THOSE were shoes – right up until they fell apart. They served, and they served well: RIP (rest in pieces) Leftie and Stompie.

Camille, thank you! Ah, Rocky and Bullwinkle. :-) I own those silly shows on DVD!

Audubon Ron, lack of sleep, mostly. :-)

Lolamouse, I can only wish a helpful Russian to all thrift store shoppers!

Leenie, too funny! I know all about da tirty point buck!!

Simply, oh, I can imagine. I have a friend with a knock-off Coach purse. I personally don’t see the big deal about it, but she seems quite excited about it so I try to be supportive.

Saimi, absolutely! Ranked right up there with the sealed Husker Du album!

Powdergirl, black, supremely pointy, white sole and kitten heel. Unbelievably comfortable. My feet are so classy I could spit.

Rene, Love that take on it!!

Silver Strands, my initial fear was that he’d then ask me to meet him somewhere and walk on him or something, some sordid bit of foot pornography or something! I attract all types…

Jabblog, absolutely!

Amber Star said...

Was it "Peggy"...the Russian guy with the shoes? Just wondering if he is branching out jobwise.

You had some good good luck that day.

Pearl said...

Amber, that made me laugh. :-) Maybe it was! Maybe he had the day off?!

savannah said...

i had a very similar experience, except that involved a french guy, a fantastic bottle of wine, and a liquor warehouse outside of charleston, south carolina. but other than that, same same! ;) xoxoxoxo

LOL@amber for that peggy comment and it's such a great visual, sugar!

Beth M. Wood said...

What luck!
You know vat day say: Eef da shoe feets...

haphazardlife said...

Huh. I need a Russian to look out for shoes for me. Send him this way please.

Not So Simply Single said...

I love shoes, but I just cannot bring myself to wear someone elses shoes...

I shop at Ross. Most new shoes are $20 there...

So I have a closet full of designer shoes for less...

Lisa

StephanieC said...

Nooooooooooooooo! Think of the buuuuuuuunnies!

And, ahem, nice score on the shoes! I'd have politely walked away, afraid of the scary man asking me about my feet.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained!!

StephanieC

__

SherilinR said...

that sounds like a man with a funky foot fetish. back in my days of clubbing, i ran into a couple of those & it was both baffling and intriguing.

jenny_o said...

Now THAT was a triumph - for you and, also, it appears, for him! I'd far rather have that feeling than having enough money to walk into any store and pay any amount.

Pearl said...

savannah, your experience actually sounds more exciting than mine. Now why is that? :-)

Beth, and it did!!

Not so Simply Single, almost everything -- outside of foundation garments -- is second-hand. :-)

Stephanie, I thought of the bunnies, then I thought of the windchill. :-) I've already frozen all 10 toes, all 10 fingers, one hear and a cheek (on my face!). Permanent cellular damage. Minneapolis is no place for synthetic fibers. (Wool's not too bad, down is much better, and fur is best of all, esp. if you can get it at a garage sale!) I no longer have that coat (rabbit sheds like crazy) and have only an ankle-length down coat...

Douglas said...

Beth beat me to it...
the full quote by Russians is:

"If the shoe feets, war it."

I have run into a Russian interested in my shoes once, he was also interested in my wallet and any loose bills I had.

Pearl said...

Sherilin, for just a moment, I thought I saw the words "club foot" in your response. :-) Weird. :-) I've never had any funky clubbing shoe-ness, although a woman did break my little toe by stepping on it on the dance floor once. Luckily, I was drunk so the pain was bearable!

jenny_o, he was quite pleased to have helped me -- and I was quite pleased for the help!

Pearl said...

Douglas, the Russians say a lot of things but you generally forget them because of the drinking involved. :-) Oh, and btw -- I can't seem to comment on your blog!!

Sarah said...

Nice score! I'll take the rush over finding (or having help finding, as it were) something as awesome as ridiculously expensive Italian pumps for $20 over buying them brand new any day.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Cute story, Pearl. Glad the shoes feet.
xoRobyn

Pearl said...

Sarah, the thrill of the hunt -- especially when guided by Russian voices...

Robyn, I'm wearing them as we speak. :-)

That gentleman's lady said...

I want!!!! :) Shoes and jewelry... well any accessory really...is like candy to me :)

Kal said...

That is like some immigrant fairy tale. I imagine the story from his perspective. Like those shoes called to him to find you and bring the two of you togehter...across oceans of space and rivers of time...WHAT? You come from old world immigrant stock. You should see the romance and hear the gypsie violins.

Pearl said...

That Gentleman's Lady, yes! Accessories -- particularly quality ones -- can really make an outfit. :-)

Kal, I am indeed of old world stock and can hear the violins from here. (And soon I'll be hearing the clarinet as well, as my klezmer-style sheet music arrives yesterday!)

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! I think this guy is related to the Russian cows in Cambridge, possibly even one of 'em in disguise. They're crafty. Oh yes. Indigo x

R. Jacob said...

the first thought that came to mind, Dr. Zhivago...with shoes

alwaysinthebackrow said...

Wow. You seem to have found a fairy godfather of shoes-sort of like Marlon Brando.......except for not a fairy and he was Russian and it was the shoes that were Italian. But just like that. Cool!

Gigi said...

At first, I was all "Oh Pearl! Haven't you learned YET about cheap shoes?" and as I read on, then I realized that you got a steal! Send that man my way, I need some finds like that.

Pat said...

If only it was always so easy.

The Elephant's Child said...

Ooooh.

aBroad said...

crap, here I have men from other countries with many watches on one arm and shiny shiny teeth telling me they are selling me an iPhone for almost nuthin .. a Rolex for centavos .. their sister for a peso .. feh!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

HOW COME NO ONE EVER KIDNAPS ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAMN DAY AND PRACTICALLY FORCES SHOES ON ME?!? I am caps lock indignant! Also, this was almost useless without photos.

No I am NOT jealous.

Mamma has spoken said...

20 bucks for designer shoes in YOUR size that fit great, you lucky dog you!

"GB" said...

DAMN... that is all I have to say!

AMY said...

WoooooHooo SCORE! Thats Awesome!
Hello from Northeast Twin Cities....I'm a new follower! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.
I had a great day at thrift store today too.....bought a ton (Express, GAP, and Liz Claiborne).

HermanTurnip said...

$20 bucks? That's cheaper than the Converse All Stars that I'm wearing right now. Man, that Ruski hooked you up!

Belle said...

What a salesman! He's fantastic. He reminds me of a Chinese lady in Vancouver who came out to the sidewalk where I was standing with my friends and asked if we were wanting lunch. We said yes and she grabbed my arm and escorted us into their restaurant all the while telling us how good their food was. I loved that woman! She had guts and the food was terrific.

Crystal Pistol said...

Is it lame if I write "If the shoe feets..."? Yes? OK then...

There is NOTHING better than being approached by a potato nosed Russian peddler of butter leather shoes. NOTHING.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ah, I am jealous (writes a woman with feet like a wooden boat).

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Fan-flippin-tastic! Oh how I love your shoe posts. Almost as much as I love your redneck posts. :)

white rabbit said...

Call me Mr Cynical but have the shoes dropped to pieces yet?

TALON said...

A perfect feet? It sounds like a strange version of Cinderella, Pearl ;)

CarrieBoo said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up on your blog, Pearl. Do you keep getting funnier? ;)

Susan in the Boonies said...

Wow!!!

"feet like vooden boat"

~snort~

I got me a fleet.