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Saturday, April 14, 2012

People Look at Me and Say to Themselves, I'll Bet She Needs New Shoes...


A re-post from August of last year, when the air was fresher, the bank books were blacker, and friendly Russian immigrants were concerned about my choices in footwear...

“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.

31 comments:

Hannah Denski said...

Aaah, what a luck! Love it when it happens, however rarely!

R. Jacob said...

aww, such cute leetle feet!

Eva Gallant said...

They "feet" and you didn't buy them??

Joyful Things said...

I can see those feet - 'like a wooden boat' literally, I can, I just need to look down at the end of my delicate ankles.......

20 bucks for Cavalli heels? I'm coming shopping with you!

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Pearl, this is a wonderful story, you nailed it perfectly. EXCELLENT writing!
When perfection presents itself to you and it 'feets', it's worth paying $20.00 for it.
When perfect writing presents itself to me, I re-read it and enjoy!!

Mr. Charleston said...

So vat were you thinking? You didn't even see the sturdy Rockports the Vietnamese had. They go well with rabbit coats.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

There's a man who knew his feets.

Chantel said...

*sigh* Shoe stories make me wistful. At the base of my six foot frame reside a jaunty set of size 12 feet. Just TRY and find women's shoes that size...

*sigh again*

Ach du lieber said...

I remember this post fondly. It's still one of my favs.
You are gifted.

jenny_o said...

Like so many of your pieces, Pearl, this is heartwarming. It truly is, because you see the good in so many people and situations, and you respond in kind. I come away with renewed kindness in my own heart.

And now I need a tissue.

Sioux said...

Thrift stores. I once snagged a "Saks Fifth Avenue" blazer from one--and Saks won't even waste a breath when I accidently wander in there...

And MY feet are size 11, so no Russkie is going to lure me over because I have dainty little feet.

Pearl, you are one lucky girl...

Janice said...

I love your posts and since I only came on board recently, the old ones are especially enjoyable as well. I am not married to a Russian, but I have those boat feet and I envy you...they feet...My MOTHER used to threaten me that if my feet did not stop growing she would make me wear shoe boxes. My feet were a size 9 then, they are size 12 now and I swear, they are still growing and I'm 50 fricking 8 years OLD!

klahanie said...

Hey Pearl,
This was most certainly a well-heeled article with plenty of sole. And vy oh vy am I suddenly tinking of 'canoe shoes'?

esbboston said...

I am sem-concerned about your footwear, but only because I sell Vibram FiveFingers, and I am not Russian, but I study the language on an in-freak-went basis.

My week has left me weak, but I won the battle with the air conditioner. Hope you are doing wonderful finding plenty of springy things to do.

My life is so much better suddenly because Train is on the jukebox giving me Hey Soul Sister. ..... ... .. .

ThreeOldKeys said...

... and that is how a certain Foot Angel earned his RedWings.

Symdaddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eccentricess said...

I love a shoe story with a happy ending. :-D

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Oh how I love the thrift stores. Was at one today, matter 'o fact. Three shirts, winter dress coat. They feet.
;)
$9.91 out the door.

Symdaddy said...

You know how I sometimes pop in but don't actually read what you've posted?

This is one of those times.

I just wanted to let you know that the poker night was a disaster and that Sym has your credit card.

http://symdaddy.blogspot.co.uk/

The Elephant's Child said...

I am the woman at home with the feet like a wooden boat. A big wooden boat. Sigh.

Linda O'Connell said...

A much earlier version of myself used to wear tank tops AND heels, now I cover the flab and wear flats.

Jo-Anne's Rambling said...

Doesn't it feel good when things like this happen

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Wow! Talk about good luck. You must be doing something right, kiddo.

Austan said...

Those moments of finding something perfect and dirt cheap that fits like a glove and never changes...they're beauteous and rare. Especially when it comes to shoes. I have vivid memories of 2 pairs of strappy hi heels, 1 white, 1 alligator & black. Putting them on for the first time was like hearing JFK was killed, or the first time I punched someone in the nose. That's how rare those moments are.

Tempo said...

I look at you and say: Pearl needs stronger medication!

River said...

$20!! You got a great bargain by being in the right place at the right time.

the walking man said...

They were Russians? And they had no $30 sable jacket to replace that rabbit to go with your shoes? Bummer but then half a deal is better than no deal at all.

SparkleFarkle said...

Like Gramma Toots use to always say, "There's a peacock in every junk yard."

Yup, and if you "be still," it will walk right up to ya. Your $20 Cavallis are [once living] proof of that!

Saimi said...

Yep enjoyed this post just as much as the first time I read it!

Love cheap shoes that feet!

NellieVaughn said...

This is why I love going to larger cities. Los Angeles, for example, has this type of wonderful men everywhere. Usually, they work out of the trunk of their car.

That gentleman's lady said...

Feet like a wooden boat, that reminds me of those one legged funny looking people in one of the Narnia series that used their one leg to paddle all over the bay.