Apr 1, 2024
Her Perspective

Buy the shoes already

I think it’s genetic. Really, I do. Mom had about 80 pairs, 75 more than I ever saw her wear. I only have about half that number. But I’m not dead yet — and there’s still about nine square inches of floor visible in my closet just begging to be filled. I need more shoes.

Shoe shopping is my favorite retail sport. Unlike shopping for jeans — or heaven forbid, swimsuits — the shape of my body is irrelevant as I slip on those baby blue Manolos. I can be packing a few extra pounds or have just eaten the whole pile of rosemary fries at George Bistro, and still look cute in those Jimmy Choos.

Though to be honest, it’s a bargain that really floats my boat when it comes to buying footwear. And what better time to snag a deal than Black Friday at Dillard’s?

Yes, I love shoes that much. I braved the manic masses at the mall in pursuit of the perfect pair of fancy “sneakers.” I wanted something fun and funky. And preferably, on sale.

Imagine my delight when I spied with my little eye, another little eye. A darling pair of Kurt Geiger platform sneakers winked up at me. Yes, a glittering-green, luscious-lashed eye embellished the side of each shoe. So cute.

Fun — check! Funky — double check! On sale…

I picked up the shoe and turned it over to look at the sticker and, OMG! Sixty-eight dollars. Unbelievable! My lucky day.

They had my size! I hurriedly tried them on and then rushed up to the counter to make them mine before my good shoe-juju ran out.

“That’ll be $168,” the salesgirl said with a smile.

“What?” said I with a frown.

She showed me the price on the box. I showed her the price on the shoe. Alas, the left corner of the sticker was frayed, missing the “one.”

Did I politely demur at this point? Hell no. I was invested. I needed those shoes.

Until I didn’t. A couple of days later, excited to wear them to a party, I pulled them out of the box, slipped them on, and took three steps.

“Ouch!” The tongue of the rigid leather jammed painfully into the tendon on the top of my foot. I got as far as my bedroom door before I yanked them off. Damn!

Back to Dillard’s I went. The sales guy was not friendly. In fact, he pulled the left shoe out of the box, scrutinized the sole, and declared the shoes unreturnable, and me a liar.

“These shoes show a wear pattern on the heel,” he accused.

“I did not take 10 steps in these shoes,” I defended.

We went round and round until finally the manager got involved.

The surly salesguy was obliged to refund my money and I, still on the search for fun and funky footwear, continued to shop.

And there they were! The second most perfect sneakers ever. And on the sale shelf! Less than 100 bucks. I took them up to the counter to pay.

“That’ll be $160,” Mr. Personality declared. I marched him over to the 40% off display.

“Someone put it on the wrong shelf,” he said without apology.

Did I walk away? Oh, nay. I am my mother’s daughter. I needed those shoes.

I put them on and pranced out of the store to my car. They really were cute — but $160? For sneakers? Right before Christmas?

On my way home I stopped at the adorable gift shop on 12th Avenue, Angel’s Garden, in search of stocking stuffers. The proprietor greeted me and exclaimed, “Don’t I know you?”

“Yes, I think so,” I replied. “You carried my first book here back in 2016 — thank you by the way.”

“Oh yeah, that’s right. I think I owe you some money,” she said.

She pulled out her ledger while I shopped.

I was browsing windchimes when she tapped me on the shoulder.

“Here,” she said, and handed me a check. A check for…

You guessed it. $160.

I showed her my shoes and thanked her for them.

Fun! Funky! Free!

Mom would be so proud.


Sharla Dawn Gorder is a Pensacola Beach resident and columnist for the Island Times newspaper.  She is the author of “My Vices Collide; a Celebration of Being a Little Messed Up,” and is currently working on her next book, entitled “Crayon Dawn,” due out in October 2024.