Forget a new button-down shirt and tie for Easter, we decided. Let's go with dress shoes. These were long overdue, especially when I remembered that the pair sitting in our closet have been Drew's dressy companions for the past seven years. Oh horrors. Badly scuffed in the front, those boring black shoes have always reminded me of the sensible pair worn by Indiana Jones as he stopped a rolling boulder or hung off a suspension bridge by his fingertips. Except that Drew's are black.
We ran into the same-old same-old, however. Every single pair I picked up (and pulled up the tongue for country-of-origin info - does that sound creepy or what?), was made in China.
"What are we going to do?" I wailed.
"Let's go to the discount store," Drew said confidently. The discount shoe store has plenty of Chinese-made products, but I think our hope was that down one of those numerous aisles, we would strike gold. For those who have never been, the Discount Shoe Store is Enormous with a capital E. Envision the union of a small convenience store and Target. The child from that union is the Discount Shoe Store. It's my toy store. ;)
We made it to the store thirty minutes before closing time. A woman on a mission, I raced towards the dress shoes. Marching down one aisle and up another, I picked up black shoe after black shoe while Drew wandered somewhere behind and to the right of me (He says all males get lost in the dust here and I agree. It's best if they just keep a safe distance away from the person who is actually excited about being here - namely, the female).
I finally had success in the second aisle. There were two pairs of dress shoes made in...*trumpet, please*... Brazil. The prices, however...ahh, let's just say they were steep. The third pair (made in Mexico) sent me over the moon with a price ticket under $50.
"Kalabunga! Try this pair on."
They looked sharp. Very sharp. But their comfort level = cardboard. I grabbed one of the pricey pairs off the shelf. Drew might as well try them on, just for comparison's sake. His face wore a look of utter happiness (and that's saying a LOT. Drew doesn't get excited about shoes). "These feel...like walking on clouds," he murmured happily. "The other pair is like cardboard."
So we took the Brazilian shoes went home with us. The argument went something like this...
"You'll need dress shoes for PA school."
"Do you really want to spend longer than thirty minutes in the cardboard shoes?"
"You'll wear these for a few years at least. Total price tag divided by two or three years = not so bad!"
I can't sign off without a plug for the pricey shoes...I am of the firm opinion that pricier shoes are a) made better and b) are actually better for the well-being of your feet. I've got several $100 pairs in my closet (i.e. Chaco, Dansko, Born...) and they are going on five, five, and two years respectively. Do the math and that's not bad per year.
Unfortunately, most of the quality shoes that used to come from Spain and Germany and so on are now being produced in China. That makes shoe shopping challenging for us this year. I've had to say "no" twice now to a pair of the cutest Rocket Dog flats. Understand that for a shoe fanatic, this is extremely difficult. But luckily (imagine me wiping the sweat from my brow), not everything is made in China. Yet.
Feel free to get back to me in seven years and I'll let ya know how Drew's dress shoes are doing...