Well if you know me at all, you will know I love shoe shopping.
You will also know that as of late, I have had many opportunities to do it, because my dog keeps eating them.
Well on Thursday I got another opportunity, but this time it wasn’t the dog’s fault. It was just the general wear and tear that happens when your five and you do a lot of playing.
So as Bridie was putting her shoe on, it broke. Just like that. I can’t say I was all that surprised; they have looked like they were on the way-out for a little while. But it was a rather inconvenient day because her class was taking the assembly, and her feet would be on display for the whole school to see. Not to mention that it meant a visit to the shops that day, otherwise it would have to wait until sometime next week. But that’s just life isn’t it?
So anyway, she put on her joggers, took a note to her teacher, and off we went to school. After staying to watch the assembly, Bailey, Ava and I headed off to the shops.
Now I wanted it to be quick trip. Mainly because I had a lot to do at home, and really wasn’t in a shopping mood (it does happen from time to time.) My goal was to get everything done in an hour, (shoes, and dog food, and chicken from Coles) with a tired baby and a toddler. Almost mission impossible, yes?
Well we didn’t do too bad. We got everything we needed, and the kids were well behaved; it was almost the perfect shopping trip.
Too bad the sales lady from Williams had to upset the apple cart.
There are two things I’m looking for when I go into a shoe shop; shoes (well duh) and a reasonable price tag. Parenting Advice should not be included.
It started when I was browsing the school shoes. My dear little Bridie is a complete fashion victim. She loves to live life ‘pretty.’ Many are the tears and tantrums we have had when my practical choice of clothes, has clashed with her desire for beauty at all costs.
Shopping with her for school shoes is a nightmare, because generally speaking, school shoes are not pretty. I mean, have you ever really looked at a pair of school shoes and gone, ‘oh my! Look at them! I must have them!’
Neither have I.
So whilst looking at the shoes I was trying to find something that was not only black and complied with the school requirements, but that would also not make my dear girl recoil in absolute horror at the thought of placing them on her feet. And I found these
Well not these exactly, but something similar with a smaller heel, and support all down the side with no big flowers. (So really nothing like this at all then!) They technically didn’t fall into the ‘school shoes’ category, but they ticked all the boxes size, price and uniform wise. And then I realised the look the lady was giving me. Thinly veiled disgust that I was not looking at the ‘proper’ school shoes.
So if course I told her where to go! ‘Don’t look at me like that! I’ll buy what shoes I want to buy, but not from here you stuck up, self righteous cow!’
As if I would say that.
No, of course, I gave into the pressure and turned towards the more expensive shoes she was recommending,
And then the fun really started.
I said I didn’t want Velcro, because it usually detaches. She said it would be very hard to not have Velcro, and her daughter had Velcro and hers were fine. So I told her that Taylah had had lots of Velcro over the years, and she always broke them, but that Taylah was unbelievably rough on her shoes. (she is terrible. They are always scuffed, or broken, with bits falling off. But to be fair, she is always running around, or climbing or jumping; her shoes have a lot to put up with.)
After lots of incredulous looks from Mrs Williams, she moved on to polish, saying that Bridie’s shoes would be in better condition if we polished them.
‘We do!’ I said. ‘My husband polished these last week!’
Another disdainful look. (I had taken the one of the broken shoes along to check the size.) So again from me, excuses and reasons and justifications. I don’t know why I felt the need.
Then, after I finally decided on a pair, a lecture on how school shoes need to be good quality because they are in them all day, and buying anything else is just not good for them. I’m sorry last time I checked, shoe sales people weren’t qualified podiatrists, they were shoes sales people! That’s it! Perhaps it is better for kids to have good quality shoes, but there wasn’t much difference I could see between the ‘school shoes’ she was pushing, and the Mary Janes I liked. (Besides the price.) And I know my daughter. She is not going to be running a marathon in them; she tries to get me to write a note so she can get out of fitness!
After that speech there was no way I was admitting Taylah’s school shoes were from Kmart for the grand old price of $8!
I should have left, but I didn’t. Bridie has small feet and I didn’t have a lot of shop options, so I bought them. Parted with my cash for the ridiculous price, which lucky for me, came with free parenting advice, when my sales lady turned podiatrist, then exercised her degree in child rearing, by suggesting that I sit down and explain to my daughter that we can’t always be pretty (which I do; we have had MANY talks about beauty being who you are on the inside), and perhaps get her to polish her own shoes so she learns to look after them.
Thanks for that Mrs Williams! Next time we have a toddler tantrum, do you think you could help us out there too?
As it turned out the shoes were fine by Bridie. Just like Amy’s and worthy of being called ‘fancy,’ so I did ok.
But I won’t be hurrying back to that shop. I’m not opposed to help, or well meaning advice, but I don’t need to be judged by a random lady who has seen me for all of five minutes of my life.
But what do you think? Am I being too sensitive here?
What experience have you had with unwelcome advice?