Still, Shoes.

On Thursday while I having my car serviced, I received an email:

“Hi CHARLES,
Thank you for your recent order. Your order has been processed. At
this point, one of three things has happened:
1) If you item(s) have been shipped, there will be a tracking
number at the bottom of this email.
2) If your item(s) have been cancelled or are on hold, you will
receive notification indicating the reason.
3) If your items have been backordered, they will be shipped as
they arrive in our distribution center.
If you have any questions about your order, please call us at
1-866-316-xxxx. Thank you for shopping at [ONLINE RETAILER YOU NEVER HEARD OF]”

Below the message was a description of my Diesel Parapat shoes (white/red, yes), their cost, and the date they were shipped.

The invoice date for these shoes was 11 days after I made the initial order.

So, I guess they’re still coming 2nd day air, which, happily, on a Thursday shipment, means I’ll get them in four days on Monday!

Further Tales of the Shoe

It turns out I may not have ordered the Diesels online after all. After all that.

I checked my email, no receipt; my bank account didn’t show any shoe-related activity, either. I don’t know what happened, but apparently my purchase didn’t go through. I was pissed because I asked for 2nd day air and they hadn’t arrived by yesterday.

Then, when I googled the shoe, I couldn’t find anymore in red! I was shut out. My shoe had sailed. It was over.

On a whim, I got in the car and drove down to my local sporting goods store, which I think was a Sports Authority. I walked in and found a nice pair of on-sale New Balance shoes for the gym (because Sketchers also ruined the gym for me, too), and then I tried on Pumas, Nikes, and Adidas, until I settled on these:

Except they have black stripes.

They’re pretty comfortable! I like them. And they have a little Goodyear logo on them…maybe because I’m going to exceed the walking speed limit?

I still want another pair of shoes, but maybe I’ll wait until I get to New York this month to buy another.

Shoes: The Final Saga

Friends, I spent most of my holiday vacation shoe shopping.

Faithful kinemapoetics readers understand: this never ends well.

I was looking for one of two pairs of shoes:

a white sneaker with red details
a white sneaker with light blue details

In my head, I was probably envisioning Nikes or Adidas as the mostly likely candidates, but when it comes to shoes, I like to think of myself as open to experimentation, like a college student.

Unfortunately, I was about as deluded as Kristy Swanson in Buffy the Vampire Slayer when she said, “All I want to do is go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die!” Although these days you probably could marry Christian Slater, and it might actually kill you.

So I visited the cheap mall, where the outlet stores lived, and I went into each of the 897654357 shoes stores. I’ve done this before, you might recall. Well, I found 1 store that had white shoes with red on them, Nikes even, and their largest size? Size 9.

I got in my car and left Liliput in search of a shoe store that might actually carry a grown-ass man’s shoe size. Over the next few days, I visited no less than three malls, including their surrounding ephemeral sprawl, to find something, anything.

The closest I came was this:

Biggest size: 9.

Why the rush, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. For the past year or so, I’ve been wearing a pair of Sketchers sneakers which, while cute and stuff, have exacerbated my plantar fasciitis to the point where the pain is just awful, wretched. I’ll never own another pair of Sketchers as long as I live, mark me there—buy-one-get-one-half-off be damned!

But in the end, I decided it was more important for me to get the right shoe that to get the shoe I could take home with me that day, so I went home and ordered the Diesel shoe from an online retailer and expedited the shipping.

They aren’t here yet.

Shoes.

Some of you will remember my shoe sojourn from a while back.

I’m pleased to update you with some significant movement in the shoe area of my life. I have been without new black dress shoes since I graduated from college in 1999. The old pair were getting, well, old. Out of style. Etc.

So I went to the Kenneth Cole outlet and found, yes, immediately, a pair of black Flex-a-bits right there on the shelf…and a pair in my size!

I bought them immediately, and for cheap. They are wonderful, as good as my other KCs, which have only gotten better with time.

I feel complete, shoe-wise, at least.

Verbosity.

I finished the first draft of my first short story in seven years. While I was in Vegas I started writing the second story, concerning one of the characters several years later. I know what happens to a third character in the future. I think he’s in this new story too. It takes place in (surprise) Vegas.

I can share my good news in, like, two days. I’m really excited about it. I was playing it cool before.

I went out in search of a lover yesterday—a particular lover. A pair of black Kenneth Cole Flex-a-bits. They look like this:

They feel like this:

I just tried to order them online and they are backstocked until October 10.

Kenneth Cole Update

I’ve been wearing my Kenneth Cole shoes for about two months now.

I want you to know they are the most comfortable pair of dress shoes I’ve ever owned.

I wear them to work all the time. I have to do a lot of walking, working on a campus, and they never make my feet sore. They are the perfect size and shape for my feet, with a wide toe box to accommodate my oddly squared-off toes, and although they aren’t “cushiony” the way sneakers are, they seem molded to my feet now.

And they weren’t too expensive, either, considering the amount of mileage I get out of them. They were only $89.00 at the Kenneth Cole Outlet store in the sad mall. It might be the most I’ve paid for a pair of shoes, but I’m glad I did. I’m going to go back—I have a little crush on this pair of black loafers. They have a silver bar across the tongue that I like. And: square toes.

My black dress shoes are from 1999. I bought them right before I got my first job, to wear on job interviews. Before that, my most expensive pair of shoes cost approximately $29. The black shoes are Guess?, and they’ve done good by me for almost 8 years. But it might be time to diversify, bring in a new player. Someday I would like to own more nice shoes.

My biggest shoe disappointment was a few weeks ago when I spontaneously wore my black Converse One Stars to the Tracy Longley-Cook show. My back was killing me and my heels hurt. I was sad. I love Converse shoes. But I think it’s either Kenneth Cole or Dr. Scholls for me from now on.

Shopping.

In celebration of my shopping Odyssey on Saturday and Monday night, I’d like to share with you all the stores I visited in search of the perfect pair of plain, shiny, brown dress shoes (preferably a slip-on):

SATURDAY (Arizona Mills)
Famous Footwear
Bass
Journeys
Kenneth Cole
Rack Room Shoes
Rockport
Shoe Pavilion
Shoeteria
Robert Wayne Footwear

I estimate on Saturday I tried on 15 pairs of shoes, finally going into any shoe store we passed just to look. Nothing. Everything was ugly, didn’t fit right, didn’t come in my size (I’m a perfect 11 1/2), or felt like strapping bricks to my feet.

Monday night I resolved to go out after work, with some desperation, in the hopes I could have these by the start of our conference on Wednesday. Was I being to restrictive? Too inflexible? Was I asking for too much? Did what I want even exist??

MONDAY (Biltmore Fashion Park)
Macy’s–almost left with an uncomfortable pair of Steve Maddens, but pressed on
Cole Haan
Sak’s
Apple store (my laser printer just died and I needed to scope out prices)

While at the Apple store, I searched for the nearest DSW, which was 15 miles away…in the suburbs!

So, I drove there.

MONDAY (Chandler Fashion Center)
DSW

Spent and hour and a half trying on 13 pairs of shoes, all wrong.

Frantic, I declared a shoe crisis! I called my man in Texas and asked for suggestions. He said, “You certainly seem to know what you want,” echoing the salesperson’s comment to Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo. And perhaps I was that obsessed.

Beaten, desperate, uncertain, I returned to Arizona Mills.

MONDAY (Arizona Mills)
Sketchers
Ross
Kenneth Cole

At Sketchers, I realized what I also needed to do was replace my casual brown shoes because the soles were cracked in half. I bought those, and because they always have buy one/get one half off, I got a cute pair of sneakers as a bonus for off-setting part of the shoe crisis.

Then, on my second visit to Kenneth Cole, nearly in tears, I tried on several wrong shoes and started to leave

and there they were

just sitting there on a shelf under a sign that said “SALE”

and they were beautiful, nearly everything I’d wanted (they lace up) and when I looked, they had my EXACT SIZE.

I slipped my foot in and it was love.