Shoe Shopping In The Barrio


This Gringa needs a new pair of dancing shoes!  I know exactly what I want:  open toe, 2” heel, no platform, crisscross ankle strap, velvet, satin or similar soft fabric, wide strap across the instep just above my toes, maybe with some sparkly jewels, one pair in black, one pair in nude, and one pair in white.  I could find this perfect shoe at the local specialty dance shop but, on a Barrio budget, who could afford ‘em? What’s a poor, workin’ girl to do? Well, this gal hits the mall for what would become a noteworthy shopping experience.

At five-foot, five-inches tall I stand a wee bit taller than my husband (although his Latino machismo makes this impossible for him to believe).  This fact means a low heel is a critical factor in shoe shopping.  Also, because I dance like a madwoman with her hair on fire and am not interested in broken ankles, I prefer a low heel.  As I peruse the selections at the various stores in the mall I seem to have the same conversation again and again with the sales staff.  These exchanges go something like this:

“Can I help you find something?”

“Yes, please.  I’m looking for some shoes to wear out dancing… Oh my, impressive, but, seeing as I’m not a hooker, not really what I had in mind.  Thank you, though.”

“Have you been helped?”

“Well, if that’s what you wanna call it.  What I’d really like is a pretty, low-heeled, strappy sandal with more of a princess look than the hooker look, if you know what I mean.”

“Heh, heh, well, let me see what I can find for you.”

“Mmmm hmmm. Now THAT’S quite a shoe! Just exactly how high is that platform? Really! Well, it’s awfully inflexible.  What I’m looking for are some new dance shoes and, since dancing like Frankenstein is really not my style, I guess I should keep looking. Thanks anyway.”

Finally, after four desperate hours of shopping and finding nothing but KISS and Elton John inspired platforms with five-inch spike heels (Frankenstein hooker shoes!), I left the mall totally disillusioned.  I felt incredibly old and out of touch with fashion.  Then, behold, I spy a popular discount store.  I am now more in need than ever of some retail therapy.  Hmmm, what have I got to lose?  And there, against all odds, I rejoiced with the angels because I found my heart’s desire at… Payless Shoe Source.  Who knew?!  Not only did I find beautiful, satin, jeweled princess shoes, but, best of all… I COULD AFFORD TWO PAIR!

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gringaofthebarrio

A barrio gringa with a dream of cosmic proportions: writing to satiate my insatiable curiosity, worldwide literacy beginning with our youth, and to be the first barrio gringa to explore outer space!

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