Hunter Levinsohn
Hunter Levinsohn Stories


Anna, my two year old, and I had been to Stride Rite to buy shoes the week before so I was very surprised when I put her brand new tenny pumps on one afternoon after her nap that she began complaining that they were too tight and uncomfortable. I didn't pay a lot of attention but she kept telling me they were too tight so I reached down and pressed the ends of her shoes and was amazed to find that there was no room; her little toes were packed solidly into the shoe. I was very upset that the salesperson hadn't been more careful when checking that the shoes fit correctly; after all that is the reason that I'd gone there; I thought that they would certainly know better. I went on a good bit to anyone whom would listen to me for the rest of the day. The next day she wore her old shoes to play school and that afternoon after her nap, we returned to Stride Rite with the offending shoes.

I had calmed down and was tentative and mild-mannered in my presentation of the child in the brand new, TOO TIGHT shoes. Both the salesman and I felt the shoes again, there was no room at the toe! He went in and got the next size up which he put on her little feet. They were HUGE; I don't even think that she could keep them on her feet. I looked puzzled; he looked puzzled. And then he held up a finger and said "Wait a minute!" He reached into the one of the shoes and withdrew a wadded up sock. And then I remembered that the problem had occurred after another mother had picked her up from the play group. It being a fine spring morning the kids had all taken off their shoes and socks had been carefully tucked into shoes. When it came time for pick up, the mother who was picking up several children, had hurriedly gotten them into their shoes and the socks had become packed into the toe of the shoes. When she complained, it never occurred to me that the socks were still in the shoes; and she only knew that the fine new shoes were suddenly too tight and hurt her feet.

I felt pretty silly when the salesman pulled those socks out but at least I didn't have to slink out of the store a rude, and a foolish, woman. Thanks once more to my excellent parents, for foreseeing the future, and a world and shoes and problems, that are not always as clearly defined in terms of good and evil as one would at first assume! One should, in most every case, hesitate before yelling.

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