Saturday, April 21, 2007

Tim, The Girl, and The Shoes

This effort ran Saturday, April 27, 2002 and helped introduce us to what would become a major theme of the love relationship between Tim and The Girl. We're talking shoes.


By Tim Greening The Times

Thursday, The Times ran a Trends story about women and their fascination with shoes.

Didn't read it. Didn't have to. I live it.

One day The Girl and I were walking through Dillard's and she suddenly stopped in her tracks and gasped. Literally gasped.

Two pairs of shoes. From some Italian designer, Benicio Dillardini, or something like that. One pink and one tan. Actually, the tan pair is called Chivas, after the brand of Scotch. In keeping with the beverage theme, the pink pair may have been called Pepto.

They were pumps, or sandals, or were they loafers? I dunno. All women's shoes look the same to me: painfully uncomfortable.

But she fell in love instantly. Every time we went to the mall, we had to visit the shoes. She'd gawk at them, like they were doggies in the pet store window.

"Aw, look at how precious. You're a precious little shoe, aren't you? Yes, you are. Who's a good shoe? Who's a good shoe?"

I just don't get it. It's not like they were Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars with Spider-Man or Darth Maul on them. Or, better yet, bowling shoes with Spider-Man or Darth Maul on them. Then I could understand the excitement. Girls are weird.

It was January, and she strongly hinted she wanted them for Valentine's. I had already gotten that gift, so mentally I filed the shoes under "Maybe for Her Birthday."

But her birthday's in May, and she was worried the new spring lines would come in and the shoes would be gone. Strong hints became outright pleas.

Some of you may be asking, "Why didn't she just get them herself?" Well, once something gets that "gift" designation, it's tough to buy it for yourself. It's like your partner let you down.

Plus, I kept telling her I'd get them, and then just didn't. I wasn't taking the shoe thing as seriously as she does.

Then, one day, the unthinkable happened. After we visited the shoes we went to a bookstore. There was the latest edition of the ultrahip magazine Real Simple. AND THE PINK SHOE WAS ON THE COVER.

There was no turning back.

"Can't you see it's fate? This is a sign! The shoes and I are meant to be together!"

I finally bought them, on the sly. But after all that, to simply hand them over seemed anticlimactic. So I waited for an opportunity to present itself.

Meantime, enter the story's villain: a pair of leather high-tops I once wore sockless while working in the yard. They reek. Serious stank. They contaminate any room they're in. The smell would clear a rendering plant.

More funk than Rick James and George Clinton ever dreamed of putting on a record.

The Girl calls them "the Gabby shoes" because they smell like a goat. She pleaded with me to throw them out, but I just couldn't do it. They were still functional, and well, shoes smell. It's their job, that's what they do. Besides, there's a team of scientists at Odor Eaters working night and day to develop a cure.

Anyway, our six-month anniversary rolled around, the perfect time to give her the shoes. So, on Monday, via the mail, she received just one shoe, the left Chivas. Tuesday, she got the left Pepto. Wednesday, as a prank, I mailed her a Gabby, possibly violating laws against shipping hazardous materials.

Thursday, she got the right Chivas. As for Friday, another prank: I bought a second pair of Peptos and mailed her the left one. So she'd think she had a complete Pepto pair, start to try them on and ... d'ohh! Two left feet.

A dirty trick, sure, but I'm really proud of it. Today, our actual anniversary, she gets all the remaining shoes.

That is, if she's still talking to me.

Happy anniversary, Ringading.

Tim "Gabby" Greening's column runs Saturdays. Call him at (318) 459-3260 or e-mail to