Wednesday, August 20, 2008


So, you all know that I used to work at NIKE, right? Approximately 100 years ago, round the time Michael Jordan was just hitting it big. NIKE made a poster of MJ, "Air Jordan," and then "Freeze Frame," and NIKE could not keep up with the orders, so I was hired, and the rest is history. I met STM at NIKE, so really, Michael Jordan didn't just give me my first job out of college, he gave me my (first?) husband, too. And, MJ and I are only three days apart in age (I'm older). So, that's the back story.

Flash forward 23 years and my wonderful old boss allowed me to use a guest pass to the NIKE Employee Store. I took Woohoo and Rojo yesterday for some good ol' BTS shopping. Rojo needed new shoes, which is to say, he only owns one pair, also NIKEs, which he has worn, hard, every single day since he got them for Christmas and they are too small, too stinky, and very nearly worn through. And, although he's needed shoes for awhile, I've kept putting it off, because the ones he has don't require tying, yet don't look geriatric. They are "cool," and although he doesn't give two hoots about that, I do. (Besides, I'm cheap, see last posting for proof.)

So, the three of us went in search of a replacement pair, another super cool pair of NIKEs that didn't require tying. Not. To. Be. Found. Rojo is not clear on which shoe is left, and which is right. He does not have the spatial awareness to hold the back of a shoe rigid, allowing his foot to slide in, and then there's the tying problem. I found a pair that might work, offering it out to Rojo for a look, while the shoe remained corded to the display stand.

"Rojo? What do you think about these? Do you like these
shoes?" I asked him.

"I do not like the wire," he said, referring to the security measures installed.

"Oh, I know, sweetie," I said, still full of patience, and optimism, at this point, "we will try on a pair without the 'wire'."

So I grabbed me a pair in his size, loosened up the laces, marveled at their coolness factor, and tried to sell him on the shoe while simultaneously trying to cram his foot in. It would not go.

"What the hell?" he asked. "My foot will not go in."

"Sure it will!" I insisted. "Just keep pushing!"

He kept pushing, crammed in his foot, and we repeated the whole operation on the other foot. I laced them up, had him walk around the store, and pressed down on the toe part, just like all good mothers do, to make sure there was some growing room, but not too much.

"I love them!" I shouted, ebulliently. "Do you like them? Do they feel okay? What do you think?" I asked, bombarding and over-stimulating him, completely.

"Fine. They are fine. Can we go look at the T-shirts now?"

We tossed the shoe box in the cart, Mary Tyler Moore style, and moved over to the "Team Sports" section of the store, where we proceeded to spend the next half hour looking at the same section of T-shirts, while he searched for what he had in mind, one with the name of the college, the name of the mascot, and a picture of the mascot. Again, not to be found. Again, I over-stimmed him by showing him all the possible alternatives.

"Oh! Nittany Lions! You love Nittany Lions! Let's get this one!" I said, holding up a grey and blue Penn State T-shirt.

"But it does not say Nittany Lions," he countered.

"Okay, what about this one?" I said, holding up one that said, "Go Dawgs," and on the back it said "Gonzaga."

"But it does not say Bulldogs," he argued.

This went on and on, he pulling T-shirt after T-shirt out of its nice, neat stack, unfolding entire stacks to see if perhaps the one on the bottom said things the others in the stack, did not. I folded, folded, and kept folding, until finally Woohoo returned from her travel to other parts of the store.

"I'm going to lose it," I said, looking at her, "Will you please help him find a T-shirt, ANY T-shirt, so we can go home? I'm going to walk over here," I said while pointing to the women's section.

I walked away, found some socks I couldn't live without, returned to the kids in two minutes, where upon finding Woohoo holding not one, but two T-shirts, triumphantly, in her hands.

"Done! I found two he loves! We're ready to go!"

I looked at the T-shirts, and only someone who grew up in the Pac 10 can really appreciate this, and/or someone in my family where these type of things take on disproportionate importance, there in her hands was a "U Dub" shirt, bright purple, and arch rival of her father's alma mater, the University of Oregon, and a USC Trojan shirt, arch rival of her grandmother's, my mother's, alma mater, UCLA.

"Perfect!" I said.

When we got home and I began cutting off the tags of Rojo's two new shirts, it occurred to me to check his shoes, see if I could figure out a way to make the going on and coming off of them slightly easier. Jam packed in the toe was tissue. Lots and lots of tissue. No wonder the poor boy had trouble getting them on.

What the hell? I might have just as well bought the one with the "wire!"


Maddy said...

Shoes, clothes and laundry = the bane of my life. [I guessed about the tissue as I had the same experience all too recently]

Jamie said...

Glad you found all that you were looking for! Even if it did take a while!!

Robin said...

I also had the same problem with the frickin' tissue paper. I even argued, they are not too small. But you actually got them on, that is quite the accomplishment.

mamatulip said...

The whole time I read this I was wondering if there was that paper crammed in the toes of the shoes.

Eileen said...

Sounds like one store at a time is a good approach. I too get overstimulated with the number of choices. That tissue problem also happened to Mel, who has zero tolerance for shoe shopping. So glad big sis could save the day. It must have made her feel good.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Oh my Hell of God, shoe shopping is tough!

Woo-hoo is amazing. She gets an "A."

BTW...If you had not insisted on cramming his foot into the shoe, he would not have to kick your ass.

She said...

Well, I didn't get the tissue thing. Is that because I'm not a mommy!

The t-shirt thing, though, I totally got because my nephews are THAT picky, too. I know because I bought them t-shirts for Christmas last year. I had to go to specific websites and choose "too freakin' expensive" shirts for them that said just the RIGHT thing!

Would Rojo be interested in a TEXAS LONGHORN t-shirt??? : )

drama mama said...

What the hell?!

I love his cussing. Love it.

We just mastered shoe tying. After nine years.

Only another parent of a spectrum rider could appreciate the effort of a trip to a shoe store.


Jerri said...

Let me guess: you kicked your own ass after finding the tissue.

Oh my hell of God, that's funny. I do so love your children.

Anonymous said...

TOO funny~ This story is so 'relatable.'

Anonymous said...

this made me laugh out loud. awesome.

Nancy said...

Have totally done the tissue paper thing with my kids. Just love that you did that, too!

kario said...

Wait, who was overstimulated? Rojo? Or you? I know I was just reading this post. I HATE, HATE, HATE shopping for shoes with my daughters. Forget the t-shirts - I just do that online and let them browse on their own and call me when they're ready to pull the trigger.