Shocking Shoe Shopping

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I can spend HOURS in a book store. I only want to spend MINUTES in a shoe store. I want to locate a style I like, find a pair that fits my feet, sign the slip and hit the door. Easy, done, out. Recently on the show, we told the joke: "What's the fundamental difference between a man and a woman? A man can walk by a shoe store." Women (generalization) not only seem to dig the shoe shopping experience (I have heard extreme tales that its an "event" and that it can be "orgasmic;" and in THAT case, point me to THAT store), but they also seem to appreciate a man who wears nice shoes.

So after some fairly yummy soup in a bread-bowl at Quiznos today for lunch, I decided to cruise through DSW in the Sherman Oaks Galleria and see what they had. I've been needing to get new shoes for quite some time and have, like haircuts, put it off. But being as I have a touch of vanity (a touch?) I like to look down and see that my shoes are in decent shape, that I am, to some measurable degree "well shod." Not only are the shoes I have now a bit scuffed (a shine might do them some good) but also, when I'm working in the studio I keep getting shocked. Especially at this time of year, when the wind is whipping and the weather is sunny-but-chilly in Los Angeles, there's this static cling issue. Maybe it's just me and my clothes. Maybe I need to change the fabric softener sheets I use. I won't make any corny jokes about my 'electric personality' because the jury's still deliberating....

Anyway, the shoes I've been wearing recently keep getting me shocked. When I have the headphones on, and walk the wrong way on the studio carpet, miniature lightning bolts zap my ears. Not kidding. It's almost as if I can picture them. I know I've been accused of having metal plates in my head based on some of my decisions, but it's really ridiculous and frustrating to be more conductive than copper. Frankenstein's Monster I'm not (no matter what my past relationships would tell you). And when I scoot from where I stand as the producer to touch the control board to adjust something: Z-ZAP.

My host, Larry, laughs. I do too, because it's pretty funny that it keeps happening, despite my awareness of it. One would think classical conditioning would apply, but suffice to say I don't salivate when a bell rings. (Stick THAT in your boot and eat it, Pavlov!) I try not to curse, because not only am I trying to cut down on that in general, but I got in trouble for it last year when it slipped out on the air...not from a shock moment, from something else...either way, it earned me the nickname F-Bomb from some of my friends. Suffice to say I'm well tired of discharging electricity because I'm not well-grounded. Well, I think I am well-grounded...oh you know what I mean.

Back to the shoes. I used to just go to Payless. Walk in, find the style I always get, $15 bucks a pair and out the door. But not only have they stopped carrying the style I liked (for the price), the shoes don't have good support and just don't last very long. Shocking. (No pun intended from the static cling thing...well maybe a little). So I usually just hit the Mervyn's a few blocks from my house. They no longer carry the style I like, and one of the styles I've been wearing is from Mervyn's and it's the one that seems to be part of the problem. God forbid I wear these shoes during an electrical storm.

For the longest time, I avoided the DSW at the Galleria (which is right across the street from where I work) because I thought it was a hoity-toity shoe store. I'm not really sure if that's how one spells hoity-toity, but everything else in the Galleria is overpriced, so assuming the shoes would be too...makes sense right? (Just nod and agree at this can shake your head that I'm an idiot later. Thank you.) So I'm driving to work last week and it just pops into my head....the D in DSW might just stand for Discount. Discount Shoe Warehouse. Ooooh! That would be convenient, huh? Turns out, I was right. I love being doesn't matter if I've been an idiot all the way UNTIL then, the being right part feels good. Because, despite living in the darkness of not knowing it was Discount for the almost-two-years I've worked across the street from the place, I figured it out on my own. Thus, I feel less dumb about it...but not much, it's a sliding scale, doncha know. Sure, they could have been more clear and dumb it down for the likes of me, but I guess DSW just sounds hip and cool on the side of the building, and "Discount Shoe Warehouse" would sully the concept of it being the "Galleria."

So I cruised through the place, figured I'd just look, just see if they had what I was looking for, and come back on Friday or Saturday before the show and get something.

I spent $210.

Nice try, Rich. (Now you can shake your head. You're welcome.)

I bought 2 pair of Sketchers (I hate laces, love slip-ons), both a similar style I leather-ish with a flat bottom tread, the other a more tennis-shoe style. And of course, a pair of Birkenstocks. "Of course?" Dude, it's WINTER! Yeah, it's winter. I know. I'm a warm-weather wussy boy, born and raised here in SoCal and when it gets into the mid-sixties, I get cold. So there's little chance I'm going to wear those Birks for MONTHS. Yet I've been wanting them for a quite a last pair of Birks were on my feet about a decade ago...well maybe more recently than that...but not in the last 5 years that I can recall. So to see them for $70 instead of over $100, well, the ladies hear what I'm sayin', right? I don't need to go further with that. Sure, none of these shoes would really qualify as "nice" shoes that a woman would look at my feet and think better of me, but I'd at least hope she wouldn't think worse of me. At least they're new.

Earlier in the week a friend mentioned that if you sign up for a membership thing, you can get a $25 gift certificate after you spend $250. I thought, "I don't see the point. I'm not going to spend $250 on shoes, and when I DO buy shoes, it's every six months or more...or at least it feels that way."

Okay so with three boxes in front of me on the counter, I said "Yes" when the cashier girl asked me if I would like to sign up for that. I knew I was most of the way there. Not to mention that I was intrigued by these cool and comfortable-looking Aqua Shoes ("for any outdoor activity near water" which applies to me at the "not at all" end of the spectrum). I already know I will be going back soon to get a new pair of dress shoes. Yet, here's the dilemma...after I get the dress shoes, I'll hit the mark and get that $25 gift certificate...okay, by then, I'M DONE SHOPPING! I'll then have all the shoes I need. And unless I go for the useless-to-me Aqua Shoes or a pair of mountain hiking boots I'll use maybe twice a year, I've no idea what I would get.

Brown...maybe I need some brown shoes.