So, back when Mate and I were working at Fridays, shoes were a problem.
See, the only shoes we could afford were the ones from Target, with the plastic soles and the vinyl instep--they lasted about two months, but the next quality level up was WAY more than we could afford.
Mate worked the kitchen and I worked the expo stand before a brief stint waitressing which led to me getting fired. (I cannot TELL you what a horrible, fucked up, dumbshit waitress I was. There are no words.)
Mate's shoes got the brunt of the awfulness at T.G.I. Fridays.
They were horrible--especially when he worked fry station or helped with the dishes. There was this stench... this unbelievable soul crushing stench, that would boil up from the bowels of hell and envelop my sweet darling's poor feet.
That and the soles cracked at about the time the stench appeared, and your entire night would be sloshing around with mop water in your shoes and tiny splinters of whatever glassware had been dropped that night working it's way into the skin of the balls of your feet.
But the smell...
So one night, we are both off at the same time, and I am driving him back to our tiny apartment on the other side of town. (This apartment complex, by the way, is right next to the gym where I started attending water aerobics. Ah, I remember the knife fights in the parking lot fondly...) Anyway-- we had a fifteen minute drive, it was three a.m. on a summer's morning, and we were going to Payless or Target or Fuck-my-Feet or wherever to get new shoes the next day.
And the rolling, boiling fungal frenzy from hell was wafting off Mate's feet to the extent that I was going to blow chunks if we didn't toss those fucking shoes out the window.
But that's bad. Littering is bad.
So we went through a McDonald's drive-thru (this was before they were open all night) and we left the shoes in the trash can at the end.
I don't know. It seemed like the thing to do.
But I bring this up for a reason.
Skechers are both wonderful and horrible things.
They are wonderful because: memory foam.
They are horrible because: memory foam disintegrates.
Now, I've owned three pairs of Skechers, and I've loved them--even this last pair. But this last pair has been worn during an extraordinary period in California: It's been raining balls here. I've gone walking in the rain in these shoes more often than I've been walking in the rain for the last five years. They have gotten wet, gotten wetter, and gotten... crumbly, really, on the inside.
And about the time they started to... well, crumble, that old familiar stench started to boil up from the soles of my shoes.
How could I have forgotten that this smell was sent from purgatory to remind sinners that hell was a-coming and we should repent the fuck now?
But between trips and getting sick and kids and school and performance and rehearsal and omg I have to do WHAT in a week? Well, that trip to the Skechers store was just not happening.
I had to live with the stench of my failing shoes. Where's a trashcan in a McDonald's drive-thru when you need one?
But today? Today my purgatory ended.
Today I bought shoes.
And tomorrow, the old ones are riding the happy can to heaven, and taking their hellish stench with them.
THAT'S what me and the kids did today.