I find myself in an unusual problem right now; one that most who write wish they had. I have too many things to write and not enough time to write them. I have three blog ideas that hit me today alone and one that I have been percolating for about a week, I had an idea of how to fix a short story I have been working on for a while, I have my novel to work on, I have a short story contest entry to compose before Wednesday night and I have a class text book to write. I had a bad case of writer’s block a while ago, so I guess this is the other extreme. Better this than that.
Have you ever really thought about your feet? I stand in front of a class all day and my feet take the beating. After casually mentioning my sore tootsies (alright, I whined) I finally followed the advice of my lovely wife (a high-school teacher) and my brother and got some Clarks shoes. I was looking for new sandals (I wear them out pretty fast) and I needed some shoes for work that I can stand in for hours without killing my feet. We went to several stores and finally went to the Clarks store in the mall before finding the shoes and sandals I needed.
The sales guy (too young for me to call him the salesman) was not the most effective salesman I have ever experienced (good thing I already knew what I wanted going in) as he never tried to sell me a shoe. Of course, he brought me the more expensive styles that were close to what I wanted, but I only had to tell him twice that these were the shoes I wanted and please bring them in a 10 wide. Now, I had come into the store wearing my old sandals, and you really don’t want to try on shoes without socks—for sizing as well as hygiene concerns. Now the sales guy actually did something really smart. He brought me a pair of socks.
Let me step outside of my story for a second. Have you ever had that moment where your perspective gets radically realigned? Where nothing you ever knew before prepared you for something new? Where your life won’t ever be the same? There comes a time where you encounter such a life altering discovery that you have to make changes to accommodate it. This was not one of those moments…but it was close.
You go to Wal-Mart, you buy a 10-pack of socks, or maybe you go the top-of-the-line and buy the Gold-Toe socks at the clothing stores and you get socks; just some fabric to cover your feet. You wear them until you get holes (and sometimes long after you get holes) or until the dryer eats one, but you don’t really think about them when you grab them from the drawer. Maybe I’m wrong—maybe I’m the only one who does that. But now, I have learned the errors of my ways.
Back to the shoe store. The sales guy brought me a pair of socks. He handed them to me as casually as if he was handing me a pair of Wal-Mart socks. It was as if he didn’t know how significant this hand-off was. He may not have known that this would be one of the most memorable retail experiences of my life. The fabric caressed the palm of my hand soft and gentle, like a sheet of silk, but softer. I squeezed my hand and rolled the sock around between my fingers as the sensation registered in my brain. I knew then that this was not like any sock I had ever worn. I pulled it onto my foot and the feeling traveled up my nerve to my brain and lights started blinking. The shoe could have had spikes on the inside drilling into my foot and I wouldn’t have noticed, so comfortable was that sock.
I bought the shoes. I knew I would. I went into the store to do that. But I also bought three pair of those socks. I love them and I would have bought more if I could have afforded them. One pair costs about as much as a six-pack of socks at Wally World. Buying them, I felt like the guy who goes to buy a Ford Focus and leaves the lot in an Expedition.
The coolest thing is that these socks come with a life-time guarantee. If the dryer eats one, I simply bring the orphan back and I get a new pair free. If I get a hole, I get a new pair. Forever. Or at least as long as Clarks is in business, which, in this economy, could end tomorrow. I have discovered the world’s best socks with some really good and comfortable shoes. If you spend time on your feet, go to your local Clarks store and see what they have, but definitely get their socks.