Parents just don't understand.

Rarely do my shopping adventures take place beyond the confines of Target or Ralph’s. However, after three years of literally running them in to the ground, I decided that it was finally time to get some new kicks for my neighborhood jogs.

I was long overdue, but I blame the economy; the place where I got my last pair of running shoes shut down. I had only once patronized their store, but found myself oddly saddened by the news. They had recommended such an awesome pair of shoes… And even though my knees were now begging for mercy after each run, I was reluctant to put my Asics out to pasture.

After Yelping for five minutes, though, I came across a store in Brentwood that seemed to know the deal. None of this Lady Footlocker business, yo. I wanted my gait analyzed, my pronation inspected, and my shoes to fit like a glove. Or sock.

Upon entering the store, I was completely overwhelmed. It was a Saturday afternoon, so the place was packed with both people and shoes. I don’t do brand loyalty, so literally every single shoe on wall was a potential winner. Given shoe design nowadays, though, I wasn’t even sure if I was in the women’s shoe section as I perused my choices. I started doing that thing where you just pick up a shoe and stare at it with the hope that someone will see that you need help.

Enter Jerry.

For the record, Jerry at FrontRunners is awesome, people. Go say hi sometime. He immediately sat me down, then stood me back up, then asked me to walk, then even had me run a little for him. I was in heaven. Then off he went to find my next great pair of running shoes.

I had a few minutes to kill, so I turned my attention to the other customers in the store. Lots of moms. In fact, right in my line of vision was a mom and her 10-year-oldish son. All I could hear her saying was, “Are you sure? This is the pair you want? You’re positive? These fit you the best?” The kid giddily shook his head in affirmation. The mom then turned her attention to the saleslady: “How much are these?”


“$110?! No! No, no… We are not buying you shoes that cost over a hundred dollars! I don’t even buy myself shoes that cost $110!”

Awkward. I mean, on the one hand, I totally agree. I remember being a kid. Those growth spurts must be a b*tch for parents; I needed new shoes virtually every month. On the other hand, this mom was doing everything in her power to completely humiliate her kid. She even stood up to make her point a second and third time.

“Come on, we’re going. You’re not getting those shoes. What were you thinking?” I shifted my attention to the saleslady, who you know was silently fuming that she just wasted the last 20 minutes helping this chick.

Then Jerry returned. He had me try on a pair of shoes that truly made my heart skip a beat. So comfy. So light. I did a little test run around the store, weaving my way through the other patrons. Yep. These were my new shoes. I didn’t want to seem too eager, though, so I asked if I could try a few more pairs to compare fit. “Sure!” And off Jerry went.

I immediately scanned the store for cheap mom and her son. They were long gone. However, I soon became acquainted with TMI mom. I had noticed her while trying on my shoes, and now she demanded my full attention. Right as her sales guy sat down with a box of shoes, her phone rang. Strike one. I’m not fan of the peeps that try to keep a call going as they’re ordering their Starbucks, paying for their groceries, or engaging in any other activity where employees have to awkwardly accommodate their lack of manners. The store was full, this guy had plenty of other people he could help, but this chick thought nothing of making him wait on her.

Then she referred to the other person on the line as doctor so-and-so. Okay, I felt bad for a second. But then this lady launched into a detailed description of her infant daughter’s bowel movements for the last 36 hours. I didn’t feel so bad anymore. Instead, I stared in horror as she explained the consistency of her baby’s poop in front of me, the FrontRunners employee, and God. Strike two.

Look, I’m not a parent, but I can understand a parent’s fear that something might be wrong with her child. However, if you were truly worried that your kid is experiencing some kind of bowel movement crisis, would you be shopping for Nikes? Oh, and by the way, the only reason why she thought to contact her pediatrician is because her nanny informed her of Poop-Gate. This is Brentwood, after all. Strike three.

Thankfully, Jerry reappeared to distract me from hearing how zucchini can make for runny diapers. I tried on another pair of shoes, made my decision, and got the hell out of there.

But all is now right with the world. I have my new shoes. They are awesome. I run like the wind.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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2 Responses to “Failure To Communicate”

Love it!! Another great piece Anna! Looking forward to next week’s.

Susan Anlage
March 28th, 2013

Thank you, Sue! 🙂

April 4th, 2013