Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Time -- Lots of Time -- for Shoes

Walking through an airport, I spotted a zillion people on line. No, not at the security line, not at the gate. They were waiting for coffee. This is a phenomenon of our Third Thirds: people waiting on long lines for coffee concoctions. They didn’t used to do that. And it’s not just airports; it’s everywhere.

I don’t drink coffee, never even tasted it. My parents drank coffee and smoked cigarettes, so somehow those two behaviors got linked in my mind.

So while I don’t stand in long coffee lines, I do waste time. I waste lots of time. I waste time wondering what to do, I waste time procrastinating about doing it. I waste time all by myself, I waste time staring at things. In my oomph-less, sluggish state, I can waste away hours and hours, occasionally enjoying it, mostly beating my immobile, do-nothing self up about it.
But when I finally gather enough oomph to DO something, I don’t like anyone else wasting my time. And I CERTAINLY do not like the Internet wasting my time. For example….

I wear a Nike Air Pegasus running shoe. I have worn it my whole lifetime of running. (The running I have not been able to do because of the knee injury a year ago, but the shoes – like me – were still deteriorating.) I used to go into Sports Authority, pick out the Nike Air Pegasus size 7.5, buy two-for-one, and be set for a couple years. But then Sports Authority went out of business, and online shopping reared its ugly head.

But now that I’m running again – short distances, doctor! – and feeling my psyche lift, I needed new shoes. The first hurdle was with Nike because there are two Air Pegasuses for sale: 35 and 34. Uh, oh. You know what that means. That means Research and Reader Reviews. 35 is the newer version and it costs $120; 34 is last year’s, and it costs $80.

In our previous Thirds, didn’t we just walk into a store and ask for “sneakers”?

Now I have to research whether 35 is a significant improvement over 34. Why did they have to mess with my favorite Air Pegasus anyway?!? So I wander down the rabbit hole of 35s and 34s (just like the rabbit hole of Rummikub versions), and finally decide: go with cheaper.

The millennial daughter – who is not fazed by any of this – tells me to check out Zappos, which I do. I pick my color (Barely Grey/Deep Jungle/Light Pumice), I look at it frontwards and backwards and I listen to Nellie show me about the shoe on a video. Then I place my order. Uh, oh. They don’t have my size.

Next up is Dick’s Sporting Goods. He has a special deal today for $10 off, so I have to speed up my investigations. Dick has different colors than Zappos did, so after looking at all my choices, I pick white/purple. I fill out my billing address, my shipping address, I create an account, I am ready! But Dick says “Only one delivery method is available for this product: Expedited at $24.99.” Oh, I know what that’s about. That’s about living in Alaska. So much for my $10 saving. I ditch Dick.

Then it’s Foot Locker. They have even more different colors. And while “Store pickup not available at any Anchorage locations,” Ship to Home has an asterisk: “*Ships to the 48 contiguous United States.” So it’s clear Foot Locker doesn’t want my business AT ALL.

Two hours later, I’m back with Dick. But this time, Dick is shipping to my friend Sharon’s address in Seattle … for free! I’ll see Sharon in a month, and she’ll have my shoes waiting for me.

As you know, I’m just emerging from a long-enduring state of depression, so you might have thought this might put me over the edge. But despite all this wasting of my time, all this rerun of we-don’t-count-Alaska-as-the-U.S., all this confusion over colors and shoes and 35s or 34s and decisions, decisions, decisions; for a few hours, I had a respite. Instead of inexplicable sadness, I had a REASON. I had righteous frustration. I had FURY. I had faced the shoe lords, and I had taken a stand.

Now let’s see if I end up with shoes.


  1. So good to have you back!

  2. So familiar. I have experienced that Alaska-shipping problem many times. And don't get me started on shoes that fit my wide feet.


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