Friday, November 23, 2007

A Tale of Two Sneakers

Maybe I'm a cheapskate.

I bought a pair of sneakers last week, because they were on sale, from $60 down to $50. Fine. They were maybe a half size too big, but that's all they had at the time. I like them, and I figure maybe a tiny bit loose isn't so bad. I hadn't bought a new pair in a while, and it felt good that they were on sale.

Come to find out, the place I bought them from, dropped the price another $10, for their 'Black Friday' sale. They were now $40. I had paid $50 just last weekend. That didn't sit right. Here I was sporting a brand new pair of sneakers that I had paid $10 too much for, and that really weren't even my size. I had to remedy the situation.

I had the day off, so I went out and braved the teaming masses of post-Thanksgiving bargain hunters to settle a $10 score. I still had my receipt, and the sneakers saw maybe 3-4 hours of use since I bought them, max. Slightly dirty on the soles, maybe a couple light scuffs, but otherwise still pretty new. I expected light resistance at the courtesy desk, and I managed to score a parking spot within a quarter-mile of the store. Sure enough, the lady accepted the return without too much ado, and I was off to the shoe section to see if they had gotten my size in, since last weekend.

Turns out they did have my size. I tried on a couple pairs to be sure, one extra wide, one normal. For some reason they felt really tight. I had been using this size for a few years, but on another brand of sneaker. Would they stretch and eventually fit nice and snug? I decided they would, and the clerk standing by agreed. I think he would have agreed no matter what I said, just to get me out of there. I think I was interrupting a conversation with his buddy over in the outerwear section.

I purchased the sneaks, and immediately put them on when I got outside, to begin the breaking in process. I drove over to another store nearby to pick up some stuff, since I was out, and also I needed to get a watch battery replaced. That turned out to be a whole other story- to make it short, don't ever let an acne-ridden teenager named Tristan, with the sniffles and jittery hands, try to replace your watch battery. I ended up having to take his bacteria infested watch tool, and finish the job myself.

During the battery ordeal and some other roaming around, I found that the sneakers didn't seem to be breaking in too well. In fact, I was starting to lose the feeling in my toes. I fondly thought back to the slightly larger sneakers I had returned, and the good times we had.

Before I knew it, I was on my way back to the sneaker store, tail between my legs, to return these sneakers too, and beg their forgiveness, for my indecisions.

Luckily I got a different lady at the return counter this time, so I didn't have to plead stupidity.

I went back again to the old shoe section, and looked for a pair of sneaks of the original size. The shoe clerk asked if I was all set, obviously not remembering me from 20 minutes ago. I saw only one box of the original size, and grabbed it. I opened the box, and immediately saw the tell-tale dirt on the sole, and the familiar scuffs. It was my sneakers. They had wasted no time putting them back on the shelf for resale.

I happily put them back on as soon as I got back to the car. For some reason, they seemed to fit much better now.

I drove away wondering who was worse; me for scamming them for $10, or them for putting my used sneakers back up on the shelf for some other unsuspecting consumer...


Mary E.Carey said...

What a bad anxiety dream of a Black Friday!

Tony said...

Oh it was no dream...the anxiety is all too real!

Anonymous said...

You should only try them out at home on carpet if you want to make sure they are comfortable, because once you walk on concrete they will be harder to sell and may have to be damaged out.