Friday, February 12, 2010

It's Gotta Be the Shoes

Knowing tomorrow was Super Sunday -- and that Lindsey would devote her entire day to me, my friends, and football -- I spent last Saturday shoe- shopping with her and Maria.

Most of our shoe-shopping experiences are essentially the same.  We walk in, Lindsey disappears, assistants ask me if I need help, quickly realize I'm a lost cause, I make my way to the guys' section, pick out a pair I could maybe see myself wearing but not really, Lindsey sees me and tells me 'don't even think about it' -- which is fine because I wouldn't have anyway -- and I take a seat to watch her do her thing.

And believe it or not, this makes me happy -- because I look at her face, and she's just beaming. Nothing on our beautiful earth brings her more joy than shoes.  She floats from aisle to aisle, boot to boot, holding up pair after pair that look exactly the same, chooses one, and then asks my opinion. "They look great, babe," I say, because there's no reason not to.  She's gonna get 'em anyway.

Another reason shoe-shopping doesn't bother me (even though I know I always complain about it)?  I totally get it.  I know what it's like.

Eighteen years ago this weekend, the eight highest-flying basketball players in the world gathered in Charlotte for the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest. 'The Rain Man', Shawn Kemp, was the favorite, but little-known Celtics' rookie Dee Brown ended up stealing the show.  Right before his championship-clinching dunk, Brown bent down to give the little inflatable basketballs on his black Reebok Pumps a few memorable squeezes. Then he darted toward the hoop, soared into the air, covered his eyes, and thundered home the "blindfold" dunk we all still talk about today.

And then I immediately sprinted -- possibly faster than Brown did -- up to my parents' room. 

"Mom," I said, panting.

"I gotta have those shoes."