Friday, December 16, 2016
Shoes R Us
I didn't buy anything on Black Friday this year although I walked around KOHL'S with a $10 coupon. One time, I did get up early! The following is from November 27, 2005 and centers on what we take for granted, shoes.
I broke a vow this morning. Today is the one they call 'Black Friday,' the day after Thanksgiving dedicated to sales and Christmas shopping. Apparently, the 'Black Friday' tag comes from retailers' hope their bottom line will change from debt to profitability. Consumers are deluged with ads and the network morning shows do remotes from malls that can't fit one more car into the parking lots. I hate shopping anyway so why go on the worst day of the season? Kohl's got to me. The Kohl's circular with the bargains we have all been waiting for arrived in my parents' driveway on Wednesday along with Penney's, Target, Famous-Barr, etc. In spite of myself, I peeked and there it was: New Balance 470 running shoes for only $29.99! It was an Early Bird Special, only valid from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. I live in running shoes and New Balance usually run between $40-50 so I really had no choice. I woke up at 4:15, drank enough coffee to keep me awake, took a quick shower, and headed out the door to Kohl's which is only several miles from my folks' residence. I thought I would be the only one there. Instead, the store was already crowded at 5:10, the moment I entered. It only took five minutes to get the shoes; standing in line took longer. I was the only person who was only after one item. It was a family affair, with well coordinated attacks on different departments. Kohl's is smart. They give shoppers a great reason to get there early and to justify their presence, they buy alot of stuff. It's brilliant! The customers in Kohl's were calm and friendly, not like the people I saw fighting on news clips over gifts that always seemed to be toys or electronic devices. I feel good about the whole experience, except not being able to get back to sleep at 5:45 when my shopping safari concluded, almost before it began.
For years, I only wore Nike shoes. Nike sponsored the basketball camp my players put on at Friendship Christian School and I would have felt disloyal to wear anything else. Now, I go with the best deals whether the brand is Nike, New Balance, or Adidas. Two years ago, I discovered my feet were growing! I've always worn size 10 but I found myself needing 11's and I even purchased a pair of 11 1/2's! A second growth spurt- I would probably also shoot up three more inches to 6'4"! I was crestfallen when Casey Farris, one of our coaches, told me Nike changed its sizing system. What used to be a 10 is now an 11, etc. He thinks it's so boys can say they wear bigger sizes. My illusions of catching my brother Dave in height went up in canvas. I never appreciated the luxury of shoes until I went on mission trips to Haiti and Honduras where footwear is ragged at best. We worked with men in Haiti who drove metal into rock with sledge hammers, wearing no shoes. Children in Honduran villages run barefoot through streets littered with broken bottles and jagged tin can lids. I rotate my shoes to keep them fresh. The rest of the world should be so lucky. Society kids American women about shoe obsessions but many boys in my classes have 20 plus pairs themselves. Both genders in the US are shoe gluttons. We want the latest styles and colors while the world wants only warm and protected feet.
We don't consider feet objects of beauty. One of my former basketball players, Angela Tucker, was a model for L'Eggs hose and sent me a catalog using her pictures. She included Russell Athletics advertisements which used photos of her hands and feet. Angela was a beautiful young lady and apparently possessed very lovely feet but we don't really notice feet. The Bible had different standards than we do. Romans 10:15 quotes Isaiah 52 when it states "how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Paul also speaks of feet in Ephesians 6:15 when describing the armor of God. The apostle tells us to have our "feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." I don't think my New Balance have that feature. I am more concerned about comfort/style than those shoes taking me where I can be a blessing in the kingdom. I was willing to get up very early and inconvenience myself for physical shoes. Would I be as eager for a sale on the footwear Paul mentions in Ephesians? Angie had beautiful feet in the eyes of the fashion world. Would anyone think my feet are beautiful in the spiritual realm? As they always do, the scriptures have a way of taking ordinary things and making me take a hard look at myself. As I often do, I come up short. My New Balances are 11's but my religious shoes are about a 5 1/2. I'm not giving up hope! By this time next year, I plan to be wearing a 6 1/2 or 7 and that without some Nike sizing hocus-pocus! If Kohl's can get to me with a 1/4 page ad, think what the Lord can do with the 66 books of his catalog of catalogs, the Bible. Now, I just have to get ready for the after Christmas sales!
Applicable quote of the day:
"I buy shoes for women and they use them to walk away from me."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 6:47 PM