Hat Tip: This post was inspired by Mother in Israel's recent post about Shoe Shopping with her teenage daughter.
A year and a half ago, we searched all over the place for Shabbat sandals for my eldest daughter. We found... NOTHING. In my frustration, I must have said something like "maybe we'll look for shoes when we go to America (next month)." For, lo and behold, when we got to America (to visit family, not go shopping), she immediately began repeating "You promised me that we would go shoe shopping in America."
I really hate shopping. I would not promise to go shopping for anything... ever. But my sweet daughter repeated that sentance so often, and with such intensity, that I believed her. So, we went shoe shopping.
We went to the first store, which happens to be my all-time-favorite shoe store: Payless. Y did not find any shoes that she liked. I found 3 pairs, for me!
Then we went next door, to a more expensive shoe store. Y did not find any shoes that she liked. I found 2 pairs, for me, on sale!
We went to several more shoe stores. Y did not find any shoes that she liked.
Finally, we went to Target (not just for shoes). Y still did not find any shoes that she liked. I spotted a pair of nice sandals, for $10, that I thought would look nice on her. They did. Y did not like them (surprise!) and declared that she would not wear them. Tired of looking endlessly for the elusive "perfect pair," I persisted.
Eventually, after all other arguments failed, I asked my daughter: "If you have nothing else, will you wear them?" Grudgingly, Y said that she would.
"I'm getting them for you," I announced.
"I'm not going to wear them," she protested.
For $10, I was willing to risk it.
At the checkout line, we had a rerun of the entire conversation.
As I was about to place the shoes on the counter, Y repeated, loudly, "I am not going to wear them."
Once again, I asked, "If you have nothing else, will you wear them?"
"Yes," she repeated, "but you can't make me wear them."
"Please ring them up," I told the cashier, who was holding the sandals, unsure of what to do.
"The sandals are $5," the cashier informed me.
"Great!" I said, turning to Y, "If you don't wear them, we'll save them for A."
Of course, we never did find a pair that Y liked. And, true to her word, since there was nothing else, Y did wear those sandals.
In fact, she wore them until they were falling apart!
Ask me how I felt, when I realized that we needed to go shopping for a new pair of sandals?!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,