(You can read about how much I love shopping in general, here and here, and how much I love shoe shopping in particular, here and here)
Well, you already know how much I love shopping……. NOT!
So, what can be better than shopping? Shopping when I am sick!
Yesterday, my eldest informed me that we had to go shopping for sneakers on Tuesday, because her sneakers had a hole on the bottom and on Wednesday morning she was leaving for massa Pesach (a two day hike with her youth group).
I so wanted to tell her that I could not do it. But she had a HOLE in her sneakers! Even I recognized that as a legitimate reason for new sneakers.
So, this morning, I dragged myself out of the house and took her to Talpiot, an industrial neighborhood with both upscale and discount stores.
Our first stop would be a surplus store that often has good prices, but the salespeople are unpleasant.
My daughter asked why I was not boycotting the store, since there are several places that I boycott due to outrageously offensive treatment by their staff.
I explained that my only alternative was to either spend a lot of money on shoes or to spend at least an hour (maybe more) crossing town to Givat Sha’ul, another industrial area, on the opposite side of town.
Perhaps if I was feeling well, my principles might have driven me across town, but not today.
So, we entered the store, ignored the smoking staff at the entrance (totally illegal, by the way, and usually enough to make me walk out of almost any store), and went to the back of the store where there was, thankfully, no smoke, and many sneakers.
The sneakers were 2 for 100 NIS, for good quality sneakers. Probably last year’s styles, but that does not really bother us. My daughter is fashion conscious, but not unreasonable.
We found 2 pair that my daughter liked, in record time! (YAY!)
Then, as I was returning the shoes that did not fit, I noticed a pair of sneakers in her size with those wheely things underneath. (You know, those retractable wheels. I am sure there is a name for these types of sneakers, but I am clearly not cool enough to know what it is!) (A quick search of the internet reveals the name "Heelys")
Anyway, they fit and they were fun, so we decided to take them as well.
There was also a cute pair of boat sneakers on the clearance rack that we picked up, ‘cause they were cheap enough (29.90) that it would have been a shame not to take them. I know my daughter will wear them.
So, we arrived at the checkout counter with four pair of sneaker and discovered that the owner was just as unpleasant as we had remembered!
He would not give us the third pair at the discount price, which was annoying but understandable. But when I asked him to hold the third pair until I could bring my other kids to find another pair to purchase together, he was totally obnoxious.
At first, he insisted that he could only hold the shoes for two hours!! I mean, what is that?? I knew that I would not be able to return to the store until the next day. Eventually, he did agree to hold the shoes until the next morning, but why did I need to argue for that??
Just as we finished negotiating, an Arab woman approached the checkout counter. She also wanted just one pair of shoes. I suggested that we make the purchase together and she agreed.
Interestingly, the owner did not hassle us about that at all, and allowed us each to pay for our purchase individually. As he bagged the shoes, he might even have passed for pleasant.
I will never understand Israelis!
Total cost for four pair of sneakers (3 Spalding, 1 Lee Cooper): 179.90 NIS.
Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
When we left the store, the Arab woman walked in the same direction as us. It turned out that she was parked next to us.
She smiled at me and waved me over to her. At first I was not sure what she wanted. Then I realized she was asking me to help pull her car out of the parking space, as she is a new driver. It is difficult to pull out from those spaces, both because of the angle of the parking spaces and because you have to pull out into oncoming traffic (might I add, discourteous oncoming traffic, that is often very unaccommodating to cars trying to pull out and, God forbid, get in front!).
I went to stop the traffic for her, to give her time and space to pull out, but she still did not get into her car. I was confused, and a little embarrassed about stopping the cars for nothing.
I finally realized that she wanted me to actually get in her car and drive it out of the space.
I got behind the wheel and spent a few minutes inching my way out of the parking space, with her standing outside, nervously worrying that I was going to hit another car. (I should have suggested that she help by stopping the traffic!)
I was happy to help, though it did mean that I had to undergo that unpleasant experience twice!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Yitzchak Meir - Machnisei Rachamim (audio)
2 hours ago