I was bad today.
No, I didn’t exceed my Weight Watchers points. I went to Last Chance.
As we like to say in these parts, you only get one Last Chance — and it’s in Phoenix.
For reasons I can’t remember, but at one point long ago did actually report, Nordstrom put its clearance center smack in the middle of my city. There actually might be more locations now, but at the time I wrote about Last Chance, ours was the only one.
(You can read the story at http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1997-02-13/news/possessed/)
Writing about Last Chance was a problem. I did the story more than 10 years ago (I know that because I bought my wedding shoes there — Kenneth Cole, super cute, looked like new, totally uncomfortable, wound up by the end of the night on the cake table with bridesmaid bouquets in them) and I developed quite the addiction, something only motherhood (the combined lack of expendable time and income, along with a gross-out factor — this place is like a garage sale on a good day, how could I put my kids in that stuff?) could cure.
But today I was driving past, and I’d had a rough afternoon, and my friend Michele had just bought, like, six skirts there last week. So I broke my rule, and headed in. (You’ve got to understand that only recently did I finally give away the last of the boxes of stuff I accumulated there in the late 90s.)
I walked out with the essentials — a set of Paul Frank days of the week underpants (the only drawback is they’re Xmas panties, but hey, they were only $6.97); this thing by SportSac — adorable colors, I’ve been wanting something SportSac ever since their resurrgence (which calls to mind Hush Puppies’ late 90s resurrgence and, you guessed it, my half-dozen pairs in assorted pastels) but I’m not sure what this thing is meant for, maybe a very lightweight laptop? And, bummer, didn’t notice til I got home that it has a tear across the back, and that’s after Ray had to wrestle the anti-theft thingie they left on, I wondered what that beeping was when I left the store; a red pendant studded with periwinkle rhinestones and a “Little Miss Giggles” figure stamped on it; something I tried typing in here but realized I’m too embarrassed to mention, which means it’s really bad; and a bunch of shoes.
I feel okay putting the girls in Last Chance shoes, because your feet are dirty to begin with, right? Plus, holy crap, they had some awesome shoes today at Last Chance. I got Annabelle a pair of red Mary Jane Crocs (she squealed a dog-deafening squeal when she saw them) and some Ecco slip-ons in that trendy puke green/red combo. But the real winner was Sophie.
Let me back up. Until very recently, I couldn’t buy Sophie squat when it came to shoes. Now, in the scheme of things (heart surgery, mental retardation, didn’t walk til she was 3) who cares?
Um, me. I cared. I can’t help it. I want my kids to wear cute shoes, and it really sucks when one can and the other can’t, even if the other doesn’t seem to notice. And she didn’t notice, not til recently. From a very early age, Sophie has worn braces on her feet. Not those creepy metal ones kids wore when I was a kid, but plastic, molded braces with velcro straps that keep her feet from pronating and make it almost impossible to a. find shoes that fit and b. cram them onto her feet.
That said, I am so grateful that Dorcas, Sophie’s physical therapist, insisted on the AFO’s. (I can’t remember the acronym, now she wears a modified version called SMO’s. Can’t remember that acronym either.) In fact, when the nice orthopedist insisted Sophie would be better off without the AFO’s (the trend is to let kids go barefoot to learn to walk, even if their feet do appear to be caving in), I had to refuse to leave his office til he acquiesed.
“Dorcas will quit if you don’t give me that prescription,” I said. “And I can’t have Dorcas quit.”
He wrote it. And Sophie’s worn those damn things ever since, although I have to admit not as much as she used to or perhaps should. But for crying out loud, even Converse don’t fit right with those braces, and it’s just not fair for her to spend her childhood clunking around in ugly white tennies. Plus her walking’s so good now.
So Dr. Mom’s been a little lenient. For the most part, as with the rest of her wardrobe (and only because she’s the littlest of our family/friends) Sophie’s worn hand-me-down shoes. Annabelle’s outgrown them so quickly, they’re barely worn.
All that as background to explain my gorging at Last Chance today. I bought Sophie 5 pairs of the most precious shoes I’ve ever seen, including pink Tevas (she’s been dying for Tevas so she can be like her sister and her dad, and as soon as she saw them, she put them on and wouldn’t take them off to try the rest) and hot pink patent leather clogs with bright green flowers that I’m terrified to put her in — she’ll fall right on her face.
But she’ll look so cute doing it.