About These Shoes...

Due to a Freecycle motivated endeavor, I searched the bowels of my house for shoes to fill a box for a Kenyan mission.
I stumbled upon these:

I bought these shoes 25 years ago and although they've not been worn since then, I held on to them for a reason.
I kept them (call me sick) as a memento of a rather unconscionable and appalling interaction I had with a complete stranger when I was 22 years old.
If you knew me then, and you know me now--you will understand how out of character that was for me.

Preparing to go on a "mountain climb" (more of a hill hike, in retrospect), I needed shoes with good traction.
Saucony shoes were recommended by a friend who had just purchased them at the nearest store that carried them (which was in Cubao, Ground level of Fiesta Carnival).
When I got to the place, a saleslady was at the entrance, her shoulder leaning against the door jamb.

As I proceeded to enter, she asked me what I was there for.
She inquired about my size.  Size 7, I replied.
She then said, that there was nothing there for me as the largest size they carried was a size 5.
I clarified whether this was in the men's or women's size.
She said there was no distinction between men and women.
(And maybe that is how the problem started.)
We went back and forth until I decided to just go into the store.

It was kind of awkward, trying to get past the sentry but I went and found that the size 5 she spoke of was indeed, my size 7.
As I proceeded to fit and pay for them, I found myself getting increasingly agitated with the saleslady's eye rolling and smirk.
So I......I asked her what her problem was. (Ding! ding! ding! and that is how Round 1 began)

It escalated into out-of-body-experience bad.
We started screaming back and forth, a small crowd gathered, other employees tried to step in, but we were both undeterred from trying to put each other down.
Such a gross scene, complete with me HURLING money at the saleslady's FACE (paper bills, not coins) and storming out of the store.

I remember walking outside in a daze and a being in a bit of a shock at the ugly exchange.
A few blocks away, I chanced upon a girl I knew from my freshman year of college.
Merle Victorino. I had not seen her in over 3 years and when she asked me how I was, I suddenly started sobbing and told her what had just transpired. (she was very comforting, Merle was. I never saw her again after that day, nor do I know where she is today)


I kept these shoes because for 25 years, I held on to the tale of an epic battle that I felt "correct" to have engaged in, despite its scandalous nature.
I felt like I was in the right.
But now that I know what I now know,  I realize that I WAS WRONG.

1. I was unforgiving and felt the need to tell the saleslady that she was wrong and that I was right.
2. I took her eye rolling and smirk personally and focused on it instead of being grateful about getting the shoes I needed.
3. I was so unloving, both in words and actions.
4. I assumed a superior position by assigning myself as her teacher, and her as an a**.
5. I attached myself to the situation instead of the much healthier choice of letting it go.

And worse...I carried this memory in me and saved these shoes in support of my version of events.
No more.
In an effort to live honestly and work around my flaws, these shoes have been packed into a mission box. They are now on its way to Kenya where they will be put to much better use.
My ego went shopping for a pair of size 7 running shoes and in the process, got into a fight.
It has taken me only 25 years to realize I was wrong, but I am not going to kick myself about it.

Starting.....now (yes, again).

"We are always evolving. Good judgement comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgement."