My New Shoes
the Barest of things...
“I need some NMDs.”
This is what my 12 year old son told me three months ago, to which I replied something along the lines of “What the actual frick are you talking about?”
NMDs are a product of Adidas and are the greatest thing to hit the shoe industry since sliced bread, apparently. Sure, that does not make any real amount of sense, but neither did his explanation of things. He had to have this $150 pair of shoes though and, as he put it, his existence kind of depended on it. His existence, however, does not trump the fact that I would never spend $150 on a pair of sneakers for my own feet, let alone his, and he was barking up on the wrong tree.
This is where he surprised me. He asked to do work in exchange for pay, he actually completed said work, and he saved his money until he had $159, “because taxes, Dad”. As dumb as I thought spending $159 on sneakers was, I could not help but be pretty impressed with his commitment to his goal.
So, one recent Sunday, the family and I packed into the car and went to the place I only visit once every 2-3 years – The Mall. There we spent hours going to every NMD carrying shoe store, carefully studying every single color and making notes about who had what sizes and styles available. After what felt like 473 hours later he made his decision and declared “These are the ones”.
Near delirium and experiencing the first signs of Post Traumatic Mall Disorder, I made a frantic declaration to the young Al Bundy that was assisting us. I explained that while I would never spend $159 on a pair of shoes, I demanded that he find me a pair of size 12’s so I could see what the damn fuss was about. He was happy to oblige because he knew something I didn’t…
NMDs are freaking amazing. Trying them on felt like putting clouds on my feet while angels rubbed my arches and mermaids whispered sweet nothings in my ear. At that moment my life changed forever. My son, knowing that I had just seen the light, asked if I would buy a pair of my own. My wallet physically clenched in my pocket like a frightened sphincter and I declined, insisting that I would never spend that much on shoes. “What if someone else bought you a pair?” he asked. Well, yeah, but that somebody better not be you, Kid.
So, he stepped his game up once again, approached my parents whom he has wrapped around his little finger, and convinced them to buy me a $159 pair of NMDs (because tax, you know?). They all called it a belated birthday gift and ignored my mostly-insincere claims that I did not need this pair of shoes. I needed them and they damn well knew it.
I write this wearing the most expensive pair of shoes I have ever owned and I don’t know which is bigger – the amount of ecstasy my feet are experiencing right now or the level of pride and appreciation that I have for my son…
That’s a damn lie. It’s the pride, without question.