I found these boots at my favorite thrift shop. They were brand-new with tags which meant they were probably the generosity of some unlucky shopper before me. Most shoes at thrift stores are junk. The heels are worn down, the black footprints are sealed into the fabric or they are just so old, they probably came from the estate of unfashionable ghosts.
After I put these boots into my cart and walked around, a woman stopped me and said, “Hi! Are you going to buy those?” and pointed to the boots. The boots in my cart.
I nodded, even thought the boots in my cart should have been the international sign for, yes, I am going to buy these.
Then she added, “Oh, do you mind if I try them on?”
I was stunned but she seemed like a friendly person so I watched as she lifted the boots from my cart, took off her shoes and slid them on.
“I just want to see if they fit!”
I just stood there, thinking, okay I’ll let this lady answer this question. I’ve walked away from dresses and purses and left with the lingering, what if?
She turned her ankles, surveying how they looked on her. “Darn,” she said, “They fit.”
Then there was this silence, a short period of time that I started to fill with worry and guilt. Should I give them to her? Is this the part of the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie where my cold heart melts and I somehow find the holiday spirit?
And what would my Hallmark be about? Who would I play? Typically, these movies feature an uppity lady in a non-threatening job (marketing! florist! sometimes doctor, but like not a laser surgeon, someone who only tells you to get more rest) who has to move to the country, find an obvious except to her love interest and then becomes a better person! My Hallmark movie would just be about how I went to a used clothing store and didn’t give boots to a lady who asked to try them on. BORING.
The woman put them back into my cart and walked off but left me with all the guilt building up. She didn’t seem like this was the one pair of shoes that would change her life. All her cruicial choices were hanging on these gold buckled boots on sale for $12. And she didn’t go as far to say, “Can I have them?”
But I wanted them. And if anything, her desire made me want them more. Yes, they are a size too small but I’ll break them in! I can’t really feel my pinky toe but who needs that toe anyway!
She left with an answer, they did fit. And I was left with a question: AM I A BAD PERSON?