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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

The Shoe and Sandal Man Part 1

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

While stacking a slew of stories in a Google Doc recently, I came across other stories that may land in another book someday. Since this story took place a decade ago, it is a bit longer than most posts, so I'll break it into two parts over two days.

I also thought that since the weather is attempting to crane its neck out of winter, I thought this story of light shoes and sandals could very well end in an upcoming book. A sneak peek if you will.

Thank you for reading!

Remember yesteryear? We could shop without masks and not worry whether this one or that one's been vaccinated. Several years ago, I went shopping in my favorite thrift store on my birthday. You may think that someone may have given me birthday money, and I was looking for something special to purchase - even at a thrift store.

Not so fast.

Since I love the hunt in any thrift store, especially cashmere sweaters I can pick up for $2, that could be a correct assumption. Ah, but no, not during this adventure. I quickly decided that I wanted to celebrate my birthday by buying something for someone else. I didn't want a tangible thing, but I wanted to feel like I had helped someone.

If my idea came to fruition, I made a pinky swear that I would not tell anyone what I did. I kept this delicious secret for years.

As I continued to shop, I stealthily peered into their baskets and carts like a CIA agent. I'm assuming the other shoppers barely noticed me because I, too, was shopping or pretending to. After a half-hour or so, I strolled over to the shoe aisle. There were some "candidates" in other store areas I was interested in, but once I hit the shoe aisle, I was onto something there.

With intense curiosity, I began watching a young man, probably in his early 30s and neatly dressed, fill his shopping cart with ladies' shoes and sandals. His yellow cart was overflowing by the time I got to that area. While eyeing him and his filled cart, he tried to stuff even more pairs of glorious shoes and sandals into it, but they kept falling overboard. He then realized he needed another cart. This thin man with a black Member's Only jacket ran up to the front of the store to retrieve another one to bring back to the shoe department. Of course, I lingered around the first cart, still pretending to shop.

And even as outgoing as I am, I somehow had to think of something clever to ask this man-on-a-mission, shopping alone mind you, about all those shoes and sandals in the carts.

I broke the ice. I had to; my curiosity was getting the better of me. I started following this man down one shoe aisle but gave a respectful distance. It seemed his face was intense as he continued to select more pairs in all sizes and colors. This polite gentleman also waited patiently while the store staff replenished the shelves he emptied.

Before he decided to take the first overflowing cart-o-shoes over to the cashier for "safekeeping," I finally uttered some words by asking him what he would do with all the women's shoes in his cart(s).




Two pairs similar that the Shoe/Sandal Man loaded in his shopping cart

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