She needed to buy a pair of running shoes – for herself, not her children. So of course – unlike the discipline she would apply as a mother – she did it at the last minute, under pressure.
She found herself standing in the shoe section of a sporting goods store late at night, tired and working on destroying her last good nerve. The store didn’t have any women’s shoes in her size. She quickly buzzed around and found a pair of children’s running shoes that fit her —- though they came only in bright fluorescent colors. She cringed a bit, knowing that her tastes ran somewhere between blending in and disappearing altogether.
But then she thought about how idiosyncratic it would be for her to wear these shoes. And she liked that, the idea of having her own inside joke. And anyway, she was buying shoes, not a house. So she bought them, and as she left the store, the day-glo design was already making her smile.
(Still, it felt a little desperate, finding pleasure in these jarring neon shoes. She would have preferred some other zen moment but this is the one that presented itself in her small life today and beggars can’t be choosers).