Cursing My Calves – Part 2

Jason and I had swung through Brookline for sushi. After munching down oodles of maki, he wanted to head over to JP Licks for a funky flavored waffle cone. As we dodged through the cars careening down Harvard Street, I noticed the window full of boots next door to the ice cream-store. Well aware of my mad quest for knee-high, winter walking boots that could encompass the girth of my calves, my darling husband agreed to a quick detour to Downtown Shooz.

It seemed that my options were almost endless. There were Uggs, Merrells, and Dingos galore. I picked out a svelte pair of Merrell’s while Jason and our clerk, Mel, exchanged predictions for the Packers and the Patriots.
Oh, my toes loved snuggling into the Polartec insoles of Merrell’s Plaza Peak Boot. I held my breath as I started to zip…

“Push them down.” Mel suggested as the zipper stuttered mid-muscle. “ A young girl showed me how to do this. Push it down. Zip… and now pull it up.”

Err…or maybe not. That boot looked much less appealing scrunched down around my ankle like a pair of saggy nylons but they didn’t want to budge back up.

“Too many ballet lessons as a child.” Mel offered sagely as a condolence tinged with a hint of admiration.

“Actually, that is true. She’s a professional dancer.” Jason explained as I muttered in a most un-ladylike manner.

Mel’s eyes glowed as he eagerly asked, “Oh, have you ever heard of Gerald Arpino?”

“The former Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet?” I replied between unprintable grunts.

“Yes,” he exclaimed as he unleashed a tale about this legendary choreographer, who came in searching for clogs for his company several years ago. Out of pure generosity, Mr. Arpino offered him free, 4th row tickets at the Wang Center in Boston to see Billboards, his rock-ballet set to a medley of Prince songs. I would have never guessed that this avid football lover and shoe salesman was such a ballet fan but his excitement over this incident was still palpable.

I am afraid that my boot buying saga is much more pathetic, though. Every pair in that pile of boxes was thankful to return to the stockroom after the awkward introduction to my cumbersome calves. But I am certain that I’ll return again to be regaled by more stories. Apparently, Mel has met many a dance celebrity. Perhaps in sandal season my search will be more successful.


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October 2008
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