Friday, August 31, 2007

Mary Anne has left the building!

if you read the last post, the title of this post may have caused some concern that mom escaped from Vickery Towers on her own recognizance, but that's not so.

no, we went shoe shopping today. then we went on a whirlwind tour down memory lane.

i hate shopping. if i need clothes, i can get in and out of target in 15 minutes or less with a new supply of t-shirts and jeans. malls? hahahahahaha. no. not me.

but mom needed a new pair of shoes, so off we went.

now let me explain:
she has a closet full of shoes, but there's really only one pair that are comfortable on her gnarly old feet and they're starting to fall apart. [if you saw her feet you'd be loathe to use the word *gnarly* in the modern sense. as in *awesome.* (*radical* maybe, but not *bad ass.*)]

...anyway, i know all those unworn shoes are the result of the many loving, tedious trips to malls with my sister. lord and taylor, dillards, and fancier places than that, so i figured i'd take mom shopping for some good ole cheap tennis shoes at Payless Shoes.

well, to make a loooong story short lemme tell ya, they don't still sell the shoes i bought there for years and years. i used to call 'em *winos.*
too bad because they woulda been perfect for her...

noooo, she tried on 37 different pair and each one took forEVER to put on. we did end up buying the one most comfortable pair, but i'm not holding my breath until she actually wears them.

the even better news is that i only lost patience once and even then i checked it soon enough by joking that as a professional shopper (her former avocation) i hoped she'd forgive me for getting testy. we had a good laugh and hugged.

if this were a book i'd tell you about my reluctant acquiescence to the open toed shoes she liked and kept going back to, but made her look like a candidate for a freak show. or about almost leaving the store 3 times only to return because she'd noticed something on display in the front of the store that was, "Just like what I came in here looking for." or about trying on 2 dozen men's shoes in addition to the 37 ladies' shoes...

bottom line? $15 bucks. one pair of iffy shoes.

Then we drove by the house she grew up in. sadly, it was not recognizable. the magnolia tree in the front yard now completely obscures the front of the house. the backyard is now a very large 3 car garage. the steps on the side of the house that her dad and i are sitting on in the photo are no longer.

but she recognized the street names and other things in the neighborhood and conjured up memories of such things as her next door neighbor, Marilyn Dean, whose parents paid the big bucks tuition so Marilyn could attend school in the high-roller district which bordered their front street.

mom went to North Dallas High... we drove by her old high school and she loved that. then as we were headed back "home" we passed an elementary school.
she said, matter-of-factly, "that's Ben Milam. i went to school there." then she proceeded to tell me which direction her house was from there and a sundry other things ...

as we crossed the highway she mentioned that it wasn't always there.
as we pulled into her new digs she remarked that her old neighborhood wasn't all that far away.

indeed, we hadn't ventured more than 2-3 miles away from Vickery Towers in all our travels.

next week i think we'll do drive-bys of the 3 houses she lived in from 1953-2005. i hope she's wearing her new shoes and they're comfortable. they look real nice on her.

(edit: i almost forgot to tell you. she has an appointment for a pedicure next tuesday morning!)


la said...

The shoe-shopping story is hilarious. I can SO picture it all, including her feet! I hope she wears the shoes. Don't be surprised if, tomorrow, she says she can't remember where those shoes came from or why she has them.

cornbread hell said...

thanks sister. i'm so relieved she didn't take the open toed shoes.

so long as i don't have to wrangle 'em on her, nylon sockies included, i don't really care what she remembers at this point.

(tell joel he ain't seen nothin' yet)

flintysooner said...

You, sir, are a saint.

Great photo and great stories. I really enjoy your word wrangling.

cornbread hell said...

hahahahahaha. a saint. hardly. but i will confess to being a better person today than was 6 months ago.

and i'd like to thank my mom...

Linda G said...

I didn't know the old Rick, but I sure like (and deeply admire) the person you've become. Mothers have that effect on their kids, even if they don't know they're doing it.

cornbread hell said...

thanks, linda g.
yeah...i guess you moms are ok.

(i'm really surprised to hear from you. i nixed the "practice post" after a few days. when you didn't comment on it i figured it must've offended you.)

josephine terese said...

a) i was alarmed at the title of the post!it would make grandmommy a badass, but also would be sooo bad.
2) i, also, can picture the open-toed shoes, and while i'm glad no one will have to see her probably formerly nice feet that were destroyed by 20th century torture shoes, it would have been a little cool of her to not care that anyone saw them.
#) congrats on the patience. i wouldn't have had it, i'm fairly certain.

josephine terese said...

oh, and also, i told you about the stein-mart experience with mom and gmommy right?

cornbread hell said...

yes to the stein-mart experience...tee hee.

Denise said...

OMG - I really enjoy this blog. Bonafide lurker, usually. But this one I had to comment on -

Remember when I lost your mother at the mall??? I was trying to spare her from having to walk all the way back to the other end of the mall where I had parked, her feet were hurting - so I had her sit and rest on a bench in the mall while I went all the way back through the mall to get the car and drive it to the other end - which I did.

But when I went to where I left her, she wasn't there! After a frantic search, eventually involving mall security, she was located and fine - she had gone to look for a platter for Luke...

The part that amazes me to this day... you and LA were just starting to think she had alzhiemers... When we were reunited, she had told me she'd even gone outside and waited for me at the car. She left a note on the car before she went back inside.


I love your mom.

cornbread hell said...

Remember when I lost your mother at the mall??? would be a great title for a book, i think.

thanks for the great story. i had forgotten about your last line. i do remember how distressing the ordeal was for you at the time.

small irony: while you were reading this blog, she and i were trying to email you, but the computer froze again.