Story 1: Once upon a time in a land of faraway enchantment, I bought a pair of new sneakers. Actually, it wasn't "once upon a time in a land of faraway enchantment"--it was yesterday, at Dick's Sporting Goods. Word to the wise: If you want to direct a 12-year-old to the Web site for Dick's Sporting Goods, do not--as a friend of mine advised a young nephew--tell the child to "Go online and just type in Dick's."
Let me start over.
Story 1: Yesterday, I bought a pair of new sneakers at Dick's Sporting Goods. Here they are:
After I purchased them, evil gnomes kidnapped me and forced me to bake ginger cookies for them. Okay. That didn't happen but it makes for a better story, doesn't it? What really happened is that it was a purchase fraught with regret. The sneakers are spectacularly comfy--there are little masseuses embedded in the toes or something--but I really wanted black sneakers (and actually, I really wanted black sneakers that turned into little skates like the tots have...with flashing lights and maybe a flat-screen TV in the side). I've had something against white sneakers ever since I had to put white polish on my sneakers when I was little to "keep them fresh looking." So, I see a white sneaker and I want it painted black. The End.
Story 2: Once upon a time in a land of faraway enchantment, there lived a baby in a big china bowl. Here she is:
The baby's nickname was "Beaky"--apparently she had a sizeable schnozz--and I know this baby. Well, kinda. I knew this baby when she was an ancient, ancient woman (whoa--her ghost just slapped the back of my head for that). She was my grandmother, and she told me that I should put white polish on my sneakers to "keep them fresh looking." There are about a million stories about my grandmother. I mean--look at her, she's tiny here and she's already finding a way to vault out of the china bowl in which the fates have placed her! But, for the purpose of this random story, one important thing to know about my grandmother is that from the time that she was a baby she dreamed of dancing. Dancing, dancing, dancing in a field of daisies. I don't think the type of flower changed in the dream, but maybe it did. This is a very, very early picture of my mother. She's got that big stiff bow on her head that girls of a certain era had--it looks like a brisk wind would pull her up, up, and away by the bow. She's also got one heckuva giant scary doll lurking in her lap. I'm not sure if it is her doll or a "prop doll" that the photographer gave her; either way, it's definitely an early prototype of an evil Chucky doll. I like how my mom is kind of slumped back on the stool in a watchful way, and she looks like she might be plotting something. She does have two legs--the other one is tucked under. See?
This is the way it turns out in families sometimes. Mothers dream about dancing in fields full of daisies and their daughters end up dancing. My mom was the Dancin' Sweetheart of Masonic Lodges everywhere and she almost went pro when she was 17. Then she realized she really hated dancing and joined the navy--perhaps that is what she was plotting in the photo above. Me? My grandmother took me to ballet lessons when I was six and I was a butterfly for a little while. I fluttered and fluttered and fluttered and spun and twirled and fluttered. Fortunately, my grandmother grew disgusted with the teacher's lack of discipline and bored with her lack of imagination and I was free to polish my white sneakers in my spare time. The End.