Sunday, August 16, 2009

Walking As We Do

I suppose that this is cheap, but it's likely better than just not writing. In short, I haven't got much to say these brief months past. All my verbalising has gone into the job I took selling shoes.

Yup. You heard right.

So, I'm back at Bigley's, and I'm badder than ever. Oh yes, they gave me my request and put me into the woman's shoe section where I'm able to exercise the subtleties of boy/girl interaction. Ah, girls. You are such a strange species.

You've almost certainly read a variation on these lines:

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice, and everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.[1]

Well, somewhere between "little" and the rest of their lives those sugary girls experience a metamorphosis. This becomes clear in a shop like Bigley's, with 45,000 pairs of shoes in stock. As one of my fellow employees, herself a very nice girl - and I do mean that - put it, "Women are stupid bitches."

I'm truly not making that up.

Granted, not all women and girls follow that stereotype, and it is an extreme statement, but there is still a point to be made. Put a woman - and you girls might be ashamed to see how many - into a situation with bright, glittering things, and something goes wrong. Where I've so often seen our culture attack, shame, or even hate men for their natural and trained bents, these woman should rethink their viewpoint as the higher plane. How can you question little boys for wrestling - violence and its future implications - when you do myself and others violence to get a beautiful shoe? Which is better: violence to gain honour among peers - or - violence to gain honour among peers? The little boy wrestles for strength and respect. The girl acts unthinkingly to look good for her own sense of well-being and for that "WHERE, did you get those???"

And the difference is?

Now, lest you think that I've just been seeing the dirty side of humanity. I have and do enjoy myself greatly. I get to chat with a variety of women - and I love talking with strangers. I see enormously varied product, and once in a while I meet someone who goes beyond the norm in presence. Those are the awesome people. The ones where you form a unique bond in one way or another. I'm happy to say that I've often found the perfect shoe for those girls. The shoe which makes them say, "WHERE, did you find that?" And yes, it's usually a sexy shoe, such as one of the sweet Amalfis we carry. I'm just that good.

But overall, there really isn't much to write. I could go on and on about the stupid things I've seen people do, about the good moments I've had, about the co-workers I enjoy, or the management who delight in microscopic leadership to my unending irritation. I could tell you about my favourite fellow-in-sales, Donna. At the end of a shift she says, "Let me see both hands," then gets on my case in motherly fashion because I don't have the numbers of the hotties I've chatted with written on them. But most of those things are too ordinary, too easy to be worth commenting on. What's the point of complaining endlessly or writing vacuous praise, rattling on about empty topics? So, I've sat and waited, wondering when I would take the time to write something decent.

As much as I have enjoyed my work, there remains a sobering reality. Most of the people who started the summer by smiling on a regular basis hardly smile at all now. That's just two months of retail. (More than a normal dose of the rotten, pig-headed side of humanity.) And most of them can't wait to get out of Bigley's. Yes, there are lots of reasons. But the greater share is a sad reflection on the attitudes and spiritualism of a culture which keeps its economy "moving" by shopping.

1. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 100-1.

1 comment:

  1. Bro, you just totally touched my hart. Hah hah... I just totally put two t's together. Oh this is gettin' wicked gnarly. That was like 4 t's in one. Dude, I'm chargin' extra for this comment. Like, a 4 in 1. Come on. You don't get that everyday. Totally trippin'.

    Love u, man. Keep on with the kickass posts. Oh, sorry about the language, but I figured a dude as cool as you wouldn't mind... U Rock!

    P.S. You didn't seem to be home when I drove by at 3AM last night, so I'm gonna totally check it out again tonight.


Do it, do it! Leave that glowing comment while your mind reels with the portent of what you just read.