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On the Waterfront

I'm afraid I have a deeply disturbing update to Sunday's terrifying receipt-based change of seasons.

Yesterday was our second wedding anniversary.  Somebody told me that the modern gift for #2 is plastic.  I suppose this means that I get a boob job, and Josh The Pilot gets a wife who's had a boob job.

As it happens, I landed in the traditional gift column, which is apparently nylon and petroleum-based plastics.  Josh revealed that he'd made reservations to go tubing on the Shenandoah River, which made me very happy, and that also, as an addendum while we were in the very act of walking out the door, that the rafting company did not permit bare feet on the river, which made me very sad.  My water shoes were left behind when I moved from Florida, along with my " WHAT TIME DOES THE 3 PM MAIN STREET PARADE START?" tee shirt and my Anti-Hurricane Automobile Diapering System and my sense of optimism and all the other things I thought I'd never need again.

That meant I had two options for shoes in the Shenandoah:  My sneakers, or these.  It was NOT GOING TO BE THESE, and I need my sneakers for the weekends, when I fight crime dressed as an enormous cat who wears sneakers.  We needed water shoes.

So we drove to this major huge chain store I shall generously refer to as "Bullseye."  We were running late, as we always do unless free food is involved, and I was careening through the aisles as well as a person with a post-op knee and hangover can, desperately searching for water shoes and finding none.  The situation was so dire that I broke the emergency glass on Getting Things Done and violated one of my major rules of social interaction, which is to have some.  I flagged down a store clerk and demanded the location of the water shoes, as all I'd turned up was two pairs of extra-large men's Speedo Surfriders for the low, low Bullseye price of eighteen dollars.

"Water shoes?" she said, as though I was in the market for actual hydrogen and carbon based footwear.

"Yes, you know-- that you wear... in the water?"  I clarified, steering firmly clear of the ultimate dirty c-word, terrified that we might end up with plastic for our second anniversary after all.

She suggested that I check the shoe section.  Well!  That certainly hadn't occurred to me.  I doubled back to the seasonal aisle, so frantic at this point that I not only stopped to ask another clerk, I interrupted two of them in conversation.

"Oh," one said, "we don't stock those anymore."

Normally this called for an extremely polite "Thank you," and an immediate departure when in a good mood, a clipped "Thank you" with accompanying tongue click if in a poopy mood, and a bordering-on-biatchy "In THE MIDDLE OF JULY!?" when one's shuttle to the put-in point was already warming up some forty-five minutes away in West Virginia.

"We have a couple pairs of men's extra-large over in sporting goods," she pointed out helpfully.

We screeched across the street to Le Mart de Wal, which at least had the decency to still display its wall of limited edition Americana-boxed Tostitos.  Since I never seem to know where to go when shopping for things to put on my feet, I took an enormous chance and aimed for an equally enormous sign which read SHOES, and I found... one pair of women's water shoes.  The rest of the stock?  A pair of fake c-words which would have fit me when I was perhaps a fetus.  I wear a medium.

Twenty minutes later we were across the border and I was gnawing my way through the plastic tie holding my blessedly stretchy $6 water shoes together.  A modern couple we are, indeed.

it's actually china, as I've discovered, but "plastic" makes for a WAY better story at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (6)

[...] their second wedding anniversary, Mary Beth and Josh the Pilot go accessorizing. Share and [...]


Nice post

July 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertostocktrading

Well, since your sporty water shoes were probably made in China, you kept the tradition in a very modern way :-P

Happy Anniversary, you two!

PS: Next time you should get http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/" rel="nofollow">these!

July 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

We did cotton for our 2nd anniversary and my husband bought me a cotton hammock -- too bad we lived in a tiny apartment and couldn't use it at the time. ;)

July 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMJ

Felicitations on your 2nd anniversary! I remember when you two got engaged (teary eyed)... and bless you for not getting crocs... a more aptly named pair of shoes I have never heard of...

July 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbobbie

Glad you were able to find water shoes. I do not understand people who can wear tennis shoes in the water. ICK!!!!! I remember white water rafting in West Virginia....on the New River. Not quite the same as tubing, but close enough (I got tossed out of the raft when we hit a set of rapids).
If you ever find yourself in the Phoenix area again, and are looking for adventure, might I suggest tubing on the Salt River? It's FUN!!!!!!

July 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWiserlemming
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