Walk with me

My bestfriend Fe and I have always had a thing for shoes.  Shoe sales in Glorietta or Megamall would cause us to do a 180 degree turn and literally stop dead on our tracks.  We loved to browse through the shoes of JOSE and VIA VENNETTO sale or no sale, and we always oohed and ahhhed at the new lines as we walked the malls.  We believed that a shoe was always a good investment because it was part of dressing up.

An impending trip (finally) to Paris end of this month has me looking for the proper footwear to help me traipse through the sights of the City of Lights.  Except for the summer months when I slip into different slippers and mules depending on what my mood is or what I’m wearing, my footwear for the fall and winter months is pretty staid.  I limit myself basically to loafers, pumps, slingbacks and dress boots.  I own only 1 pair of sneakers which I bought practically four years ago, and only so I can wear something to the gym.  This was the pair that walked me through the Freedom Trail of Boston three years ago.

As I was pregnant during the fall and winter of 2003 and eventually 2004, I didn’t really do much in the wardrobe department (shoe-wise or apparel-wise) except to purchase items that catered to the expecting mom I was.  With my swollen feet, my new purchases were wide mules which helped my bloated feet carry my very pregnant body.

After giving birth and going back to work, I invested in two pairs of leather shoes which I keep in their individual boxes under my desk.  They are the type of shoes I wouldn’t walk outside in and which I definitely wouldn’t walk the streets of Paris in either.

Over the weekend I purchased two pairs of footwear with the primary goal of keeping my feet in tiptop shape when I walk the Parisien scene.  I’d be the first to admit I don’t really know much about sneakers, very much unlike a friend who can talk to you about the different Nike models and styles and even give you a lecture on the evolution of this shoe line through the years.  I do think I have a good sense of what I wanted — it would have to be something in red, orange, olive or some such different color.  I’m done with white sneakers. 

On the way out of Macy’s I chanced upon their “last few pairs” rack and spied a reasonably attractive red pair of sneakers.  $19.95 caught my eye.. forget about the brand.  I think they were cool.  I may sound ultra ignorant, but I had never heard of Pony as a sneaker brand until I bought that pair this Saturday.  Today (Sunday) I wore them and found them very comfortable.  So comfortable in fact that I totally disregarded the fact that while I thought I was a 7 1/2, I actually got an 8 1/2 this time.  And yes, it was so comfortable it became my standard for getting walking sandals from easy spirit the next day.

This time I did get a 7 1/2, but I got a beige pair of sandals which didn’t quite look like sandals but actually felt like sandals on your feet.  I think this pair would do me good during the flight and while walking through Paris, too.

So now I have two pairs to lug to the City of Lights.  Now if only the French Consulate here in New York would be so kind as to give me my visa.


Biting one's tongue

My mom has advised me time and again to just bite my tongue and not say a word.  But sometimes silence can mean letting an open wound fester into something that can erupt — so I am not wont to be so pliant when it comes to that.

Instead I end up speaking my mind out which sometimes leads to my undoing.  It’s usually the case when I try to join a conversation between father (my husband) and the stepson.  Sometimes I really should just stay out of it — then again, I find myself putting my two cents’ worth in because I want to help the hubby make a point, or simply because I have to say what I want to say.

So what’s the big deal about having a fourteen year old keep his own cellphone?  He actually had one since just after turning 13, but the unfortunate turn of events where his grades are concerned have caused it to be confiscated.  It was originally a free-to-go phone given as a gift by his godmother/my sister-in-law for his 13th birthday in April.  Then December of the same year, the Kyocera phone from Virgin Records came out, with the phone alone costing $150.. (!) 

I am unabashedly partial to Nokia, and Kyocera is a virtual unknown in the field of telecommunications, but what got my goat was a 13 year old being given a $150 phone.  I couldn’t believe my husband was doing it.  Forget that his aunt had just gifted him with one a few months ago — what values were we teaching him?

I remember so clearly that he had asked me if I would feel the same way if it were my own son.  Angel wasn’t even in my womb then.  Without batting an eyelash I told him yes, I would put my foot down and not allow him to give my kid such an outlandishly expensive/impractical present — because I believe a child has to be taught the value of gift giving and responsibility for the gifts they receive from family or friends.

These days I still try to help in the department of teaching him about the values which we hope will help him face the world out there.  It is an even more difficult task because he is now almost 15 years old with ideas about how the world turns and how it should treat him.  Specifically — how it owes him what his heart desires. 

It can be very difficult when one tries to weigh when to speak out and what to say.  More so in a house where there’s only the hubby, Angelo, myself, Lola ( who very rarely speaks her mind out in this department) and the 14-year-old.  So should I bite my tongue and just leave him be?  I keep being reminded by a passage I had opened one time I ventured to pray and do some Bible-cutting.  It was a passage in Galatians which said something to the effect that when we see something wrong happening in front of our eyes, it is our Christian duty to say something.  Otherwise, we are doing the same wrong as that which we are witnessing before us.  Of course I’m paraphrasing.. the thought of the passage, however, has been indelibly etched in my mind and heart.

A sigh just escaped my lips.. this is one of the challenges of stepmotherhood.  It is a parent’s prerogative which I don’t have, yet as a Christian and a person with compassion, I feel inclined to say what has to be said.

I try to keep it in, but I only succeed half the time.  And half of that half, I wish I had heeded my mother’s words, but there is that other half when I find there was wisdom in speaking out.