Last weekend, I had a revelation:
Shoes bring women together.
That may sound incredibly silly, but while shoe shopping with a friend, I could have sworn that other women in the store were much friendlier than usual. Ladies seeking out the perfect boots or the perfect flats were willing to lend their friendly opinions when we found ourselves in the same shoe aisle, quietly searching for the perfect soles to warm our respective souls.
Women are generally not always that nice to other women we don’t know. Or, at least, we don’t always seem to go out of our way to be overly kind. Somehow, though, in the endless aisles of DSW, something shifts and we all become equals — comrades on the same mission. Regardless of age or weight or skin color or IQ, an amazing pair of shoes can work wonders for any woman, putting a pep in her step like no other. It doesn’t matter if the shoes cost $20 or $2,000, as long as they spark that fire inside of her and make her stand just a little bit taller (regardless of the size of the heel).
In the depths of the boot aisle last Saturday, we met the nice blond woman whose husband patiently stood by, holding their baby, while she tried on pair after pair after pair on her quest for the perfect riding boot. She complimented the boots I was wearing that day (from Target last season!), and offered to give me her 20% off coupon if they gave it back to her after she made her purchase. We met the older brunette, shopping alone, who had piles of boxes surrounding her as she tried to narrow down her favorites. (We attempted to help, but I’m very good at justifying other people’s purchases, so in reality I probably succeeded only in encouraging her to spend more money.) We met the sweet 40-something woman on her way to the register, who saw my friend, Lisa, trying on some boots and stopped to tell her that they looked amazing on her, and they’d be a classic staple that would last her for years. And finally we met Nancy, the nice sales woman who overheard me mention that I didn’t get a 20% off coupon in the mail like the blond woman did (even though I’m a rewards customer), and shortly returned to slip two coupons — one for me and one for Lisa — inside the lid of my shoebox. Lisa and I made sure to find her to say thank you on our way out of the store after we made our purchases.
I find it funny and ironic that the day after I started drafting this post, my friend Melissa posted on Operation NICE about an employee of DSW who was the recipient of a kind gesture from some customers who wanted to thank her for going above and beyond for them. While this could have happened anywhere, I love the fact that it happened at a shoe store — the same one where I made about four friends last weekend.
If the world were a shoe store, maybe we’d all be a little nicer to each other; perhaps women would have an easier time relating to one another when it seems, on the surface, that we have nothing in common. I’m not sure. But if there is one thing to take away from this revelation, I think it is this:
If you are looking for new friends, go shoe shopping.