the following post is probably much ado about nothing to most of you. don't say i didn't warn you.
so, i'm perfectly aware there are other things to deliberate that are of far more importance than what you're about to read...world peace, presidential candidates, the fuel crisis. i do care about all of these, and i'm not shallow.
but i feel like one of those newspaper reporters who's sniffin' out a good story, and i may have just found it in the stride rite dilemma. it needs to be shared.
i've always had a thing about the classic stride rite walking shoes. it's a rite of passage in a baby's life, getting those shoes...shoes that will someday be bronzed and perched upon a keepsake shelf for all to see, shoes that will be photographed and memorialized, shoes that will earn their scuff marks like badges of honor. and it's not one of those oh-honey-can-you-pick-up-baby's-new-stride-rites-on-the-way-home-from-work things. oh no, no, no, no. it's a very special moment.
i knew exactly how i wanted to do it, and i envisioned just what it would be like. we were going to take her to a little local shoe store...one some old man has owned for years...one that smelled like leather and shoe polish and was as far away from the monopolized mall stores as you could find.
she would get her little feet measured and the old man would come out of the back room holding a tiny stride rite box. he would lift the top and peel back the crinkly-sounding waxed tissue paper. inside, there they would be...her first walking shoes. (for dramatic purposes, at this point, the heavens would open and the shoe store would be filled with the melodious sound of singing angels).
supple white leather they'd be, with thin white strings and hard brown hand-stitched soles. i would, of course, be snapping pictures of every moment of this event, and then we'd all go home and live happily ever after...in really cute walking shoes.
Enter shoe crisis 1.
cubby started walking during hottest months of already super-hot-climate, and ankle-high shoes (which cost $45, by the way) just aren't practical. besides, she needs a pair of shoes like a brick to the head. we have a closet full.
that's okay...this is a moment, these are keepsakes and these babies are gunna be bronzed and displayed forever.
Enter shoe crisis 2.
began shoe research only to be deeply saddened. the classic hard-soled stride rites i have dreamed of for so long have stopped being made. they are no more. and i have looked everywhere, googling every combination of walking/hardsole/striderite you can find...even clicked up to page 6 on google. my white, supple-leathered, hand-stitched dick & jane classic walkers have been replaced with these, a sad-looking mass-produced modern version all the we-only-shop-at-the-mall babies are wearing. and they have, get this, soft soles. (gasp) i want the hurt-like-the-dickens-when-they-kick-you-in-the-shins kind. but no...the stride rite "patter" style has gone extinct.
i'll never have my photo shoot.
did you say classic? my queen-of-all-class friend dede will certainly be able to solve this. anyone who has the most impressive collection of little black dresses you've ever seen (not to mention 20 pairs of the same ralph lauren shorts in black, white and khaki lined up like file cabinet folders in her closet) will know what to do about classic stride rites.
and she did just that. upon mentioning my dilemma, she immediately runs to her keepsake pile in her son's closet and came out holding a box. "you mean these stride rites?" behold, the holy grail. hard brown leather soles: check. hand-stitching: check. white supple leather soft and lightly scuffed from wear: check. these are the stride rites i've been looking for...straight from the pages of a vintage dick & jane book.
...and she let us borrow them.
i now present the stride rite walking shoe photo shoot...sans a $45 receipt.
i think kathleen kelly would like these. yes...these pics are dedicated to all the shop-around-the-corners that were turned into baby gaps...and to dede: someday i'll be as classy as you. but for now i'll spritz some bvgari blu in the kitchen to hide the old food smell coming from the sink and go to bed. hey, at least my kid looks pretty classy in these pics.
(P.S. I'd still love for LL to have her own pair...if anyone ever sees Stride Rite "Patter" style anywhere, leave me a comment! I'll pay to have them shipped!)