There's something about shopping for a new pair of shoes that makes me groan and gnash my teeth. I think it has to do with the atmosphere.
Mellow, sleep-inducing music with a distinct country flavor filled my ears as I navigated the men's footwear aisle at Kohl's today. I examined boxes of Flias, Sketchers, Avias, Vans, and New Balance shoes, trying to decide which pair would fit me the best.
On the walls were portraits of handsome athletes playing basketball, jogging, or swimming. Other portraits have them just hanging out, smiling and laughing as if they heard the funniest joke in the world and had died laughing soon after the picture was taken.
Looking at these portraits, I was reminded of what an English professor once told me: "all things created by people are an argument."
Unfortunately, these portraits could not speak, but if they did they would say, "don't be satisfied with how you look. We are the ideal images of physical perfection and if you don't buy from this store then you won't be as good looking as us. You want to get laid, right?"
Another portrait, in the teen section, showed a group of young girls hanging out in the back of a car, taking a photograph of themselves. The focal point of the image was, of course, on the bright shoes they were wearing that matched their bubbly personalities. Argument: Our shoes are cool and your friends will like you better if you buy them. Your friendship is only as good as the shoes you wear, so buy, buy, buy! Repeat after me: Be one with the shoes. Be one with the shoes.
The pair of shoes I finally decided on were on sale. Hey, at least I saved some money.
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