Layce and I were watching “The Pink Panther.” Layce had the boxed set. I love Peter Sellers. So we were thinking “pink thoughts.”
“I need some new cross trainers,” I said, as I watched the movie over the toes of my old cross-trainers.
“You already have so many shoes,” Layce said, scooping up a handful of popcorn and watching Peter Sellers fall into the Seine.
“But I wear these ones all the time and they look grungy,” I complained. Cato bashed Inspector Clouseau with a lamp.
“You have to get rid a pair of shoes then,” Layce said.
“I will.” In our house to get something new requires getting rid of something old. It keeps the house streamlined.
“Okay. I really want your pink Converse,” Layce said.
“If I give them to you can I get the new trainers?”
“Maybe.” This was a standard negotiation ploy—don’t give in too easily.
“I have to think about the pink Converse though,” I countered. Clouseau’s boss cut his finger off with the cigar guillotine.
“What’s to think about? You never wear them.”
“They have sentimental value. I wore them with my pajamas at the GCLS conference and Karin Kallmaker put her pretty high heels next to my Converse and we took a picture. It was a special moment for me.”
Layce considered this. The movie ended with a car explosion.
“Let’s go upstairs and negotiate,” I said.
“Don’t be coy.” If I am anything I’m persistent. The time is right for new shoes.
I should have done some reconnoitering before we went into the closet, meaning I should have put some of my shoes in storage before trying to get a new pair. I have far too many shoes. They lined the closet wall and some were piled two deep. Layce had already made her point long before we walked into the closet.
“You have a lot of shoes,” she said, looking from her selection of shoes to mine.
I tried a new tactic. “But they all have different purposes.”
She raised an eyebrow. “For example?”
“These ones are for hiking through stream beds—my Soloman water trainers. And these are my skateboard shoes, and these are hiking, and dress boots, and snow boots, and gardening clogs, and around the house Crocs and winter around the house Crocs and the various pairs of Converse are so I can match and…”
She rolled her eyes.
“Some of these shoes have history and not all of it good.” I looked down at them sadly. They do remind me of things and I don’t wear them because of that.
“Of my old life—the one I had before you and they make me sad.”
Layce put her arm around me. “Why don’t you get rid of the sad shoes and we’ll get you some new trainers.”
“And you can have the pink Converse and I’ll throw in these suede zip ups. I never wore them so they don’t have bad memories. They’ll look nice on you.”
“You’re sweeter and thanks for not making me feel weird.”
“You are weird, that’s what I like about you.”
Layce put on the pink Converse and slinked around like the Pink Panther, humming the theme song.
“And you think I’m weird,” I said under my breath.