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  • Writer's picturePhillip Gerson

Pumps to my Left, Air to my right


I remember that the sun was shining that day


It was even bright on my eyes inside because of the broken window shades in the shoe section of Bulldog Sporting Goods.

I was eight, I was unknowing, I was in a new town with school set to begin in two days.

I had narrowed down the choice of sneakers for the fall, for the first day of school, when footwear might determine your friendships and your elementary love affairs (or lack of elementary love affairs).


I could see

to my left

Reebok Pumps, large, mushy, off-white, and hot neon green on the rims. The embodiment of youthful expression. And they looked comfortable.

And to the right,

new on the scene, the tastefully minimal Air Jordan's with smooth faux leather. Simple yet adventurous. I turned left to joy and self-sufficiency of the familiar Pump., To my dad, to the shoe salesman ready for a break. They knew I was requesting answers to questions they could not address. And then I did, I remember distinctly, looking right, once more, intrigued, unsure, doubting my ability to take risks.


But I still looked left.


Long story short, I went the Reeboks. Worst decision I ever made and I was not going to let my daughter go through that sort of sneaker catastrophe, with daily viewings of the cool kids sporting the glowing Jordan's. And obviously, the personal remorse which continues on to this day.

So I got my daughter Lola some Jordan's for her first birthday.

And they looked tight.


I love happy endings.

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