Shared Stories: My new Millennium Shoes

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Yolanda Adelé’s humorous piece was inspired by a real ad for a real product. Some of you may have tried the product yourself.  Shared Stories is a weekly column featuring articles by participants in a writing class at the Norwalk Senior Center.  Bonnie Mansell is the instructor for this free class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program.  Curated by Carol Kearns

By Yolanda Adelé

Tennis anyone? If so, lace up your tennis shoes, wrap your sweat-band around your head and you are good to go.

However, if you are like me, athletically challenged, and harbor an aversion to sweating that melts your make-up, messes up your hair do, overpowers your Giorgio Armani Perfume, and you fear the sweat that leaves gym equipment sticky, attracting all kinds of living organism bacteria, etc. - there is an alternative.

As advertised in the paper, this new sports shoe by a well-known company is called Shape-Ups, and it is the ‘state of the art’ for our new millennium.                                                

This “fitness footwear” is advertised to firm the buttocks and calf muscles, reduce dreaded cellulite, tone your thighs, and promote weight loss.  The company slogan is, “Get in shape without setting a foot in a gym.”

After seeing the commercial for this promising shoe, I put down my third bowl of Skinny Cow Chocolate Diet Ice Cream, got off the couch, slipped on my sandals, grabbed my keys, and sprinted to my car.  I drove down the street to the strip-mall where the shoe store is.

When I got there, I saw women lined up in front of the door.  Some were holding a copy of the shoe store’s glossy colored picture ad of the New Millennium Shoes.

That’s when I realized how expensive the shoes were. The ad read, “Just $99.99 plus tax. While supplies last!”

“Ouch! That’s quite a bite out of my budget at fifty dollars for each foot,” I said, to no one in particular.  A large lady in front of me, wearing a jelly stained shirt and sucking on a Starbucks Mocha Chocolate Chip Frappachino, echoed my sentiments.  

Another woman sporting a tattoo of Tinker Bell on her wide forearm chimed in, “Hey, a hundred bucks is still cheaper than a gym membership, right!”  “Right!” I agreed.

Soon, I was in the store trying on the New Millennium Shoes.  Right away I felt taller. The clerk explained, I was indeed taller in these shoes “because of the built in kinetic wedge inserts.”

“Huh?” I was clueless.

“To achieve maximum potential in your New Millennium Shoes you will have to do your part.”

“My part?  What’s that mean?”

“Well, you will have to find your center of balance which means changing the way you are used to walking. The dynamic rolling feature of the shoe may make you feel unstable or dizzy at first. It is important that your ankles do not bend inward or outward but remain parallel to the position of your back.  Your neck should be straight.  Don’t look down while you are walking.”

“How am I supposed to remember all that?”

“That’s easy! These shoes come with a DVD and booklet. There is also a support web-site!”

“That is amazing when you consider that as an eighteen-year-old, I was allowed to take a newborn baby (my own) out of the hospital without so much as a manual.  Now, I will be better educated when I bring home a DVD along with my pair of New Millennium Shoes!”

The young clerk was not amazed. “Lady, do you want the shoes or not?”

“I’m thinking about it.”

“What’s to think about? These shoes work even while you are standing and doing nothing.”

“Huh? How is that possible?”

The clerk sighed deeply, then said, “Conventional footwear does not provide proper support or aid in correct posture for long periods of standing.  With these New Millennium Shoes the simulation of soft ground will ease the stress on your joints, promote correct posture and strengthen your legs, tighten buttocks and abdominal muscles just by standing in them.”

“Wow! And at only $99.99,” I said emphatically.  “I’ll take them!!!”  I felt optimistic about the future as I stepped out in my New Millennium Shoes.