This weekend, I took my daughter to get some new sneakers for the P. E. class she will have through the new semester. We went to a store not far from our house where they were having a buy one pair, get the 2nd for 50% off. She found some sneakers she liked, and began the search for her size, 6.5.
I don’t really need shoes, but I tried some on, just for kicks. I started with a 7.5, which was large, so I moved to a 7. While I found the memory foam insole quite appealing, the shoe was a bit big and gappy on my foot. (Since I’ve had children, my feet have shrunk. Most women say the opposite is true, which proves that I am an anomaly). Needless to say, we left the store with only my daughter’s new sneakers.
On the drive home, she asked me why I didn’t buy any shoes. “50% off, Mom. You could have gotten some shoes for yourself.”
“But I don’t really need shoes,” I told her. “I tried some, but the 7 was a little big, and the 6.5 probably would have been too small.”
“Wait…” she paused while she thought about what I had just said. “If you can wear a 6.5 shoe, that means I can wear your shoes!” She said this as if she were making a great announcement. “You could have gotten some new shoes, and I could wear them!”
All the more reason not to buy some shoes, I thought, but instead, I quickly built upon her newfound realization. “And that also means that I could wear your new sneakers!”
“But you wouldn’t,” she stated with matter-of-fact certainty.
“Why not? I like the shoes you just picked out. They’re a nice color.”
“Mo-o-o-m!” she drew out in that teen tone that borders on a whine, but isn’t quite. “That’s gross.”
“What’s gross? It’s gross for me to wear your shoes, but not for you to wear mine? How is that different?”
“Well,” she began in her best voice of authority. “When you wear my shoes, you will mash down the memory foam, and it won’t be any good any more.”
“Wow. Did you just call me fat?” I teased. “Really? I don’t weigh that much more than you.”
“Mom, I weigh 76 pounds…”
“84,” I corrected. “Nice try, but that’s not the way memory foam works. It doesn’t remember who was in the shoes last. It’s called memory foam because it remembers… well…. Okay, I don’t really know. But I won’t ‘break’ it just because I wear your shoes.”
By this point, we were both laughing. Back when the kids were little, I used to be able to make up the details I didn’t know, and they didn’t question it. Today, that’s not so easy.
Truly, I have no idea how memory foam works, but I know that “memory foam” is not a good name for it. There is no “memory” of who used it and how they used it. But I do know this: if you’re going to try to reason with a teenager, you should probably know what you’re talking about! (Unlike me….)