By Tamra B. Orr
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Seeing it lying there, so utterly unused, it reminded me of my first Game Boy, or collection of rubber stamps--things that at one time people in this area had grown to believe were essential but over time had proved to be nothing more than fads. Thanksgiving was still two days away, but I opened the freezer and looked in on my turkey dinner. The sodium approached two thousand milligrams. As a nurse, he should have known better. I chucked the box in the trash, called Ben, and he showed up twenty minutes later with decent snacks and two movies I hadn't seen yet: Dolphins Can Count and The Life Cycle of a Clam.
And my exploding shoes. Ben was crouched down at his locker while I approached in my loafers. After clobbering him the first day with my backpack contents, I'd decided to always wait until he was finished before I approached. Also, this gave me plenty of time to stand and admire him. ) But that day, Ben took forever. I waited and waited. Then I waited longer. Of course, I did what all impatient waiters do. I cleared my throat. But I did this way too hard, and a clump of throat snot jumped into my mouth.
So I didn't hear the leather groan. Before I get into how my shoes exploded and brought Ben and me closer than ever, I should probably describe my parents. They do exist, and this story should probably reflect that. My parents were my parents; they were not my friends. This was always the case. While I was walled up in my mother's womb, they were reading numerous books on the subject of child rearing. I think they were both reacting to my mother's mother, Grandma Cappy, and her incredibly lenient parenting style.