28.2.05

Shopping @ Payless

I went to Payless today. I hadn’t been there in so long, especially to buy shoes for me. See, there’s this job fair tomorrow at school and professional attire is a must. I’ve been trying to purchase more clothes that look a little more professional since my current job allows me to wear jeans and tennis shoes all the time. However, I’ve totally missed the shoe area during the “brown girl goes office chic” shopping trips. Originally, I was going to go to Dillards and shell out fifty to seventy-five dollars for some Steve Madden chanclas, but then I thought about it and I’d rather save that money for the wedding or a trip or something. Within ten minutes, it would have been five if the lady in front of me had gotten it together and gotten out of my way ASAP, I walked out of Pay More But Why with two pairs of shoes that can either go office chic or movie date casual.

As I drove home with the car speaker’s blaring Red Neck Woman and my windows rolled down (si, ya se, que naca), I began thinking about the old days. I remember as a kid, Payless was the shit. My mom used to buy me and my siblings shoes from there because they were cheap. Of course, to us, it only mattered how they looked. My sister had an entire collection of flats, sandals and wanna-be Keds. When prom or homecoming was coming up, you could see here walking up Alameda Ave. toward Ysleta High School with her books and a box of Blow Pops which she’d sell to buy the fabric for her dress or the shoes that would match the dress.

During my brother Jorge’s high school years, he didn’t get Payless shoes. Instead, we’d take bus #61 to the Wal-Mart and my mom would shell out the $20 she’d made that day cleaning houses to buy him some cowboy boots. We’d joke about them being made of Ulefante or Ligartija. Since those were the only shoes he got, he’d have to wear them during the smear the queer and football games he and his drill team buddies would play after practice. A lot of times, he’d twist his ankle and it would turn all shades of blue purple. Sometimes my dad would take him con el señor que sobaba, but most of the time, he’d just deal with it. He too would walk the length of Alameda Ave from Yarbrough to Ysleta because when my dad did leave him bus money, he preferred to save it to buy my mom a pair of polyester pants in a 16 average and a set of markers for me from the Kress store downtown during his sporadic trips downtown with his friend Louie.

Up until I was about twelve, I would wear hand me down shoes from my sister or Payless shoes. I remember one year, I wanted those black and white shoes you see the chick’s from the rock n’ roll era (50’s) wearing. My mom bought them for me at the beginning of sixth grade and I wore them until I’d worn out the soles. I think out of my siblings and I, I got the best deal. My mom got a better job by the time I was a teenager and my siblings were all a lot older, so they helped her our as much as they could. Still, I can’t help but wonder how the jefita did it.

3 comments:

cindylu said...

Ah, the memories of shopping with the parents. Hey, my grandpa (on my dad's side) was el señor que sobaba. There was always someone coming to their house in Boyle Heights on Sunday when we used to visit. I should write about this sometime...

Daily Texican said...

does Star Jones really shop at Payless?

La Brown Girl said...

hehehe, nah, i doubt it dude. she should give the shoes they give her to the poor kids on the mexican side of the border.