I remember watching an old man trying on boots.
It was the late 1980's, and I was making my semi-regular trip to my personal Mecca...Fluevog Shoes on Granville Street in Vancouver. I'd look at shoes and boots, dreaming about owning just one more pair. Everywhere on display were black leather pointy-toed boots with buckles and zippers, all kinds of shoes and boots, all very avant-garde and unique.
I headed past the unisex and men's shoes in the front part of the store and into the room that had women's shoes and boots to see if there were any new styles. There was a man talking to the salesman. The man was old, short of height and thick around the middle, balding head with wisps of grey hair around the edges, and wearing a grey suit. He was saying to the salesman, "I'd like to see them in a size 11, please." The young, trendy-looking salesman popped to the very back of the store, while I continued to look at shoes. (I can look at shoes for a long time...) He came back with a large pair of red leather, thigh-high boots with four-inch stiletto heels and very pointed toes. He handed the boots to the old man.
All of a sudden I wasn't quite sure where to look; I had a feeling it would be impolite to stare! I managed to maneuver myself into a place where I could watch by looking in a reflection, and saw the old man pull up his pant leg and try on the boot. He zipped it up the back and stood looking at himself in the mirror, turning this way and that to see if looked right. He walked around the shop a bit to get the feel of the boot.
I left. I didn't want to know if he actually bought the boots or not. I didn't want to imagine him wearing those boots. I kept hoping that maybe his wife happened to have very large feet just the same size as his, and he was buying her a present. I was trying so hard to not be from a small town, and I'd keep running into stuff like this, making me uncomfortable.