Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Shoes!

I ran into someone I had not seen in a long time the other day. "I wish I had new shoes on!" he lamented. I grinned. I had not thought about that in a while...

Long, long ago in a place not too far from here I used to work as an American Sign Language interpreter. Every morning I would go to an elementary school and enter the classroom of a teacher who did not appear to enjoy her job. My assignment was not to jazz up the teacher's lectures in order to keep the child I was interpreting for awake... although I often wished it was.

One day, something exciting happened. Miss Teacher came into the class with a twinkle in her eye and a poster in her hand.

"Do you know what happened yesterday, children?" she asked, smiling. They all shook their heads, wondering what had caused this transformation. "I bought new shoes!" she answered, shifting her feet at different angles to show off her new purchase. "And guess what happens when we get new shoes? We say the 'New Shoes' poem!"

She turned and hung the poster she carried in the front of the room. It was decorated with all sorts of shoes she had cut out from magazines and various advertisements, and in the middle was the poem, 'Choosing Shoes'.

And I fell in love. (With the poem, silly.)

Soon after this I changed jobs and interpreted at a state college. We often had meetings that were less-than-exciting... until one day when all that changed.

"Does anyone have anything to bring up?" the boss-lady asked as the meeting began. I looked around. Everyone was doodling on paper or otherwise trying to stay awake. And then I saw them... Boss-lady had on new shoes. I raised my hand.

"I notice you have on new shoes, boss-lady!" I pointed out with all the excitement I could muster. Everyone looked. She smiled. "Yes, I do. Thank you for noticing, Gerb. Anyone else?"

I raised my hand again. "Do you know what happens when someone is wearing new shoes?" I asked. And before she could answer I stood up and said, "They get the 'New Shoes' song!"

I immediately broke into an impromptu dance, reciting the poem in a sing-songy manner directed at boss-lady. I ended with a flourish and sat down to the applause of my co-workers.

"Thank you, Gerb," boss-lady said, laughing. "Anyone else have new shoes?"

I sang for 2 more people that day and for several others since. I noticed that people often happened to buy new shoes the week of our meetings... coincidence? I think not.

How about you - got new shoes? Well, go slip them on and enjoy...

Choosing Shoes
by Frida Wolfe

New shoes, new shoes,
Red and pink and blue shoes.
Tell me, what would you choose,
If they'd let us buy?

Buckle shoes, bow shoes,
Pretty pointy-toe shoes,
Strappy, cappy low shoes;
Let's have some to try.

Bright shoes, white shoes,
Dandy-dance-by-night shoes,
Perhaps-a-little-tight shoes,
Like some? So would I.

Flat shoes, fat shoes,
Stump-along-like-that shoes,
Wipe-them-on-the-mat shoes,
That's the sort they'll buy.


Teachinfourth said...

So, would it count if I borrowed shoes from somebody else? Would I still get the song?

I just bought new glasses...

Gina said...

Good stuff. I am going to need to hear you do the sing-songy version in person!

holmes said...

I sure know where to look when I need a reason to smile...and laugh...out loud! Thanks for sharing another great life experience that shows who you really are. I love it!

Aaron said...

Ok. I usually just come and lurk a bit on your site when I need a chuckle, but I had to comment on this one because I am totally going to have my kids memorize the poem. Thanks Gerb!

Gerb said...

tchn5th- People have tried that. It's called cheating. But new glasses... hmmmm. I guess I'll have to think on that one.

Gina- Have you never been around for the New Shoes song? Next training, wear new shoes.

Holmes- Thanks for coming back all the time. I love to hear you laugh! (I can actually hear your laugh when I try to...)

Aaron- Cousin Aaron? Neighbor Aaron? Allen's co-worker Aaron? Just Aaron the blog-stalker? Hey, I'll take what I can get. Thanks for commenting. And your kids will totally thank you one day.

Darla Davies said...

O.K. Gerberta,
Guess I'm going to have to become a regular reader of your blog. I LOVE the New Shoes poem which I originally heard in a B.Y.U. Children's Lit. class. I have been too lazy to search for the poem. I'm glad to have been re-exposed to it! THANKS!