Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do you remember the first pair of shoes that you selected? How much did the shoes cost you?

I can recall the first pair of shoes purchased with own money that I had saved money from working part-time at the local cafeteria. It seems liked so much money, earning thirty dollars or so each week. Yet, after taxes, it was far less than I had expected. Nonetheless, with a little discipline, I saved enough to buy a pair of the most popular style shoe, a suede loafer. The loafers looked like men's shoe: bulky, brown with a flat heal. The wide shoe style did not fit my narrow feet very well. But I had to have a pair. After all, all the cool kids were wearing them. My mother had refused to buy me a pair because they didn't fit my feet or look "becoming on a young lady." So, it was up to me, she said, if I wanted to waste my money on those "clown" shoes. Well, that's exactly what I did. As soon as I could, I bought a pair. I was so proud of myself. I did it, all on my own. I could hardly wait until the next day to wear them to school. However, due to the rain, I had to wait three days before I could safely show off my new suede shoes.

The day finally came, I was wearing my shoes! It was hard walking to school because the shoes kept slipping up and down my heal. By the time I arrive, a blister had started to form. I refused to give up the fight. I limped from class to class, smiling each time my classmates commented on my new shoes. All the while, I couldn't wait to take them off as I slid into my seat upon entering each class. The lunch time hour was the greatest challenge because the new shoes prevented me from joining in our usual game of tag. I just sat and watched. Then, the unthinkable happened, my hot dog with ketchup and mustard slipped out of my hands. Without a moments notice, my new shoes were stained. I could not believe it. My mother had warned me that suede was probably not the best texture for school shoes. At last, she was right! The mess got worst when I tried to wash them off in the girls bathroom. Once wet, the shoes became a dust and dirt magnet. With every step, the shoes became more and more filthy. By the end of the school day, I took the shoes off and walked home barefooted. I felt defeated! I had made not only a bad decision, but a costly choice, too. Too ashamed to admit to my mother that she was right and I was wrong, I hid those loafers in the back of my closet and never wore or spoke of the again (until now).

With every first time event a memory is etched into your long-term memory. The details of that event stick with you, even thirty five years later. As with the memory of the loafers. I can still smell the fresh suede, feel the softness of its texture and recall emotionally my excitement of the purchasing experience. However, I can equally remember the pain of that blister and the shame of not taking my mother's advice. The same is true of other first time events in our life, such as our first kiss, boyfriend, date, intimate relationship, and the first heartbreak. The moral of this story is we should be reminded that we always remember our first of everything. We should be advised to stop and think before we create memories that we don't want to recall later.

Ask yourself how this story can apply to your relationships. Do you sometimes date partners because it is the popular thing to do? Do you take all the factors into consideration before you make your selection? What do you do when you realise that you have made a poor decision? What do you do when a relationship hurts? After the relationship is over, what do you do with those feelings? Those memories? Do you grow from the lessons learned to build stronger relationships in the future?

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