by Harry "Speegg" Sneed
by Harry "Speegg" Sneed
My daughter’s sixteenth birthday was coming up and my husband and I were having a massive disagreement. Should we buy her a new car like the little princess he was raising her to be? Or should we buy her a used one that I thought she should have to make her more grounded?
“When I was sixteen my father bought me a used Yugo and I was ecstatic!” I shouted over Scott’s buzzing razor.
The buzz stopped.
“A used Yugo? Why didn’t he just spend an extra $50 and buy you a Schwinn bike?” his laugh echoed down the hall.
“Very funny. I loved that car!”
“You hated that car!” He yelled back.
It was true. At first, I thought it was the coolest car in the world. It was a cute and little and compact. The perfect “chick” car. But like most things in life, as time went by the newness and excitement wore off. The window wipers began to stick in the up position, the paint faded in the summer sun and in the winter, the rear-defrost made for a good hand warmer while I pushed it out of traffic. By the time I turned seventeen, I was embarrassed to be seen in it.
“But it gave me humility and made me a better person.” I explained. “You might say it made me what I am today.”
I slid on my black Chanel dress I had bought specifically for the evening.
“Sarah doesn’t need a new car.” I continued. “She has been given more in her fifteen years than most people get their entire life.”
I clipped on my Cartier pear-shape diamond earrings and looked in the mirror. Scott walked in the bedroom.
“Darling” he began in his negotiating lawyer voice, “When I turned sixteen, I didn’t have anyone to buy me a car. I worked an entire summer sweating in the warehouse to buy an old pick up truck.” He stood there tying his tie.
“And I vowed whenever I had a child I was going to buy them a new car for their 16th birthday. We can afford it, so lets do it.”
He sat down on the bed and put on his shoes.
“Besides, Sarah works, we’ll make her pay for her own insurance.”
I picked up my Hermes Clutch and tossed in some necessities.
“Scott, Sarah is a lifeguard at our country club. That isn’t work. It’s getting paid to sit on a throne like a beautiful sun goddess and have young men worship you in the pool below.”
A little jealousy permeated my speech.
“Work is a four letter word. It’s what I did when I was sixteen-dumped fries in a basket of grease and yelled “Could you pull up to the next window!”
Realizing his negotiating tactics were failing, Scott switched to his seductive approach.
“Honey, don’t you want what’s best for our little girl, who’s turning into a beautiful young lady just like her mother?” He took me in his arms and gazed at me with those baby blues.
“Of course I do. That’s why I want her to have the used car. It’ll make her appreciate things. Give her a little humility and character.”
We were officially stalemated.
“We’ll talk about this later.” Scott said. “You have an award to accept.”
Tonight was the big night. After eight years of answering phones, open-houses and dealing with everything from pets to permits, I had finally sold more real estate than any other person in our office and was about to receive the highly coveted “Salesperson of the Year” award at our annual holiday banquet.
We both glanced up at the clock and headed out of the house into my Mercedes.
We arrived at the banquet and mingled with the masses until it was time to sit down for the awards ceremony. Then I happened to look down.
“Oh my God.”
“Oh my God!”
WHAT!” Scott whispered loudly.
“I broke a strap.”
“You broke a strap on your bra?”
“No, I broke a strap on my shoe!”
He looked at me with that infamous blank stare-the kind I get when he’s watching football and I try to talk to him. “And...?”
The strap was now flopping around like a fish out of water. My adrenaline raced. My pulse soared. Then I asked the stupid question.
“And...what should I do?”
Then my husband, who’s the most intelligent man I know, gave me the stupidest, most stereotypical male response.
“I’ll go find some tape.”
I wanted to stand up, take off my shoe and beat him over the head with it right there.
Tape? TAPE? Men don’t know the importance of shoes to women. When a man sees a woman, he begins judging her from the breast to the eyes and then the thighs. That’s their warped, tri-lateral level of evaluation. She could have duck feet with house slippers on and if she’s showing a little cleavage, he’d never know.
Women, on the other hand, evaluate other women the correct way; from their feet up. What kind of shoe is she wearing? How big are her thighs? Hips? Breasts? And finally, what’s her make-up and hair look like? Men are clueless to the whole “shoe-cult” women engross themselves in. In a man’s world a shoe is…well…a shoe.
In our world they’re the Holy Grails of first impressions. The crown jewels of the wardrobe. The exclamation point at the end of our fashion statement! I was about to go on stage, before an audience of my peers (eighty percent of them women), with…God forbid...imperfect shoes and my husband was offering up “tape” advice.
“You do not put tape on Manolos!!!” I growled at him.
Then Scott, in all the love, wisdom and kindness that seduced me into becoming his wife eighteen years ago, leaned over and whispered through a defiant smile,
“Right now they look like Yugo shoes.”
Then he winked.
Sarah is enjoying her brand new Honda.