Talking to Belle the other night, she asked me what shoes I was wearing to the Mardi Gras Ball. A Mardi Gras Ball, for those of you uninitiated, is a very formal affair. Black tie, tuxedo. Back in the day, when I was soldiering for a living, I always kept a pair of Shoes, Naval Oxford, Black in the closet for dress uniform occasions. But, those have gone the way of other things.
I mentioned to Belle that I had a nice pair of black boots that should suffice.
"No," she replied. "Boots don't go with a tux."
So, today I went looking for shoes. Black, formal, dress shoes. If I had been within a hundred miles of a good PX or Uniform Sales store, I wold have looked there, but I only had the local merchants. II went into Academy Sports, which has a huge shoe section. Asked about dress shoes, the lady there thought the question was amusing. She sent me over to Shoe Carnival, which had a small section of shoes that I would call casual, but nothing that approaches formal. The gal there sent me over to Dillards, in the mall.
I went into Dillards and asked for the shoe department. Was pointed to the back corner of the store. Voila. Formal dress shoes. I selected a pair and tried them on, walking around the carpet area.
"These feel good." I told the lady. "But, the soles are slick. Will I be able to dance in these?"
"Yes, sir," she replied. "You will be able to dance in those."
"That's great, "I told her. "Wrap them up. I've never been able to dance before."
She looked at me, shocked, for a second, then grinned. "I walked right in to that one, didn't I?"
Later, Belle looked at the shoes, then pronounced them sufficient.