The Power Of (Sneaker) Love
After getting my first pair of Playoff Jordan 12s in Korea, I was happier than a fat kid in a candy store. So when I heard Jordan Brand was releasing the retro Playoff 12 I was pretty amped, and when I get amped, I do my best to get my wife super-amped.
April 21, 2012 was two weeks away and I realized that I had my final exam the same day as the Jordan 12 release date. What a way to rain on a parade! I was pretty angry and also knew that if I really wanted those Jordans, I would have to cut class early or get a pair from a reseller, which I really didn’t want to do.
So when my wife Jessica told me she would happily get the kicks for me, I told her that she would have to wake up early: strapped and locked, ready to rock then shake the spot! You see, my wife is very much aware of the shoe game and how much it’s changed over the last three years, especially after all the media coverage of recent Jordan releases that seemed to attract violence.
Since this was her first time getting shoes without me, I could only give her a vague heads-up as to what to expect. I told her there may be a lot of gossip about what sizes are left and how many pairs the store has, but she has to ignore all of that distraction unless it comes from the store associate himself.
The specific mall I wanted her to go to had four different shoe stores, a definite advantage just in case one store sold out. However, only two of them would be open at 11am. I told Jessica to circle the mall to see if anyone was waiting outside, and if not, then she would have to investigate and check for a line-up.
When Jessica got to the mall, she noticed the doors were open, so she walked in the store and noticed that Sheik had no line, though it did have a security guard in front. She thought he was there to prevent people from waiting in line so she didn’t even think about asking if she could wait. She kept walking to check out Foot Locker where four people are in the line.
Thinking they were the last four, she was certain she missed out on the Js. Figuring she had nothing to lose, she gets in line to see if lady luck left a pair of size 10s. Half of her wanted to talk about what sizes were left, but the security guard was busy conversating with two people in line and she didn’t want to be rude, so she decided to wait until the conversation was over.
Like a breeze entering a room from an open door, five amped consumers come walking up quick to get in line behind her…that’s when she realized that there was a line outside and she had just cut a crowd of people who had been waiting for at least five hours.
My wife is 5”3’ and looks like a young Selma Hayek, has the heart of Mother Theresa and the wit of Chuck Norris. She specializes in Star Trek knowledge, Jeopardy questions, TV, motorcycle riding and just recently, clandestine operations. She may look like a young innocent women but she’s willing to put it all on the line for Jordan 12s.
So, she’s feeling bad and wants to leave, but feeling obligated to bring her husband a pair of shoes he had been so passionate about, she decided to stay. It was all fun and games at first, but now she realizes that she’s got to play the role of a line-cutter, but act as if she’s been there the whole time. What a woman!
Jessica kept her head down and didn’t say a word! As the security guard lets in four more people, a 200 pound dude ran past her faster then you could say HOT CAKES!, jumps in front of her at the register and asks for a size 9.5.
My wife is called up to another register and calmly asks for a size 10. As the sales associate pulls the box out, Mr. 200 sees the size 10 and goes bananas! ‘Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I need a size 10!. C’mon man…’ He pleaded with the Foot Locker employee. ‘This is the last size 10, I’m sorry.’
It didn’t stop him from ranting for the next five minutes. He argued and yelled and complained like a nine-year-old kid who just found out he could’ve had chocolate ice cream instead of a second serving of broccoli. The employee responds to his aggression saying that he asked for a size 9.5, not a size 10 and he’s out of luck. His aggression escalated until another employee asked, ‘Who was first in line?’
Jessica responded, ‘I was first in front of the store’ (a statement that was true but didn’t reveal she had cut everyone else to get there.) She got to keep the size 10 and knew what she had was precious cargo, but the mission was not over. For all she knew, Mr. 200 could seize the opportunity to confiscate the size 10 and make a mad dash out the mall. She was no match – even with her trained karate skills and Star Trek knowledge.
As soon as she was handed the shoes she made a beeline straight to the car and locked the door before opening the box to verify the cargo. High on her successful victory and smooth tactics, not to mention outwitting a quite intimidating person twice her size, she texted me in class, ‘Mission complete!’
When she told me everything, a part of me couldn’t believe it, but the more I thought about it, I saw how my love for sneakers was so strong it had started to bring my wife to the dark side of the force, outwitting kids big enough to even kick my ass! Just for kicks.