Eric was one of JoAnna’s first boyfriends. He was a handsome, sweet, bright, athletic boy. JoAnna seemed to really like him. They dated for a year or two.
When they first started going out, Jo invited him to spend the day with her family at our home. We all wanted to support Jo in her romantic adventure. I was on my best behavior.
The day went well. The family liked Eric very much. For Jo, having her charming sisters around to help entertain undoubtedly eased her early date nerves.
In the late afternoon, Eric and Jo decided to leave. However, they could not find Eric’s tennis shoes.
Jo asked me if I had seem them. I had not seen them, so I organized a search party. I assigned everyone a room to search.
I said, “Start looking at the immediate left of the door into your assigned room. Then work your way all the way around the room till you come back to the door. Then look under everything in the middle of the room.”
The search took about ten minutes. No luck. We stood around thinking. We knew the shoes were in the house somewhere. Once in a while, one of us would think of a different place to look. Still no shoes. It was baffling.
Finally Eric said “Jo, lets just go.”
She said, “No, Eric, the shoes are here. Let’s stay until we find them.”
Eric insisted, “Jo, let’s just leave.” There was emotion and determination in his voice, so Jo agreed to leave.
They went out to Eric’s truck, Eric in stocking feet. I followed them outside. I stood on the edge of the grass, waving good bye.
They drove around the corner until they were out of sight. Then Eric pulled the truck over and started to laugh uncontrollably. Jo sat there wondering what was so funny.
When Eric regained a little control, he said, “I know where my shoes are. They are on your Dad’s feet. When we were standing there wondering where my shoes were, I happened to notice that your Dad’s shoes had a hole just exactly where my shoes had a hole. That seemed odd. Then I realized that they were my shoes.”
Here is what had happened. I had the idea that my family sometimes got embarrassed by some old item of clothing I dearly loved and was wearing. They would throw the offending item into the trash when I was not around. A few months before, my Nike’s had turned up missing. I thought the girls had gotten rid of them.
When I saw Eric’s shoes, I said to myself, “My Nike’s!” I was so happy and immediately put them on. They were so comfortable.
All the time we were searching for Eric’s shoes, I had them on. I especially like the picture of me standing on the lawn, affectionately waving goodbye, wearing his shoes.
Eric was embarrassed to take his shoes off my feet. They went to his house and picked up another pair.