You may have noticed that I’ve been writing more about Frederic lately. I admit that he’s been on my mind; we’ve been talking more; we’ve been markedly less antagonistic towards each other lately. I suppose this is why I’m telling these old tales; justifying why I love(d) the man in the first place.
It may also be the fact that I watched “Love Story” for the ninemillionth time, and *swoon* Ryan O’Neal! But also, it got me thinking about love in retrospective.
That said, there was one exchange that stuck out in my mind as the Quintessential Frederic-and-Meredith moment…the Overshoes Incident:
“I bought these nice shoes,” said Frederic, “And I need to buy some boots or something to wear over them to protect them in bad weather.”
“Don’t wear them in bad weather,” I said, balancing the phone on my shoulder as I shuffled papers.
“No,” he said, “I need, like, thin rubber boots that go over the shoes. But not galoshes.”
“Just put the shoes in your briefcase,” I said, “And then put the shoes on once you get to work.”
“Perhaps you are not hearing me…I don’t want to carry my shoes,” he said.
“Buy some galoshes,” I said.
“Perhaps you are not hearing me…I don’t want to buy galoshes.”
“How about overshoes?”
“Is that what they’re called?”
“The thin rubber shoes that go…over your shoes?” I said pointedly.
“Yes, yes!” he said excitedly, “That’s exactly it! How do I find them?”
A beat. “Oh no. I am not buying overshoes at http://www.heelingtouch.com.”
“Then don’t.” I was laughing too hard to talk.
“Okay,” he said after a long pause, “I am going to email you a few links. I want you to look at them and tell me which overshoes you think will best protect my Gucci loafers from the elements.”
He sent me links to the “Executive Halfzip” overshoe for $22.99, and then to a more economical, more rugged accordion style, nameless “boot” for $12.99.
“Which one do you think will go over my shoes better?” he asked.
“I have no idea. Why don’t you just buy both?”
“Yeah, but the Executive Half Zips are nicer. I don’t want to go marching around the city in those ugly things, but I think the accordion style will go over my shoes better. I’m just concerned about protecting my shoes in the elements,” he whined.
I was laughing too hard to respond.
“What?! Why are you laughing?? What would you do?”
“Put my shoes in my briefcase and change shoes when I got to work?” I offered helpfully.
“But I don’t want to look like an idiot walking around the city!” he protested.
“Seriously, would you rather come into work with ruined shoes and damp pants, or would you rather come into work with your dry shoes in your bag and your pants protected by galoshes?”
“Right. That’s why I asked you. You’re going to make fun of me on your blog now, aren’t you?”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.”
Frederic called me, a few days after our initial conversation about his overshoes.
“They sent me the wrong ones!” he complained.
“What did they send you?” I chortled.
“You have to see.”
I dragged myself out to have a look-see. They had sent him what was essentially a pair of injection molded…Santa shoes.
“I ordered a size 14,” he said, “Thinking that if I ordered a size large enough, that they would just…work. But then they sent me these…things…and now I don’t know what to do.” His voice, by that point, had crescendoed into a plaintive wail.
“I told you that you should have just ordered both sets of boots,” I said, laughing so hard I was sobbing.
“What should I do?” he asked.
“Perhaps you should just carry your shoes to work in your bag?” I said, arching my eyebrows into my hairline and offering up my sensical suggestion for the umpteenth time.
“No,” he said firmly, “I think I’m just going to go with my gut, like I should have the first time, and order the ‘Executive Half-Zips’ from the other website.” He had clearly resolved to go through with this overshoe experiment, despite the fact that all signs pointed to its abject failure.
“Well, good luck with that,” I snorted, “Santa.” He gave me a look like it was taking an incredible amount of restraint to keep himself from throwing one of the aforementioned Santa shoes at my head.
Since that exchange, Frederic has stopped soliciting my advice on matters of pedary importance.
Frederic called me the other day.
“Come over to my office and have lunch,” he said.
“Fine,” I said. Legs and her boyfriend were in town, but she had taken the red-eye and was still asleep, so our lunch plans had been scrapped.
What I found when I went to his office was more than I ever could have hoped for. I give to you photo documentation of his gumshoe saga.
The man and his boots
The executive half-zips.
The santa shoes.
Santa shoes, the money tree, and the north star.
After letting me take several artistic shots of the man and his boots, Frederic said, rather nastily, “Well, that was fun, but I still don’t know what do to about my shoes.” As if it were somehow my fault he had ignored the suggestion I had been making all along that he simply carry the shoes in his bag and wear sneakers or galoshes.
(These posts were taken from my old blog and lightly edited)