Thursday, January 22, 2009

John Mozeliak goes shoe shopping, part 6

John Mozeliak was a patient man. Everyone knew it. He had never been accused of being impulsive or spontaneous, and never would. He was meticulous. He was thoughtful. He could out-wait anyone or anything. 

Once, as a boy, he had waited so patiently for the price to come down on a new sled, that by the time he was willing to buy it, the snow had all melted and he didn't need it anymore. That shrewd move had saved him not only the three dollars he would have spent, but also countless hours in the cold, wet snow with his friends, during which time he probably only would have gotten sick or injured anyway. 

His son's voice snapped him out of his trance. "Dad, would you please just decide already?" 

John stared at the Monopoly board and bit his bottom lip. His game piece rested on Marvin Gardens, and John was trying to decide whether to purchase a house for his newly acquired property. The decision to buy the square lot had been difficult enough. He glanced at his piles of cash on the table in front of him. Did he have enough? Should he risk the investment? Would it pay off in the long run? 

"Dad, please. I have to go to school in 14 hours." Bobby sighed and propped his head with his hand, his elbow resting on the table. 

"All right." John drew out his words in an attempt to buy more time. He began to count out some bills, but then stopped and took a deep breath. He was having second thoughts about the purchase. 

Exasperated, his son got up from the table and opened his mouth in a silent scream as he walked out of the dining room. 

The game had been going on for almost two hours, and John and his son had each had exactly eight turns with the dice. John could understand his son's feelings. He had seen them before in his parents, his classmates, his friends, and his wife. People usually got quickly frustrated with his patience

John looked up when he heard his wife enter the room. He hadn't noticed until then that his son was gone. "Oh. I guess he gave up on me." He smiled sadly, then began packing up the Monopoly game. 

"Yeah, hon. Don't worry, though. He just has homework to do," she said, trying to soothe him. 

"That's alright," he sighed. "I need to get on the internet and look for some shoes, anyway." He carefully placed Monopoly back on top of the stack of board games in the closet, then sat down at the computer in his study and began his search for new footwear. 

John had his favorite shopping sites bookmarked, so he started there. He surfed through outlet sites, retail sites, and specialty sites. He browsed casual shoes, dress shoes, and athletic shoes. He checked prices and compared details. He stared at the computer screen until he thought he might go blind, and then after a quick snack break, got right back to it. 

After hours of searching, John ended up on a site he'd never visited before. It was small and new, and featured a limited selection of shoes along with various shoe accessories (socks, laces, inserts, and so on). There was nothing too fancy, nothing too pricey, and John was excited. 

Had he stumbled upon a true bargain? Was this website the undiscovered gem he'd been waiting his whole life for? Well, maybe nothing that dramatic, but the prices were reasonable and the product, at least at first glance, appeared to be top quality. He scrolled through the items slowly, carefully examining each shoe, and making note of the styles and colors available. As he approached the bottom of the page, he noticed a link for a related website, one offering high quality shoes for rock bottom prices. 

Unable to resist, John clicked on the link and was connected to a dimly-lit page with a minimal design and flashing ads in every corner. It was a forum of some type, and there appeared to be several discussions going on. John clicked on the heading of a topic entitled "the best shoes: what it takes" and began to read the entries. 

shoelvr56: well i just think thta u hafta spend lots of $$ to get a god product. u get wat u pay for. 

spikedheels4: riiiight. accept, what about teh Strikers from 2003??? the were good, AND they were cheap. YOu could get a decent pair of sneakers 4 cheap cuz nobody knew about them. 

heirJordan: i agree with shoelvr. you can't wait around for a deal, customers need to buy whats gonna give them teh best fit even if they have to pay a lot for it. 

John was intrigued by the conversation, and decided to join in. He did know a thing or two about shoes, after all, and was more than happy to share his knowledge with the other consumers out there. He chose a screen name, signed in, and began to type. 

GrandMarquis: Hello there, fellow shoe aficionados! I'm new to this forum, but I'm kind of an expert on shoes, and I'd love to discuss shoes and shoe shopping if anyone is interested! 

To be continued continued continued ....