Tinkle Toes

Daddy came back from Clarkville one Saturday evening long, long ago bringing me an incredible surprise………..black patent leather Mary Janes.  I fell in love with those shoes on the spot, never having seen anything so glossy.  Though I wanted to wear them immediately, I had to save them for Sunday School the next morning.  I couldn’t put them down.  I wanted them next to my plate as we ate supper, but Daddy convinced me to put them under my chair.  I might spill something on them.  Hurriedly, I wrapped them in a dishtowel to protect them from flying gravy and biscuits.  Every few minutes, I’d take then out of the box, inspecting them for dust and to try them on just once more, careful not to even touch their smooth soles to the rough wooden floor. They were cool and smooth as I held them against my face. When Mama tucked me into bed with a story that night, those shoes lay between me and my beloved doll. Before drifting off to sleep, I envisioned myself in those darling shoes, daintily prancing into Sunday School the next morning, the jealous eyes of  Margaret Lucille, Sarah Nell, and Bernice and other little girls blinded by the vision of my glorious Mary Janes.

I went to sleep happy and slept long and deep. Apparently, I’d still had those shoes on my mind as I awoke in the night desperate in my need of the pot just under the edge of the bed.  Hurriedly, I slipped from beneath the warm covers, took care of my frosty business, and snuggled back in next to my sister, Anne. I awoke bright and early the next morning, the shoes first in my thoughts.  Not finding them next to my doll, Annie and I tore the covers back searching for them.  Mama came in to join the search, when to my everlasting heartbreak, she pointed out my ruined shoes wilting next to my bed in a puddle of urine.  Apparently, in my obsession, I’d utilized them instead of the pot.   Nobody was jealous of me in Sunday School that morning.

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