I was walking along on my morning sunrise walk when I spotted this lost shoe off in the distance. My curiosity peaked, I began to imagine the scenario of how that lovely bright blue shoe ended up on the side of a rural road in Oklahoma.
I thought of a modern day Cinderella, racing home to make curfew after a first date with that boy she’s had a crush on forever. She lives with her mother who owns a beauty shop in town and her father who works at the local feed store. Her Daddy dotes on his only child like a princess, he is often too strict on her but knows her value. He insists on a curfew that might be earlier than her friends. But, in his mind that allows her to get home first, before “all the crazies” get out on the road.
The boy of her dreams is the son of farmers. He is shy. He has a farmer’s tan, a light dusting of freckles across his nose and a cowlick that makes him look ornery. He wears the same cowboy boots every day, but manages to knock the dirt off of them for school and church. He drives a red and white 1993 Ford F150, which he bought himself from money earned working after school at the same feed store as her Daddy.
She thought he was NEVER going to ask her out and, in her mind, at the age of 17, she was running out of time. When he finally did ask her out – or was he asking the toe of his boot? – she wasn’t sure her Daddy would give his consent. But he did, begrudgingly.
On the day of the date, dinner and a movie, she dressed in the borrowed finery of friends and her mother (including the coveted royal blue sequinned pumps), and was ready a full 30 minutes before he arrived. Hiding in her bedroom, she listened while Daddy laid out the ground rules to her prince.
- Drive the speed limit.
- Don’t you dare drink, then drive my daughter any where.
- Be home before 10:30, not 10:35. 10:30.
- I know where you live and I know where you work. I can make your life a living HELL.
The night was dreamy. After dinner, they skipped the movie and just sat in the back of his truck, staring at the stars and talking. They shared their hopes and dreams, and laughed about school and parents and…. “Oh my God is that the time?!!!!”
As they leapt from the bed of his truck into the cab through the sliding back window she lost her shoes. No time to retrieve them now. They agreed she would get them when she arrived home.
Breaking Rule No. 1 in a big way in order avoid breaking Rule No. 3, in his fear of Rule No. 4, they sped along bumpy back roads toward home. Along the way, her left shoe fell out of the bed onto the road.
How did she explain the missing shoe to her parents?
As I neared the shoe, the story changed a bit. It wasn’t her shoe that fell out of the bed of the truck, but the evidence that Prince Charming had broken Rule No. 2, as well.
Perspective is an interesting thing. In life, we really have to look at all angles instead of just glancing casually at things we see. While I would have preferred the lovely country song version of this story, to maintain that would have required I keep my distance from the object I saw – to turn back or to stop my walk. But, the closer I came, the clearer my vision. My clearer vision required me to make a change in the story. Which is better? To maintain the fantasy, or to see the truth of things?
I have no idea.