Monday, February 22, 2016

These Roller Sneakers are Hands Down the Worst Purchase I Ever Made

What the fuck was I thinking? I wish I had a dollar for every time I asked myself this question.

For example: hurtling down a dark, rural New Hampshire highway in a tiny Honda Accord packed with seven 20 year-olds and driven by a college sophomore with an open 16 oz. can of beer between his legs; buying shrooms in 11th grade from a stranger's apartment in Spanish Harlem and subsequently eating them during dinner at my friend's grandma's house; and going to see Sponge Bob: The Movie in the theater sober and before I had kids.

This weekend, I had occasion to ask myself this question yet again, when two pairs of roller sneakers arrived on my doorstep in a big cardboard box from Amazon.

Someone--I can't remember who--had given Paige and Isaac each an Amazon gift card over Christmas, and this being February, I had grown tired of hearing: CANWEBUYSOMETHINGFROMAMAZONWITHOURGIFTCARDSTONIGHT?!

So about a week ago, I broke out the lap top and logged onto Amazon Prime. "WE WANT ROLLER SNEAKERS!" Paige declared as the computer booted up. "YEAH!!" echoed Isaac. And then: "Wait . . . what are roller sneakers?"

Paige explained these were sneakers with wheels in them that all children simply must have. Sounded innocent enough, and the purchase appeared to meet some basic requirements:  within the gift cards' price range; non-electronic; not made entirely of tiny plastic pieces; not messy; and encouraging of physical activity. 

Yes. This was a great purchase! How wrong I was.

About a week later, two pairs of roller sneakers arrived: one size 1 "little kid" blue and green for Isaac, and one size 4.5 "big kid" pink and white for Paige. Unfortunately, Paige's pair was missing a wheel, thus rendering them useless and in need of return to the third party vendor who had sold them. 

Paige did not take this development well. Many tears were shed over the life lesson that depreciable shit from China will often burn you in this way. Further tears were shed over Isaac's insistence on gleefully flaunting his intact roller sneakers "in [Paige's] face" while hers would have to wait another week. Exasperated parental lectures about the relatively more significant plight of Syrian refugee children fell on deaf ears.

What did not fall on deaf ears, however, was the sound of Isaac's roller sneakers clomping all over our fake-wood laminate floor. 

Not since the authentic wooden clogs my mom brought back from one of her many layovers at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport (and that both kids have now mercifully outgrown) had such obnoxious footwear infiltrated our home.

Isaac tied those fuckers on his feet and refused to take them off for a good 24 hours. During this time, he spun around the room like a drunk Brian Boitano, twirling and collapsing comically and with great fanfare. He grabbed onto the banister and slid down the stairs in the roller sneakers, scratching up the walls and nearly braining himself on several hard surfaces. He wore them outside, instantly falling into a puddle and soaking all of his clothes. There was a subsequent fight over the discomfort of rain pants, which were meant to counteract the discomfort of being soaking wet. But Isaac lacks foresight, so more hysterics ensued, and all the while Paige was weeping over how profoundly unfair it was that she was unable to join in the fun.

Though Paige's replacement roller sneakers have not yet arrived, the jury is in: These roller sneakers are hands down the worst purchase I ever made.

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