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New Shoes MAG
Mom brought home a new pair of shoes today. “I found a new job!” she trilled happily. “I'm going to clown school!”
Now, before you get totally confused, let me explain a few things about my mother. First of all, she is quite possibly the most transient person I know. She changes jobs more often than a lot of people change their socks. Clown school, apparently, was just the next thing in line.
“I start next week,” she explained excitedly. “The receptionist said that most clowns graduate within six months, and then you have a practically guaranteed income!”
If my mother managed to make it through the first six weeks of clown school, I'd be extremely surprised; her actually graduating would be on a par with the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
“Sounds good, Mom,” I said, then returned to my homework. Thank goodness numbers and formulas aren't as changeable as my mother or I'd be in serious trouble.
Monday rolled around, and my mother really did head off to clown school. She came home that night eager to continue her training. She bubbled over with stories of people she'd met and hilarious anecdotes that the teacher (also a clown) had told. I smiled, secretly wondering how long this would last.
By now I am very used to my mother's grand schemes. She'd get extremely excited about a project and then drop it after a few weeks when she discovered “it just wasn't my thing.” Each one, it seemed, began with a new pair of shoes. Over the years I'd seen her bring home '50s saddle shoes (waitress), classy black high-heeled pumps (realtor's assistant), clay-spotted plastic sandals (potter), and waterproof tennis shoes (river-rafting guide). That particular expedition ended with her drenched and bruised after a tumble out of the raft, declaring, Scarlett O'Hara style, that she “would never go rafting again!” She always started out excited and then grew bored. I thought she should find a job she was bored with from the start, so maybe, by the end, she would be happy just to be working.
Soon, though, days turned into weeks, and clown school inched its way toward becoming my mother's longest-lasting obsession. She certainly seemed happy, smiling more and more as she got closer to graduation. I began to think cautiously that this one might stick; after all, everyone had to settle down eventually, didn't they? This thought became more solidified as time passed and no new shoes appeared.
Then disaster struck. Shortly before she was to graduate and become a full-fledged entertainer, Mom brought home a new pair of shoes.
“Guess what!” she called out. “I found a new job!”
I sighed. I knew it couldn't last. I didn't bother to ask what or why; I just picked up her clown shoes and put them in the closet with the other discarded ruins of my mother's jobs. Then I headed downstairs, ready to be once again enthusiastic about my mother's new pair of shoes.