New Shoes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

March 3, 2009
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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.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 16 comments. Post your own now!

Alex_Mac said...
Nov. 3, 2013 at 9:41 am
Extremely original and funny. I thought it was great! The amount of details you supplied was perfect and the story moved on at brisk pace. Good work!
star2brite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm
I like this a lot, very funny with an undertone of something like disappointment or exasperation. Well written.
dia.dreamer said...
Sept. 3, 2011 at 9:33 am

awww, this was so cute and funny and heart-warming. I absolutely loved this piece!!! it's the kind that you come home after a long day and read and you just feel better already! you made me smile. :)

I LOVE the shoes idea. It's just sooo original!!! :DD

keep writing. :)

xelawriter97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 3:33 am
Aww this was really cute!!! Great idea! So original. Good job! :-)
billgamesh11 replied...
Aug. 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm
I loved the whole theme with the shoes! That was really original! This definitely deserved to be published!!!:):):);)
Poppy-Love said...
May 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm
I loved this peice. This stroy was fantastic!
shaw00 said...
Nov. 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm
This is a great story; great job; great work. If you have any tips for me to get better at writing please let me know.
pageturner This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 14, 2010 at 2:47 pm
Nice story. I liked the way you made what is normally an everyday object into something more personal
PrincessPineapple said...
May 29, 2010 at 6:33 am
this is awesome! i love how the daughter is mature while the mom isn't.
soccercrazy said...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

haha! this is hilarious, i love the mom! =]

very interesting, unique, definitely no something no one else has ever thought of. very good.

ѕтоямιε.♥ said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 4:11 pm
interesting story. i enjoyed it very much!! unique concept, and amazing writing skills!! :) it's a cute story!! :D is this about your own mother, or someone else you knew??
pandaLICIOUS said...
Dec. 26, 2009 at 8:48 pm
Nice, and unique idea! Keep up the good work! I really liked this!
ajibike This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 17, 2009 at 6:52 pm
Really glad I stumbled upon this. I really enjoyed your work. =)
Daimon, Demon said...
Nov. 10, 2009 at 7:24 pm
Christina, love, I liked the way you created your characters. Your writing style is natural, and proves true to the way people see others. Congrats on publication, and you ought to read "Opulence" or "A wish for her" to find that my approval is sincere. -Daimon
crazyHchan said...
Nov. 10, 2009 at 2:33 am
I love your writing style! Keep up the great work!! :)
Oliviaw said...
Nov. 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm
A. Great story
B. Great picture
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