I stepped out of blaring noise of the wedding into the cool night air of the suburbs. Though presumably still in New York State, I wasn’t the one who drove, and couldn’t have sworn to my location. My ride told us to stay put while he got the car, so I was trying to spot the Big Dipper in the sky – impossible with the country club’s outdoor lighting – when I heard someone right behind me say that she had to thank me.
“I’ve been wanting to thank you for the last hour,” she gushed.
I smiled, sure she’d confused me for someone else. She picked up on my hesitation.
“You were the first to take off her shoes!” she exclaimed. “I just can’t be the first to do that, and no one else was doing that. Then I saw that you weren’t wearing shoes and could finally take mine off.”
“You’re welcome,” I said, and looked down at the topic of our discussion. The square-toed pumps may have been a little out of date, but remained a classy choice – and I complimented her on them.
“Oh, those are the problem,” she said. “They were my husband’s grandmother’s.”
“I’m so sorry,” I said.
“She’s fine!” my new friend replied. “She gave them to me last time we visited, and while they’re a nice option, they pinch my toes. And the insides are shredding.”
“In that case,” I informed her, “next time, tell me you’re waiting and I’ll take off my shoes before the first dance.”