As I pulled some attempts off the shelf, she explained. There was going to be a wedding tomorrow. The person wearing the shoes was very short, so they needed to be tall heels. Could we find something a bit flashier? Yes, maybe these: another patron had found these great gold-rhinestone-crusted tall sandals. I went back to my shoes as the other patron asked her who would be wearing the shoes. "I will," she responded. She tried them on. They looked good. Whose wedding, I asked. "Oh, mine." I congratulated her. "Yeah, I'm not that happy about it." (beat.) "It's arranged." Apparently, she had been informed a couple of weeks ago that she would be getting married on April 6. She bought the dress a couple of days ago, and this was her last opportunity to get shoes. If not for this wedding bombshell, she would have had a month left before finishing a university degree and nursing degree, which she had been studying concurrently while also working a 40-hour-a-week job. She has had to drop the studies, she says. "At least they could have let me finish my studies first," she sighs.
But she is getting married in the morning, in a gold lace dress and new rhinestone-crusted heels. "Well, nice shoes," I responded. "And good luck."