Do you believe in miracles? Step up to the table

If I learned any lessons this week it was this: a miracle can happen when I least expect it, even in a Dick’s Sporting Goods store.

There I was – wandering aimlessly around the North Face puffer vests when I happened upon a table stacked with shoeboxes and a “CLEARANCE” sign. Under the word that makes all savvy shoppers salivate, was a legend indicating how much each colored sticker slashed off the lowest price; pink = 10% off, blue 15%…you get the picture. At first glance the shoe pickings looked, as usual, slim.

Now, you need to know that when I approach store clearance situations, it’s with really, really low expectations, especially when it comes to shoes. The possibility of me scoring the footwear trifecta – 1. shoes I like, 2. in my size (11), and 3. on clearance requires nothing short of an act of God. So why do I bother? I’m not sure but something draws me to the clearance table every single time. Maybe it’s the idea of, “you never know.”

It was the usual scene: haphazard flipping open of shoe box lids only to find dud (shrimp boots), after dud (who wears a size 5-1/2 steel-toed hiking shoe?), after dud (blaze orange baseball cleats). Exasperated sighing ensued combined with mumblings of self-pity when it happened: the last lid I opened were my boots. MY! BOOTS! The exact Kamik Sienna 2 winter boots I was considering buying last year on Amazon but didn’t because they cost $120. “What the heck?!” I blurted out. I checked the size: 11. “No way! This can’t be true!” I said a little too loudly. And then, like Secretariat rounding the final turn at Belmont, I checked the price: $99 with a purple sticker. Take a stab at how much the purple sticker reduced the price. If you guessed 75% off you are 100% on! The $120 boots I sacrificed in the interest of our budget last year were going to cost a mere $24.75. Let that sink in.

Here they are, in all of their heavenly glory.

This unprecedented shopping experience leads me to believe my boots win was, indeed an act of God; a miracle. Here’s how I know:

  1. I scored the footwear trifecta: style, size, price.
  2. You can’t go to the Dick’s Sporting Goods website and get the boots I got. Well, you can but you’d be paying regular price and that goes for other shoe retailers as well: Amazon, Zappos, Shoes.com, even Kamik.com. With the exception of a coupon code, my boots will set you back $119.99. You simply won’t find them for $24.75 anywhere. I’m half expecting Dick’s to call wanting their boots back.
  3. Ask yourself: who’s ever heard of a clearance table/rack featuring items appropriate for the upcoming season? No one because everybody knows clearance sales are for the outgoing season’s stuff. That table should have been littered with flip-flops, tank tops, and heaps of swimsuit bikini bottoms in extra-small.
  4. No other winter boots were on the table.
  5. I had been considering buying these boots the year prior.
  6. This never happens to me.

“Look at these boots!” I cried as Brian walked up to the table. “I looked at these last year on Amazon!” I lifted them over my head like I’d won the Stanley Cup.

“Those are good looking boots,” he said with a nod of approval. “How much?”

“They are 75% off! This is a miracle! They’re my size! I can’t believe this!” I slipped my bare clammy feet into my “glass slippers” to confirm what I already knew. They fit perfectly.

“I’m really happy for you,” Brian said with enthusiasm. He understood. But the props didn’t end there.

“These boots are so cute!” one of the cashiers remarked as she made sure I wasn’t committing the most heinous of shopping crimes, size mixing.

I couldn’t help myself, “I know! I was looking at those last year on Amazon! They were like, $120! I can’t believe they are on clearance; in my size!” My gushing was borderline obscene.

The other cashier announced the total, including tax, “$26.74.”

“Wow!” all of us exclaimed in unison. I beamed as I swiped my credit card with a little extra moxie.

Can the heavens part and deliver a little miracle in a Dick’s Sporting Goods? They certainly did that night and as I clutched the box to my chest thanking God for my win, I realized that not only can miracles happen in the most unlikely of places, but sometimes to find your miracle, you have to step up to the table and start opening boxes – no matter how low your expectations. Because, after all, you never know!

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