Archive for June 28, 2008

“30 minute shoes” in exchange for a suit

The following was written by my current writing student named Olga for a narrative essay assignment. I have not done any retouching to her words, enjoy a delightful story preserved in her family. 

Sometimes we make an action which at first sight seems to be a little strange. Usually we are motivated by our hearts and souls rather than by our minds. One of the main heroes of a following story, who is, actually, my mom, made one such decision, but it might have helped her to find her destiny and happiness. Thus, one young girl’s life story with plain shoes, played fateful role in her life.  

This event took place when my mom was about my current age. As she said “That time we were young, happy and were sure about our bright future”. It was about an early 1960’s. By that time, mom had had boyfriend, and although girls, especially who lived in villages, usually got married after finishing middle school, my mom, maybe, because of some ambitions decided to get higher education. That is why she left her village and went to one of Kazakhstani cities. While mom attended classes, her boyfriend, who later became my dad, had already graduated from technical college and was sent to northern region of Russia

as an young specialist. Actually, in spite of education being free at that time, normally graduated students rarely could work at those places where he or she wanted to work in, almost everyone was sent somewhere by the government. Usually it was in the remote backward regions. That was some kind of government program aimed to develop villages. In this way, young people lived far from each other. They met one or maximum two times a year, when mom had holidays and dad, his vacation. But one day young women received a telegram from her boyfriend which informed that he was going for business trip and in train station of her city he would change his wagon. It meant that they would have about 30 minute to date.At first she was very happy but after a while those feelings changed to “blue fear”. She became aware of the usual women’s problem: she had nothing to wear. Everything she had was only one dress and one suit, and nothing for her foots. She tried to find something from her roommate with whom she lived together, but they were at the same situation as she was. Eventually she came up with a hasty idea to sell the suit and buy shoes. Perhaps it was some kind of blunder, however that time nothing had more vital importance for the young girl than meeting with her boyfriend and making an impression on him.

So, her suit was sold, and shoes were bought and at an appointed time she was staying on the platform and looking forward to see her favorite man. She was wearing a bright dress, new shoes and her very long beautiful hair was streaming in the wind. Lovers spent their time which as always spent too fast and then dad joined back his team. It turned out that everybody was admired by his girlfriend and that time young man was given an advice from his older colleagues who said: “Catch her as quickly as possible, in other case you will lose her”.


Being honest, young women on platform had not “killing” beauty or very expensive clothes, but she was really charming and that was wonderful.  Finally, when my dad was back, he declared to his relatives that he was going to get married and some time later my mom got … gold watches from her future father-in-law. Saying about the shoes, my mom wore it quite long time until it became worn-out, and she never regretted such a ridiculous exchange.


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