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  • My mother wore Baptist preacher wife shoes. Close toed, low heel, eighteen shades of beige. Her shoes didn't draw attention to themselves; more attention for God, I suppose. When she left in the middle of the night, left my Dad with a Dear Jim letter on the table under 3 twenties while he worked the night shift at Seven Eleven, she wore flip flops and jeans. A hello to the secular if there ever was one.

    In her new life, three hundred miles away in Houston, Texas, my mother became a business owner. She traded in her peasant dresses for Kasper suits. She wore shoulder pads and Italian leather heels, open-toed pumps, wedges. She was learning the language of an American culture she didn't know, but longed to understand. She learned culture through commerce. She shopped. She went to the Galleria, learned the word boutique, worked out her calves, and found her sole.
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