First, I’m going on vacation tomorr…wait..what time is it? I’m going on vacation today. To Florida to wrestle sharks and stuff. I’ll see you next week sometime.
Second, feet coverings. Er, I mean shoes. I’ve always liked shoes. See, they keep the cockleburs from sticking to and therefore in my feet when I walk around outside. Cockleburs hurt, I know from experience. I’m not saying that cockleburs are the sole reason that I like shoes. Of course not. That would be akin to saying I like tennis rackets because they make really good pretend guitars.
I can’t pinpoint the moment that I decided that I liked shoes; just always have. When I was a kid my mom would buy me new shoes right before the school year began. Of course as a kid you always wore the new shoes out of the store and put the old torn up stinky shoes in the new shoes’ box. And then you would see how fast you could run because new shoes automatically allow you to run faster than you could run in the old shoes. It’s just a fact of life. You’d be zooming around the store trying not to run into anybody with your mom calling out Don’t run in the store! But you didn’t listen and she couldn’t catch you. She didn’t have the new shoes. You did.
I always wanted the expensive shoes and my mom would buy them for me! She must love me a whole lot. I wanted the Air Jordans and she’d get them for me even though my feet were still growing and I’d only be able to wear them a short while.
I’ve always had good shoe taste and I’m very discriminating in my shoe selection. Comfort is important but not as important as the coolness factor. Combine those together and you have a shoe that could stop wars and bring about world peace. In fact, that’s what first attracted M. to me. Her first ever words to me were You always have the coolest shoes.
In high school I pretty much started the Converse One Star craze. And I wore mine everyday. Even when the uppers started separating from the sole and I’d have marching band rehearsal first thing in the morning and I’d get wet socks because the field was still soaked with dew so I’d go around with damp feet all day. It didn’t matter! My shoes were awesome.
When I was a wee lad, I wanted a certain Dexter shoe so bad I could taste it. This particular shoe was quite popular and so I won’t claim I started this fad. I think my mom actually made me save my allowance and buy them myself. When I finally had enough money, I couldn’t find them anywhere. I searched and searched but they were not to be found in stock. Then, when I was in Florida visiting my grandmother, I found a pair in Gayfer’s. There was ONE PAIR LEFT and they were MY SIZE. Well, they were technically women’s shoes, but they fit me and they looked the same as the men’s so nobody would know the difference. I stared lovingly at them them on the way back to grandma’s and maybe even smooched them once (or twice). I don’t mind admitting that because I’m secure enough in my manhood and my love of shoes. Plus, they were women’s shoes. It’s not like I was making out with a man’s shoe. Personally, I don’t butter my biscuit that way.
Later in life, I’d spend an entire summer searching for old school (think Bing Crosby) black and white wingtips. And I found plenty of them all over the south but I was looking for a certain style with a specific stitching (like I said, I’m very discriminating). I even drove as far as Birmingham (2.5 hours) to the big honking mall to look specifically for these shoes, but no such luck. I eventually found them; in a vintage clothing store in Memphis (3 hours away). They were exactly what I was looking for and they were my size! Sort of. The left one was a B width and the right one….AAA. Keep in mind I wear a D width shoe. Boy did that right shoe hurt but I didn’t care and I wore them anyway.
I wore them with a sweet pinstripe gray tuxedo to a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy concert and danced until my right foot literally bled. Then I went and had a beer with the band. Ok, not so much as with the band as much as we raided their dressing room after they left. Hey, they said we could!
Recently I took the shoes to a local shop and had them stretched. They feel much better now. I even danced in them in the musical revue without losing any blood.
Twice I’ve been suckered into buying expensive shoes when I had no intention of doing so. The first time I was looking for some tennis shoes. I had tried on several pairs of shoes and none seemed to feel just right. Then I found a box that looked different from the other boxes around it in the “on sale” section. I tried them on and the heavens broke open. I stood weeping in a shaft of light that shone down from the heavens, straight through the Shoe Carnival ceiling and illuminated my feet; I had never known such foot comfort.
I didn’t see a price on the box but they were in the sale section, How expensive could they really be? I bopped on up to the sales clerk and he said Oh ho ho, those are the New Balance blah blah blah’s and they are NOT on sale. They are the best shoe New Balance makes yada yada yada. Well they were in the “sale section” I muttered. It didn’t really matter cause I had tasted their comfort goodness on my feet and there was no going back. I’ve since bought another pair.
The second time I was suckered was, like, last week. I went into a local shoe proprietor looking for an all purpose black shoe. I wanted something that I could wear with a suit or with jeans. And I didn’t want to spend more than say $50 because I needed them right then and I told my wife that I would reserve the right to buy another pair later if I found some I liked better.
Anyway. I told the sales girl what I wanted and she lit up and said Oh I have the perfect shoe. And she held up the most casual looking BROWN shoe I had ever seen. These are brand new and look to be very popular and I love them she told me. I looked at her and thought Are you joking? First, I wanted BLACK. Second, I don’t see me wearing these with a suit. So I asked to try on a more traditional looking pair of black shoes. They were $25 more than I wanted to spend and they weren’t that comfy and I wasn’t in love with them. But I was willing to sacrifice just so I’d have some black shoes. And remember I had reserved the right to get some better ones later. The sales girl wouldn’t shut up about these other shoes though. We have them in black and they’re great. After a bit I agreed to try them on just so she’d stop going on about them.
Damn. That girl’s good. I’ve totally been owned.
They are the most comfortable casual leather shoe ever created. And I immediately decided that I could, in fact, wear them with slacks and most certainly jeans and maybe they would fill a hole in my shoe wardrobe that I didn’t even realize existed. Plus I really did like them. And of course, they cost twice as much as I had planned to spend.
The kicker is the next day I found a coupon in a coupon book that I had in my car for 20% off a purchase at this particular shoe shop. *sigh*
And now I’d like to show you some of my shoes. Some of the special ones.
This is a just a sample of the shoes that I wear upon my feet. And yes, I need more closet space.
Everybody have a good weekend. Let’s do sushi.