Walk a mile in my (many) shoes | Editorials


Two boxes were waiting for me on my doorstep when my husband picked up the mail on Thursday.

I knew they were coming, thanks to my daily delivery email alert from the United States Postal Service, so I couldn’t look surprised when he stood in front of me with a slightly accusatory look on his face. .

“No more shoes,” he said, shaking his head.

“Yeah,” I admitted.

It is an upside down situation in our house. I like to go barefoot whenever I get the chance. I’ve been a barefoot person since I was a kid running on the sandy path in front of our house, waiting for dad to come home from work. My siblings and I trotted several hundred yards past the house and stretched our thumbs to “hitchhike” home in the bed of his van.

My husband, on the other hand, is barefoot only in the shower and when he sleeps. He even wears socks with his flip flops. Early in our relationship, I questioned fashion sense by wearing socks with her sandals. He doesn’t care about fashion sense, he told me, but he’s not about to have another fight with the cellulite he developed in Vietnam. So the socks stay, no matter what.

I therefore find it strange that he keeps his feet covered at all times, when he is completely satisfied with only six pairs of shoes. He says six pairs of shoes is more than he’s ever owned. Two good pairs of boots, a pair of dress shoes that may be as old as me, a pair of sandals, and a few pairs of sneakers (one for the yard and one for running) are definitely more than he says he needs.

And me… the one who would be happy to go barefoot everywhere? I have a closet overflowing with shoes on shelves, on shelves, in the floor, under the bed. A storage bin by my dresser stuffed full of sandals. A few pairs stashed in the car, several others at work.

And the two most recent pairs.

It’s been my forever excuse that I was only looking for a comfortable pair of black pumps. That’s always what I’m looking for. And yet, one way or another, boxes of every color of boots, sandals, oxfords, sneakers, platforms, flats, wedges – and yes, pumps, are the result.

I’ve had this problem ever since I bought myself my first pair of Famolares (the 1970s wavy platforms) with my first paycheck from sophomore year of high school in my hometown of Dairy Queen.

I remember moments in my life by the shoes I wore – or didn’t wear, in some cases. I lost a nice pair of sandals in the backwater mud while covering a visit by US Senator Paul Simon to southern Illinois in the 1980s. Don’t ask me why I thought the sandals were a good choice that day, but it encouraged me to keep a pair of old “misleading” shoes in the car.

I was assaulted on the campus of the University of Illinois as a freshman in October 1979 and, being a resourceful, resourceful country kid who could hold his own with all the neighboring boys in our “championship wrestling” fights I didn’t panic. I used a fabulous pair of wooden clogs I was wearing to put the attacker upside down and run away barefoot. Later, I told the owner of the shoe store in my hometown about it, and he replaced them with a new pair.

I was wearing a pair of alligator stilettos the day my sister’s house burned down in the early 1990s. I ran inside the house to help pull an antique Hoosier cabinet out of the kitchen, then I ran, in these shoes, a quarter of a mile to the neighbor’s house to phone our parents – then I ran and quickly took pictures for my diary.

I have the chic pumps I wore on my wedding day, and I still have the comfy flats I wore to the hospital to have my son 24 years ago.

But still, I seem to need more shoes. It was never a problem until my husband retired. Now he is home when the deliveries come home. Before the pandemic, my new shoes would be delivered to the office and I would quickly remove everything I was wearing to work, stuff them into my large leather bag (another obsession) and put on the new shoes.

I would come home with a big purse, and he would look at my feet and say, “Are they new?

“These? Oh, I’ve been wearing these for a while.

Which was slightly true.

Now the news has just been delivered to the house, and I admit it… I could probably buy a good used car with the money – even at today’s prices – if I didn’t. didn’t have all those shoes.


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