Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Saying goodbye to old friends

Imelda Marcos is a woman I have little in common with. I'm not a head of state. I've never been to the Philippines and I rarely own more then a handful of shoes at any given time. I think of shoes in a very utilitarian fashion. I have shoes for specific purposes.

I have work boots I use when I'm working around the yard, garage, mud, dirt, debris. These boots serve the purpose of taking the abuse. They are sturdy and I've been told, quite ugly.

I also own 2 pairs of athletic shoes. One pair because the gym here at work requires us to have dedicated shoes for their facility, bastages. My other pair is at home, in closet, waiting for me to wear them. I wear them in casual situations with jeans, shorts. They are white and comfortable. My wife tells me, well, they are plain.

I have 2 pairs of sandals. I know, I know, I might be a hippy. But one is leather. They are comfortable for walking, but I can't get them wet. The other pair are made of rubber, they can get wet but they suck for walking father then to the pool or the mailbox.

Last, there are the dressy shoes. Before meeting my wife, I had one pair of these. I had no idea you couldn't wear brown shoes ALL THE TIME! Now, I have 3 pair of dressier shoes. 1 brown, 1 black and one I wear every day. I'm cheap and those things are expensive. The brown ones I keep at work to wear when I have meetings. The black ones, well, I wear them with my suit, which is maybe semi-annually?
This story is about my every day shoes. They are brown, probably used to be dress, but they fit like an old pair of jeans.

Since taking this job, it's been business formal for me. Like I said, a good pair of classy dress shoes are spendy and I take public transportation to and from work. The bus stop I use in in the middle of a Wal-mart parking lot. I walk through mud, snow and rain on a regular basis.

The shoes you see on the right have been my best friends FOR YEARS.

They are pretty much waterproof, they really don't fear mud or dirt. Look at them. Would you notice if they were dirty? No.
Are they comfortable? Absolutely! Like a well worn pair of jeans. They just fit everything perfectly. My toes know their groove and the grooves know my toes. 

In the second picture, you can see where this relationship was starting to suffer. See those white spots. Not good. The edges of those holes were destroying every pair of socks I owned. This was seriously cutting into the frugality of the relationship. Buying a new pair of shoes is like giving up on an old friend. I'm a very loyal guy.

But this had to stop. Notice the heel? The hospital floors are made of polished granite and tile. Guess what happened when my shoes were wet? You got it! I slipped on my ass. My ass!

I loved these shoes. We'd been together for years. I actually don't remember buying them. It's kinda like your wife. It just seems like we've always been together. Joined at the foot.

Like I said earlier, I'm a very loyal guy. I resisted buying a new pair but choose to instead just make excuses. "They weren't all that bad," I'd tell myself. "Oh, those socks were just cheaply made." "If it wasn't raining, there's no way I slip on my ass."

I know, I needed to just be honest and admit that sometimes, shoes just wear out. Their time runs out and a new pair just has to be bought.

This past Sunday, for Mother's Day, we took OhCountess to an outlet mall north of the Twin Cities. With all this new found freedom, it's what she wanted to do. It's been a really long time since we've had time to just drive for 2 hours and go shopping.

While the Mrs. was drunk with excitement shopping at the Coach store, I stopped over to the Bass outlet, just to see. I needed a brown show that looked sort of dressy and it had to be waterproof.

As you can probably guess, I said goodbye to my old friends and put them out of their misery. We gathered around the trash bin filled with the remains of the graduation party and we said some kind words. These shoes were more then just leather and stitches. They were like an old friend that had worn out their welcome. Such melancholy filled my soul.

Below, you'll see a picture of the new shoes. My new BFF. Did I get to crazy with the style?


Gadzooks64 said...


You're like my youngest with his favorite pair of shoes. I would by him a new pair and they would languish in the closet until I would sneak in and throw away the old, holy, er, holey, decrepit model.

WeaselMomma said...

RIP old shoes. You served OhCaptain well.

Now that' done andI can say what kind of prom queen goes out on such a limb with new fangled modern fashions? Shhhheeeesssshhhhh.

surprised mom said...

It's so sad when you have to throw away a favorite pair of shoes that have served so well. But your socks will appreciate it. Loving the new shoes. You are stylin'!

The Father of Five said...

GREAT POST!! Oh, and it's an all-to-familiar story....

FOF Observation #6

The Father of Five said...

Yet another example of how similar we are!!

Are you sure we didn't hang out as kids??