Heel to Toe

by Rich on October 8, 2012

I’ve always thought that women get a bad rap when it comes to shoes. Sure, some take it a little too far, but unless their name is Imelda Marcos, most women are fairly reasonable about shoes.

I say that because I have recently discovered something about myself in regards to footwear. It’s nothing huge, mind you, no epiphany. But I think it does teach me something about myself that is interesting.

I recently bought a pair of slip on loafers. Nice shoes. Comfortable, classy, good looking, casual loafers. And I like them. But I noticed something recently.  When deciding what shoes to wear, I rarely go for these loafers. Occasionally, sure, but they do not factor into the rotation near as often as my other standards. Usually with new shoes, I tend over do it. Wear them too much. But not these. Why, I wondered? So I took a look in my closet and that’s where the discovery began to reveal itself.

Here is the contents of my shoe shelf (in no particular order)

Well worn Ropers, Lug sole work boots, black leather casual lace ups, brown leather casual lace ups, black leather classic wingtips, brown leather classic wingtips, 2 pairs of running shoes, one ancient pair Timberland Camp Mocs, combat boots, closed toe water/sport shoes (what are these things even called??) and that’s it. Oh, and my new pair of previously mentioned loafers.

This is like that Sesame Street bit. You know, “One of these things is not like the other”. And who is left out? That’s right, the loafers.

Here is what I learned about myself: my footwear choices reveal how I see myself. All of my shoes are pretty substantial. They have weight. Heavy leather, thick soles, quality stitching. They are also fairly classic in style. No Merrels or Clarks. None of those godawful rubber clog looking things. No flip-flops. Functional. That would be the best way to describe my shoe collection. Classically functional.

And what does that reveal about how I see myself?? Well, I know you will laugh (especially if you know me), but it occurs to me that I tend to choose shoes that I could, for lack of a better description, get into or out of, trouble with. Even the wingtips. These are shoes that I could kick in a door with or chase down a mugger. Shoes that I could wear if I were stranded somewhere.

I know, I know…it’s ridiculous, really. I’m in my early 40s. I’m a radio personality, not a cop. I haven’t been in that kind of shape in 20 years. And when is the last time I needed to kick a door in? (answer: I’ve NEVER needed to kick a door in). And yet, that’s kind of my point. I kind of hold on to this self image that if I HAD to, I might be able to. And I need to be ready. It’s a very similar relationship with my Jeep. In 4 yrs I have needed the 4-wheel drive exactly once. And yet, I am comforted knowing that it is there if I need it.

So, I have these loafers. And I like them. And I am trying to become more comfortable wearing them. But when I do, I always feel a little…under-prepared. So I am coming to terms that I will never get stuck in Nakatomi Plaza while Alan Rickman holds 100 people hostage. I will never have to climb out of the mountains after crash landing my jet. I will never have to fight off the Cubans (North Koreans?) when they take over my hometown. No, pretty much I will go to work, go to the gym, go to church, go out to dinner, go to ballgames…you know, normal life stuff.

But in my mind, I could do all that other stuff if I had to. Or at least, my shoes won’t slow me down…

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

mom October 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

I so remember Gary Browning saying, Rich sees the world differently. It was a compliment and if I knew his email address, I’d clue him into your blog. I think he would love it. I love your willingness to share yourself and your incredible ability to put words around that. You continue to be that special gift from God to me. I love you.


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