MAKING A CASE
FOR GOING BAREFOOT
Reason Number 4327 as to why I could never be a woman is
I'm going to generalize here, and I fully realize there are
millions and millions of exceptions, but I'm going to go out on a limb and
say women like shoes and men don't.
I, in particular, hate shoes. I want to be like Hugh Hefner,
and spend my days wearing slippers. And if forced to wear shoes, let me
become one of those tech billionaires, and come to work every day wearing
That would be nice. I could open my closet every morning and
slip on my lightweight Nike walking shoes, and go to work without a care
in the world as to what anyone thinks. I'd be comfortable, and that's all
that would matter.
Unfortunately, I'm not a tech billionaire. So as I write
these words, I'm looking down at my brand spanking new casual dress shoes,
and my feet hurt.
I'm not in extreme pain, like some women I know who buy shoes
that I would wear for about 14 steps before screaming for a wheelchair. My
pain is not only physical, but it's also emotional in nature, because I
had once again bought shoes, worn them a few times, and realized I would
never wear them again.
The ordeal began a couple of weeks ago. My old casual dress
shoes, which I had grown to love over the last few years, were finally
flopping where they weren't supposed to flop, and they couldn't be saved.
It was time to move on, to find a replacement. So off I went to Nordstrom,
which got their start selling shoes.
"$395 for a casual dress shoe?" I asked the nice
shoe salesman when I picked one up that felt relatively comfortable.
"You're just giving it away."
"It's the highest quality," he replied, snootily.
And then, realizing he was dealing with a customer who bought his last
shoes at Payless Shoe Source, led me to a less expensive display of casual
Suddenly, $195 felt like a bargain. I guess that's called
marketing. Impressed with the price point, I began feeling each shoe until
I found one that I thought I could tolerate. I asked the salesman if I
could try it on in a size 12, but pointed out that I was always a 10 1/2
before my foot flattened out and I started shrinking. He didn't seem to
care all that much.
As is always the case, he came back and explained that he
didn't have a 12, but he had an 11 1/2. And as always, I said I'd give it
a try. I put them on, and the right foot felt great, but the left foot was
slightly snug. I walked around the store on the nice soft carpet and
stopped to look in the floor mirror. I hated what I saw, and knew the left
foot was not quite right.
"I'll take them," I announced to the stunned
salesman as I handed him my disgusting old shoes. "And I don't need
the box. I'll just wear them."
He said something about giving my old shoes to the homeless,
but I doubt they ever saw the light from the garbage bin. They were that
I paid the exorbitant sum and stepped out in the street of no
return with my spanking new casual dress shoes, optimistically hoping the
tightness in the left foot would loosen up over time.
And of course it hasn't. I hate these shoes, just like the
others I have impulsively bought over the years. They will end up on the
shelf, along with the others. My closet looks like I have some fashion
sense, except I never wear any of the shoes on the shelves. Eventually,
I'll just give them away.
I don't understand how some women do it, and never will. I
watch them motor down the street in their high heels, or in their
platforms, the straps digging into their flesh, and marvel at their
tolerance for pain.
As for me, I'll continue my search for the perfect casual
dress shoe. I've found it a few times in my career, but unfortunately I
couldn't make the perfect pair of shoes last more than about 10 years.
In the meantime, since I optimistically threw out my
dilapidated pair during my ill-fated trip to Nordstrom, I'm now forced,
starting tomorrow, to look like a tech billionaire. I guess things could