Mysterious Facts About Shoes
BE SURE, THE NEXT TIME YOU ARE IN PUBLIC, TO LOOK DOWN. NOT UP. OR YOU WILL MISS
the person's life story who is meeting you. I know this sounds whack, but it is the truth. You can tell a lot about a person's life from the shoes they wear.
EXAMPLE: a true conservative will wear tight-fitting, laced-up shoes or loafers that tell you that "I am a private person. I do not think liberal thoughts. I love to be to myself and not go out of "mainstream America," for liberalism is taboo to me.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE: a man or young lady wearing flip-flops says, "Im cool. Don't care what people think of me, for I am me. Creative and giving. Not judgemental. I love me."
See how this works?
Good. Happy "shoe story hunting."
SOME OF THE 'STARS' OF THE SHOE GALLERY OF GLORY
I have to give Forrest (Tom Hanks) Gump a lot of credit. One of Gump’s many famous movie phrases was, “You can tell a lot about a person just by looking at their shoes,” and he was so right that I am almost hitting the roof (in joy) of my workroom where I write my stories.
I also have to give Ellis Boyd ’Red’ Redding (Morgan Freeman), a lot of credit for his noted line in the last scenes of the Stephen King classic, Shawshank Redemption as he said of Andy (Tim Robbins) Dufresne as he is seen walking out of the horrible prison on his way to escape, “I guess nobody ever takes time to look down at a man’s shoes,” and he was so right that I am just thinking about jumping for joy in my workroom where I write my stories.
Have you ever really just sat down, poured yourself a cup of black coffee, put your feet up and thought of just how much shoes have shaped and affected our society? Have you? You can be honest with me. I will not tell a soul. Well, I have put the subject of the importance of shoes and the roles they have played in making our country the greatest place on earth to live, work, and enjoy life. I wish I could apologize for sounding so ‘gung-ho,’ but I do love America!
My very-first pair of shoes was a pair of brown sandals that my mom bought me for first grade. I loved those sandals with all my heart. I wore them until they were worn to a frazzle. I had rather take a beating with a stick than to watch my mom discard them one Saturday morning. I wasn’t even given a chance to say a fond farewell to these humble sandals. I should have known at that early age of seven, that life was certainly not going to be a fair road to travel.
Over the 57 years of my life I have owned sneakers, slippers, cowboy boots, more sneakers, slip-on loafers, loafers with strings to tie (which I hate), and flip-flops, the shoe for the man (or woman) who longs to have an uncluttered life. Wearing flip-flops is very therapeutic in the sense that when you wear flip-flops, you can imagine yourself on a sandy beach somewhere in Destin, Florida sipping Country Time lemonade, napping and letting the sand crabs bite your feet. Just like a year-around vacation when you throw on your favorite flip-flops and hit the road.
Have you ever noticed just how many ‘shoe-related’ terms we use in our society? Let’s see, we have horse shoes; house shoes; Sunday shoes; everyday shoes; shoe stores; insoles for shoes; spray for smelly shoes; shoes with lights for kids; shoes with wheels in the heels for lazy teens to glide around the mall instead of walk; “shoo, fly”; “wearing shoe leather,” “tougher than shoe leather (a term some men use to describe an over-cooked steak); shoe horns; shoe trees; hiding your cash in your shoe; ‘putting a shoe up someone’s behind’; fashion shoes; shoe shops; running and walking shoes--we just cannot live without being specialized; she can put her shoes under my bed anytime--a country song by Hank Thompson; These Boots Were Made for Walking by Nancy Sinatra; Goody, Goody Two Shoes by Adam Ant and I think you get my drift. Shoes, you might say, are an integral part of the foundation of our democracy.
So next time you pull off or put on your shoes, show them some respect. Salute them and say a soft “thanks, for the hard work,” you have given me over the years. You will suddenly feel better about going to the job that you hate.
Shoes can play that dreadful role of being vain that leads to an even more dreadful mindset: vanity. Let’s face it. We do not buy shoes because they fit well. We buy shoes because they look good and we know that sooner or later our friends and neighbors will say, “Tom, my friend! Get new shoes?” You blush, then reply, “Uhhh, yeah. Got ‘em yesterday at Bill’s Shoe Galaxy on I-55. Saved me a ton!” See? Vanity in motion. Your pals will now, the first chance they get, get themselves a more-stylish pair of shoes so you can brag on their foot ware.
COWBOY BOOTS - are pretty self-explanatory. Men, sometimes women, who herd cattle all day, wear cowboy boots. Or should the term be changed to ‘cow-person’ shoes, a non-gender term? Cow-person shoes can be hard to get used to for they can be very tight on your feet until you get them broken-in. You are on your on with cow-person boots, but if you cannot wear cowboy boots, that’s fine. You are not another Clint Eastwood anyway.
HIGH HEEL DANCING SHOES - are for meant for one thing: Dancing. That’s the sole (pardon the pun), of a great-looking pair of high heels on a lady’s feet. Thing is, men, do not get overly-fascinated with your wife or girlfriend’s high heels and start wearing them when she is away. Women have this special sense that tells them you have tampered with her shoes. Careful.
RED HIGH HEELS, AND JEANS - are dead give-away’s that your ’honey’ is wanting you and her to ’paint the town’ the same color as her high heels: red. They look great on a lady’s foot. I would suggest that you do NOT sneak around and try on her tight-fitting jeans. What will you say when she sees them ripped half in two from your hefty girth you tried to slide into them?
HOUSE SLIPPERS - what a nifty invention. Someone needed a job and a job was created to manufacture house slippers. Why not be more comfortable (when you don’t have company) and go barefoot? After all, it’s your house. And your feet. Treat both kindly and you might live longer.
MENS NICE SHOES - are worn by important men. Men who are plant managers, business owners, lawyers, professors, authors, world travelers, Nobel Peace Prize winners, explorers, scientists, and the list is endless. Not many common men are seen in nice shoes for men. And they cost a bundle. That is another reason why common men do not wear nice shoes.
MENS NICE SNEAKERS - are for, again, important men who hold important positions in life. These expensive sneakers are for trivial events like ‘soft jogging’ on a Saturday morning before the important man wearing these sneakers has to be the keynote speaker at an important convention held in St. Louis where the subject of “Saving The Sunflower Brown Beetle” will be explored.
NICE MENS WORK BOOTS - are only worn by project managers, supervisors, highly-paid architects, and wealthy men who are funding this ’community building project.’ These higher-up’s have laborers who wear dirty, worn, and overused work boots. Know the difference when you are looking at mens’ feet in the mall.
WOMENS PRACTICAL SHOES - are for married school teachers. Notice how they do not command attention? The teacher, when she was young and single, would sometimes be daring and wear heels to work. That changed when she married the Physical Ed teacher. Game over.
WOMENS RED SHOES - are many times worn by young, single female school teachers right out of grad school. They are too young to wear practical shoes, so they choose to wear these moderately-sultry shoes that easily attracts the eye of that special guy, a teacher, but certainly not the janitor.
OLD, WORN OUT LABORER BOOTS - are sad to look at. You can feel the pain, anguish oozing from each pore in this pair of overly-used work boots for the common blue collar worker. His higher-up bosses do not even offer to buy him a new pair of shoes. This act in itself would fuel the poor blue collar worker’s morale and he would work twice as hard for the wealthy, powerful C.E.O. of the company that gave him this ‘important’ job of shoveling waste material.
Now do you see why I am so determined to teach you a few things about the importance of shoes and the people who wear them? I am so sorry. I left out the type of shoes that thugs, criminals, drug pushers and thieves wear. I guess they wear any type of shoe they can steal. Fact is, my artwork sources didn’t have anything pertaining to shoes worn by criminals, so we will just leave it there. Now this I do know. Not many professional criminals do their job barefoot, for reasons such as: the weather might be too cold and give them a head cold; getting a nail stuck in their foot or leaving a footprint that today’s F.B.I. And C.S.I. Teams can trace back to the criminal.
There was more to shoes that met the foot, right?
In closing, would you do me a huge favor, a favor that will not cost you a cent. A favor that will make you look good to others.
Sometime today, or tomorrow, when you meet someone on the sidewalk or in the market, stop and humbly say, “Nice shoes you got there,” smile and walk away.
You cannot imagine just how good that one compliment will make that person feel.
And it will make you feel warm in your ‘sole’ (I just had to say that.)