Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Imelda Marcos of Austin

Mills of the gods

Our Assistant Office manager just walked down the hall wearing a pair of red shoes. I don't usually notice these things, but they were a nice color so I had to compliment her in a professional and non-harrassing manner.She told me that she had a lot od shoes. I said, "Like 20 pair" ? No, "like 100 pair" That's a lot of shoes. Not only would that take up a good portion of your living quarters, but it would be psychologically difficult to choose the right pair every day. I own three pairs of shoes, one of which is not appropriate for work, and it still takes me some time to decide on shoes each day. 100 pairs would overwhelm me.

I did not know a whole lot about women and their shoes until I started watching "Sex in the City". The main character in that show was a journalist who, based on what I know about journalist's salary and the New York rental market, spent every penny of her income every month on shoes and an apartment in Manhattan. She only ate (or paid for) one meal a week, a weekend brunch with her friends. I have noticed that our Assistant Office Manager is quite thin and seems to be getting thinner. I hope she is eating. You can't eat shoes (although Chaplin did in "The Gold Rush"). At any rate, I thought that it would be cool for her to have a shoe party and invite fifty women over (all of whom wear the same size shoe) to put on all the shoes at once and then take a big group picture, like a High School Senior graduating picture. Of course, all shoes would have to be visible which would be a photographic challange. Then she could have a sort of picture guide for her shoe selection each morning which would save her having to physcially search through all of those shoes. I may mention this to her later today.

I have never liked shoes, probably because I was the last child in my kindergarten class to learn to tie them. Even today, my shoes come untied more than any adult I know. I even talked to a shrink about it once. He felt that it was a resentment issue and that I was intentionally not paying enough attention to the tie job. Only recently have I figured out how to manipulate the laces so that the shoe strings on each side come out even. For years I walked around with a lace on each shoe longer, much longer, on one side than the other. This made the laces almost impossible to loop, exacerbating my shoe tie problem. The idea of having 100 pair (200 total shoes) would keep me up at night, tossing and turning, worrying about shoe choice and lace evenness. As a child, I used to have nightmares about a song they played on Captain Kangeroo, Willie the Spider. It was a song about children who hated tying their shoes. Willie had so many legs that he had a right to bitch about tying his shoes, but having only tow legs myself, I didn't. "Willie the Spider had too many legs,
he had dozens of shoes he had hung up on pegs.
So my later friend here's a lesson for you,
don't grumble each time that you put on your shoes."

Willie would have needed 400 pairs of shoes to have the same selection my friend has. Granted, spider shoes are smaller, but so are spider apartments.Maybe 100 pair is not so bad after all.

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