A Mile in My Shoes
Like Prufrock, I turned to descend the stair this morning and saw at the bottom of the banister a pair of my shoes. My shoes are a frequent site at the bottom of that banister, one pair or another. They were left there by the wife who was too irritated to carry them upstairs, but not irritated enough to scream out that I had “left my shoes downstairs”. No question haunts the sacred bonds between men and women as the mystery of why men leave their shoes where they remove them and do not store them properly. Despite years and years of negative reinforcement, starting in childhood, I have this burden to carry.
My father, God bless him, used to throw my shoe the length of the hall where they would bounce off of my bedroom door, disturbing my meditation over the latest issue of the Fantastic Four. Yet, at night I would wander into the living room and find his black wingtips placed between the sofa and the coffee table. Let he who is without sin cast the first shoe.
I think that the problem is the shoe itself. The human was not born wearing shoes, sometime along the evolutionary trail, someone got the idea that if you placed something on the soles of your feet, walking and running would not hurt as much. It also gave protection from serpents lying in wait. It was an all around good idea, except for one thing. When you got home, the first thing that you wanted to do was take them off.
I thought about it this morning. I have spent the majority of my life with my shoes off, I bet you have too. It is the natural state, of course, so is nakedness, but most of my life has been spent clothed. But back to shoes. Apparently, men are so anxious to cast off shoes that it is done unconsciously. A reflex action. This temporarily induced state of amnesia keeps us from moving the shoes when we go off to do something important. Like sleep. Hence the problem. The best way, and perhaps the only way to solve this problem is to get rid of shoes all together. We have the means as a society to get along without shoes. Some will claim that they are needed for warmth, but that is not the case. Thick socks would work just as well, and no one minds keeping their socks on when they get home.
I have been thinking about the Flintstones. While cave dwellers, they were in every sense, “a modern stone age famileeee”. They never wore shoes and yet they drove cars which locomoted only “through the courtesy of Fred’s two feet”. Despite this, their lives were one big “Yabadabadoo time”. How did Fred and Wilma stay together despite all the idiotic things that Fred did week after week ? It was because the straw never broke the camel’s back. Wilma never had to fret over Fred leaving his shoes in front of the television set.
And yet, we must admit, that the chances of a shoeless society are slim, at least until that distant day when we all have big bald heads and walk around in futuristic garb. Until that day, as come it may, as come it will for a’ that, we must face up to the reality of the shoe issue and muddle through as best we can. With tolerance as our watchword, or at least that of our wives, we all must bear up under this curse of Eve . The one which started when she made Adam eat from the tree of knowledge and they discovered that they were naked. They immediately sewed together fig leaves and put on topsiders. I personally believe what that we are dealing with is the unrecorded punishment in Genesis. Since Eve was responsible for the shoes, Eve and her descendents would be forced to pick up the shoes forever. It may seem unfair, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that I am unwilling to challenge the will of the Almighty.