All God's children need traveling shoes.
- Maya Angelou
I don't think I'm telling any secrets here, but one of the things guys joke about when we talk about women is their shoes.
Like, why do they have so many of them?
It plays out like this: The average male walks into a room devoid of any female co-workers.
He'll make some introductory cough or movement to announce his presence, pretend to be surveying the sudden lack of feminine participation, then say, "Is there a shoe sale going on someplace?"
The other males will all guffaw (that's men laughing when no women are around) robustly and go back to what we generally do when women aren't in the room, which is talk about sports and tell Tiger Woods jokes.
You see, men generally don't have that many shoes.
The quick explanation is that we have short attention spans when it comes to fashion, and after making the more complicated decisions on whether our pants and shirt match, have usually lost interest in the dress-up game by the time we get down to putting something on our feet.
Then there's the cost.
"You're just cheap," a wife (mine, for instance) might say.
No, we're not. We can spend $100 on a Saturday round of golf without blinking an eye.
That's about the cost of a nice pair of shoes.
No, the truer answer is this: We like our old shoes because new shoes hurt.
(See - we are sensitive. )
It is a painful process to break in a new pair of Sunday dress shoes.
Cowboy boots? It might take years.
Running shoes? It's always a roll of the dice. They might never feel right.
When you get a pair of shoes to finally (comfortably ) conform to your feet, well ... you're not likely to want to change.
I have a pair of black dress shoes that have been re-soled, re-heeled and re-built so often, they can't be re-paired anymore.
"There's not enough leather left for us to sew this part," the woman behind the counter told me.
I nodded grimly. Took back the shoes. Then went home and went to work with some industrial glue. I let it all dry. Polished them up. Two years later, I still wear them.
In fact, I had so much success with glue and the black dress shoes, I have since used it elsewhere.
When the little tassels came off my good loafers, I just got some Krazy Glue and affixed them more securely.
Nobody pays attention anyway. Even if we do, we don't acknowledge.
I saw a guy at the grocery wearing shoes held together with duct tape.
"That poor man," my wife said later.
"Yeah," I added, "but I bet those shoes really felt good."
That's the bottom line. When it comes to men, comfort tops appearance almost every time.
It explains the contents of our closets. It explains our den chairs.
It explains our motivation.
No mean feet.