Tuesday, August 22, 2006
a sandle in the wind
(my new sandals. they bring me no joy.)
There are basically two impulses that propel me to act in life. The first is a desire to be different from other people. The second is a desire to be normal.
The latter has led to radical reforms on the foot front. When I instituted my All Argyles policy in the fall--a move toward dress-sock-consistency pundits lauded as many years overdue--it didn't occur to me what to do when summer arrived and I would be wearing shorts. While many believe I should not be wearing shorts at all ever (too old, too hairy, too unrelentingly mortal and mammalian), this option was not seriously contemplated. Even so, it's been plain I've needed to do something about the socks/shoes combinations I've been wearing. Even kindly folks who never say a bad word about anything speak smack about my socks. As the saying goes: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all, unless we're talking about Jeremy and his footwear, in which case craft your words to wound."
I don't normally spend much time attending to what other people are wearing, and certainly not to their feet. I do know people who judge the whole of people's character by their footwear. I have prided myself on not being one of those people. I have also prided myself on not caring about those judgments of those people, until I realized that such people were far more widespread than I anticipated and that my indifference to their opinion could be causing no end of professional, personal, and possibly cosmic-spiritual harm. Truly, folks, I didn't realize I was sporting a crime against humanity on my feet.
Upon careful study the feet of other men, it became plain that someone in my current general life demographic should be wearing sandals. I've never owned sandals. Sandals are not common for men in rural Iowa. I didn't really want to start wearing sandals. Last week I bought a pair of sandals. I would like to say that I am not wearing these sandals under social duress, because that makes me sound like such a wimp. I am wearing these sandals under social duress.
Here I am, wearing sandals. Am I OK now? I mean, I still don't know how to use chopsticks, and I get into cars this weird way that other people have trouble even imitating well enough to mock.
I've heard my sandals will be comfortable once I've broken them in. A woman told me this as she eagerly showed me the scars on her feet from breaking sandals in. The big toe on my right foot is bleeding. I paid $80 so my big toe could hurt and bleed and my feet could make an annoying squeaking noise when I walk. At least sandals are easy to remove, so I can walk around my office barefoot now. I paid $80 for bare feet.