Monday, November 4, 2019

I now have a shoe fetish

When people read that disgraced Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos had nearly 3,000 pairs of fancy shoes they become outraged at the excess. How, they wonder, could she be so calloused to the suffering of others?

I contend her shoes were so well-made, the common callous never developed.

Me, I didn’t become outraged. I became envious.

See, I have just six pair of dress shoes. They’re all very nice. I care for them. I brag to friends about them. I love them less than my daughters, but more than the annoying little yip dog, who if he were ever made into shoes would likely still squeak with every step.

It’ll surprise many of you, I’m sure, but I’m becoming a bit of a dandy. 

I’m enjoying a higher profile. People are coming out to hear me talk or are stopping by here at The Tin Lizzy to meet me. Pictures are not uncommon. It’s very flattering so I consider it a happy obligation to appear presentable.

So me, a man who was the worst-dressed adult in every room for most of his meager life, is suddenly stylish. I enjoy shopping at Lapel’s in Greensburg for nice sports coats, designer shirts, etc. and just because I enjoy hanging with Kevin and Bob.

But what’s most peculiar is just how much of this new fashion mindset is being manifested in the feet, our most pedestrian feature —and all feet are at heart somehow pedestrian.

In the last year, I’ve spent more than I should’ve on fancy shoes, colorful socks and even went so far as to purchase sets of neon laces to accent the wingtips. I browse the pricey shoe websites, calculate affordability, and dream of the day I can justify an otherwise foolish purchase. And, yes, I’m aware of the folly of a man who spends 80 percent of his existence seated on his ass spending more than a few dollars on footwear.

I’m coming to terms with the fact I’ve got a bona fide shoe fetish — and it’s exclusive to my very own shoes.

That’s good because I don’t have to go to the trouble of stalking strangers. You could say as far as shoe fetishes go, mine is very handy!

How bad is it?

I acquired a little shoe shine kit. It has daubers, polishes, a chamois cloth and one of those stout shine brushes all stiff and bristly like it was lifted from the upper lip of some swarthy immigrant.

That makes sense. Why buy nice shoes if you’re not going to properly care for them?

What’s truly looney is how much time I spend wishing I were home polishing my shoes that are in no real need of further polishing. 

Shining my shoes gives me a peaceful feeling.

I wonder if Imelda felt this way.

She turned 90 in July. She must have her mortality on her mind — if she ever stops thinking about shoes.

Do you think her casket will be a modified shoe box?

I like her tone-deaf quote about how when she and her husband’s tyrannical rule was in 1986 playing out and revolutionaries were storming the palaces in search of improprieties and she defensively said: “They went looking in closets for skeletons and all they found were thousands of beautiful shoes!”

I wonder if any of the commoners started tearing through the stash certain he was going to find what were destined to be the most talked about shoes at the lanes on league bowling night.

The shoes were interesting enough that they wound up in two Manila-area shoe museums. And let’s pause for a moment to consider a metropolis thriving enough to host not one, but two shoe museums.

I have ti figure there must be six ir seven dedicated to the bra, allowing tourists to proclaim they were going to see them all in one day.

Or bust!

So I’ve got this a shoe addiction. Six isn’t enough and 3,000 is, well, excessive. But the want is strong.

I admit I have a problem. The next step is to try and kick the habit.

That’s the thing about kicking a shoe habit. 

It takes forever to decide what to wear on your feet when you’re kicking anything.

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