I have a long history of shoes mattering.
When the 8th grade Basketball Boy wore these
I wasn't interested. This was the mid-70's. Chuck Taylor's were not high fashion. They were just what boys wore. On the right shaped feet these shoes looked okay. Wide feet, high instep. Basketball Boy's feet were long and skinny. Made his toes curl up in front, like elf shoes.
But the next year, when Basketball Boy wore these
I was all over that. It was heartthrob city for five years.
After Basketball Boy came Bartender Man. I don't think I ever saw bartender man in a bad pair of shoes. Bartender man lasted five years. We did not end because of his shoes. We ended because he took off his shoes under the wrong bed.
After Bartender Man, came Mechanical Engineer Man. ME Man had decent enough shoes when I met him. But one evening he picked me up for a date wearing shoes such as these
For the record, this is not the exact shoe. This is a brand name shoe. ME Man's shoes were generic. The type of shoe the boys in high school wore who hung out in the smoking corral. Rust brown suede. Dark brown laces. Gum rubber sole. And Members Only jackets. The exact shoes I'm thinking of are not for sale on the internet. And I'll tell you why: Men who bought these shoes did not reproduce in great numbers.
But I continued to go out with ME Man. I was not going to reject him based on his shoes alone. I was better than that. Besides, we were in graduate school. Money did not flow freely.
At least that's what I thought initially. Soon I learned that money did flow freely in his world. He pulled up the carpet in his spare bedroom closet to reveal this
I knew he liked to partake of the ganja. I now knew he was putting himself through school with it. This was even less cool than his brown suede shoes. But at least there was hope. For better shoes.
Graduation day came. His masters degree. His mother and stepfather came to see him cross the stage. We met for lunch afterwards. I liked his parents. A lot. Nice looking, friendly, smart, well mannered, well dressed people. Everything was coming together. Maybe this guy could be the guy. And then I glanced down at his feet under the table. He was wearing these
Bedroom slippers. Vinyl bedroom Romeos. ME Man walked the stage of a major university with vinyl Romeos on his feet.
No, this would not be the guy. He would no longer be A guy.
After ME Man I moved up to doctoral-candidate-Chemistry Man. When we started hanging out, it was summer time. Everyday attire was shorts and flip flops. You can't really judge a guy's footwear by his flip flops.
As the fall came into full swing, I noticed Chem Man didn't have any tennis shoes. You know, the white leather sneaker standbys that nearly all guys wore in the 80's. But in Texas you don't say sneakers. You say tennis shoes.
Eventually I asked Chem Man about his lack of tennis shoes. He didn't own any, he said. Why? I asked. Because everybody wears them, he said.
He also did not own a pair of jeans. That's right. Because everybody wears them.
Now, if there's one thing I absolutely love on a guy, it's blue jeans. Preferably Levi's. I lurrve me some nice man ass in a pair Levi's.
That was for the ladies.
And the guys who are also into man ass.
But back to Chem Man. We were both in the poor-graduate-student boat. Chem Man lived on a teaching assistant stipend. No cash stash in his spare closet. I wasn't going to fire a guy because he didn't have the right shoes. Or pants.
But then he showed up at my job. Wearing something that resembled these
Only instead of green stripes, his tennis shoes had a light blue knock off Puma swoosh that looked like a dolphin silhouette.
I couldn't resist asking him why he bought the dolphin shoes, why the sudden change of heart.
I didn't buy them, he said. I found them.
Found them on the beach in Galveston. Abandoned. Not a soul around for miles. So I took them.
Oh so, shoes that everybody wears are okay as long as they are found and not bought.
Chem Man told me about his found shoes while sitting across from my desk. I was working at a private psychiatric hospital. The admissions clinician. Chem Man sat in the very spot where severely disturbed individuals signed their psychiatric admission paperwork. Psychotics. Paranoids. Schizo-affectives. Chem Man with his abandoned dolphin shoes and twisted fashion philosophy.
The irony did not escape me. Chem Man was soon history.
So what of the shoes of the man I married? What manly footwear captured my matrimonial M.O.?
To be continued.