Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#080 In which our hero talks shoes.

This morning, I am thinking about shoes. This train of thought is not new to me, but today it was prompted by reading this post at The Midwest Grrl.

Now, I say this isn't new because I have openly wondered in the past about women who collect shoes and just how crazy must they be. Or men, for that reason. I mean, collecting shoes? I just don't get it.

I once dated a woman that "collected shoes." I put that in quotes because it seems a little bullshit to me... I don't think she really collected shoes, as much as she just bought shoes when she was moved to. I don't think she really went out and searched for particular shoes to, you know, round out her collection or something.

Hmm. I suspect I may not be making sense. I will try to clarify.

I collect comic books. And this is an honest-to-god hobby, a real collection. On a weekly basis, I go to the comic book shop (shout out to North Coast Nostalgia) and buy new comics. I take these comics and put them in special bags and store them in special boxes. I've been to comic book conventions for the explicit reason of finding back issues I missed. I have a largish collection of sequentially numbered books from a variety of publishers. See? It's a collection, not just a random grouping of products.

So, you see, I'm dubious about the entire concept of "collecting" shoes. But more than that, what's the point? With my collection, I can pop open a long box, sit down and easily kill four hours just re-reading old books. I enjoy my collection. But how can you enjoy a shoe collection? I mean, sure, if you have the perfect shoe to perfectly match your perfect dress, I get how that would be satisfying. But can you relax on the weekend by trying on different shoes? Maybe you can.

And that's the thing, really. Shoes are completely utilitarian to me, a means to an end. I need shoes that don't make my feet hurt; and if they look cool at the same time, well, that's good, too. I make zero effort to match my shoes to my outfit. Now, you might say that I have no style, and you'd be right. But even if I did, I have to wonder if I'd need 100+ shoes, which is what my pervious girlfriend had. All piled in a heap in her closet, I might add. You'd never catch me treating my comic books like that.

So, back to the post that inspired me to think about shoes again. She mentions taking her shoes to a repair place. I did this once with a pair of dress shoes. They were comfortable, and I liked the way they looked, the only problem was that the sole was wore down. So I had them resoled. It cost me something like $40. Of course, my buddy had to point out that I could have easily bought a brand new pair of shoes for that price. So I felt pretty stupid about it and have never bothered to repair a shoe since.

Whenever this topic comes up, I like to say I own only three pairs of shoes, and that is more than enough. However, now that I really think about it, I own more than that. Much more. Here, in order of most often worn, is my "shoe collection" :
  1. Doc Marten brown shoes

    I bought these before starting my new job. They are just regular lace up shoes. Here's how little I know about shoes: I had to look them up on the Internet to figure out what to call them. Loafers? Flats? Hell, I don't know. I would call them lowtops, like they were sneakers. In case you're dying to see them, here they are. And apparently they are just called "shoes."

  2. White lowtop sneakers

    I want to say they are New Balances, but since I'm at work and don't have them with me, I don't know. I got them at Payless because they were cheap. If it wasn't for the bullshit dress code of my current employer and The Scientist's insistence that no shoes be worn in the house, these would be #1.

  3. Black combat boots

    I wear these to practice once a week, and occasionally on weekends. And if you don't know me and are wondering, "to practice what?" then I'm afraid you'll have to keep wondering, since I don't even want to try to explain that.

  4. Crappy white lowtop sneakers

    These are my working around the yard shoes, which means they are usually some shade of green and caked with dog crap. Should probably be in a tie with the combat boots above, but get edged out by the fact that winter lasts for eight months in Cleveland.

  5. Furry slippers

    Do these even count as shoes? I guess so. And they certainly get more play than a lot of my other shoes. Furry on the inside only, leather on the outside. Tend to make my feet a little sweaty. Just so you know.

    Now we get into the shoes that I own, but don't wear on any sort of regular basis. Even the boots... I'd much rather just wear my sneakers in the snow and bitch later about how my socks are wet.

  6. Black nylon boots

    When I am wearing snow boots, like to shovel the driveway, these are the boots I wear.

  7. Black slip-on low shoes

    These are cool slip-ons with a butch knobby hiking sole. I got them for cheap and used them for utility shoes, i.e., slip them on to fetch the paper, etc. I made the mistake of wearing them to pick up the dog's poop in the backyard and the soles became completed filled with dog shit. So, instead of just cleaning them, I've let them sit on the back patio for three months now.

  8. Black "beach sandals"

    Bought for our honeymoon in Hawaii, and have ever since been called my "Hawaii shoes." Hardly ever used, I'm not really a "beach sandals" sort of guy. I had written "thongs" but The Scientist tells me they aren't really thongs, since they don't have "faggy strap that goes between your big toe and second toe."

  9. Red Chuck Tyler All-Stars, lowtops

    Awesome shoes that have seen better days. Probably the shoes I've owned the longest. Currently in a box somewhere, weeping from disuse.

  10. Brand new white running shoes

    Again, New Balances, I think. Never worn. Bought on sale at Sears when the weather was warm, anticipating starting to jog again. The 14 inches of snow outside tells them they will continue to be unworn for some time to come.

Ten pairs of shoes? That's nuthin'. Guess I'll have to work on my collection.


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