Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sufferin' Sandals

I can be a little hard headed sometimes. 

This is especially true when it comes to letting go of things. I am a fanatic about leftover food, for instance. I hardly let anything that's in the refrigerator make it to the garbage can. I eat it all.

This philosophy has led to some questionable decisions. One time, I left an iced coffee with cream on the back door stoop while I was doing yard work on a blazing summer day. Hours later, my throat parched, I came back to it and gulped it down without a second thought. A neighbor practically went into convulsions as she watched me, no doubt thinking how nearly curdled milk would react with my gut.

No problemo.

Then there was another time when I left the remains of a chicken curry dinner in the back foyer overnight. I didn't notice it until the next day as I was rooting around the house around lunchtime. I opened the container, sniffed it, pronounced it non-toxic, and began to dig in. That's when my wife walked in.

"Did you leave that out all night last night?" she asked.

"Yeah," I said as I was about to shovel in the first bite.

"It's got chicken in there, right?"

"Yeah," I said.

"You can get salmonella from chicken gone bad."

I took a last, forlorn look at the curry dish, and with all the moral strength I could muster, tossed it into the garbage. I think I actually winced as I did this. People have shown less emotion at funerals than I did to that trashed meal.

Those tales are a long way of me getting to the main story here, which has to do with parting with my first pair of sandals – a real tearjerker of a goodbye. I used to abhor sandals; vowed I'd never wear them. I was a tennis shoes kind of guy,  a dude who dressed athletic and that included the shoes, too, thank you very much. Sandals were for biblical figures and pansies. I'll be dead before I exposed my toes to humanity.

Three summers ago,  the Lutheran church we had begun to attend held its first summer service, which are on Saturday evenings. I dressed as I usually did – long-sleeve, buttoned-down shirt, khakis and loafers. Maybe even wore a tie. Can't remember. In any event, I was relatively sharply dressed. We arrive for service and lo and behold, our pastor comes out in shorts and sandals. I just gawked at him. 

I realized, if my pastor, whom I admire so much, think it's alright, maybe even cool, to wear sandals, perhaps I should reconsider? 

That week, I bought my first pair of sandals. Nothing special, mind you. I aim for utility and comfort when it comes to footwear. So, these were simple, brown sandals, with a velcro flap in the front and a velcro flap in the back. And, boy, were they comfortable! Once summer came, you couldn't get me out of them. I wore them everywhere. I loved how my feet were cool, how they breathed, and how I could swim with them on in the bay, listen to them scrunch as I walked home and within hours they'd be dry again. 

They were super. So super, in fact, that I couldn't bear to get rid of them.

But shoes, unlike diamonds I guess, are not forever. And, despite the fact that I had nearly worn through my sandals and was pretty touching pavement when I walked, I needed a nudge to tell me it was time to let go.

So, my wife got evidence. That's the picture you see at the beginning of this post.

That picture needn't tell a thousand words. It told me: Time to get some new sandals.

So, last week, I did. The new pair doesn't feel as comfortable as the first pair (before they got worn down), and we're still getting used to each other. But we trudged home today in a downpour, and they squished as I walked.

I smiled.  This pair may last after all.

1 comment:

Leeann said...

Okay, that was a very cute entry indeed.

You can feel free to share the story of trying to feed my children moldy waffles, if you like. lol

BTW, as lovely as that picture was (and it was surely lovely!) I would so much rather see pictures of your wife in all her pregnant glory.

Please? I'm begging.