Spring shoe sale

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Men and women are different – plain and simple. We look different; we talk different; we listen to the same conversation, but yet hear things differently.

Let’s face it: we’re not wired the same. We don’t even think alike, and therein lays the problem. And as surprising as it may seem, there’re even some women out there who will testify that men don’t think at all.

But some of the differences don’t make much sense to a boy from the South like me. One in particular – women’s shoes.

Last weekend it was a typical night out with The Wife — a nice quiet dinner away from the everyday rigors of work. We ordered our food and while we waited, I told her about my day and she told me about hers. That’s when our nice, quiet little evening took a dramatic turn.

The Wife proudly announced that she had bought three new pairs of shoes at the spring sale and that one could never have too many shoes. I casually asked just how many shoes she already had. Sweetly she replied, “I only have 23 pairs.”

Now to some of you that may seem to be a ridiculous amount of shoes for one person to own. Others may think that number is way too small. If you asked me what I think I’ll tell you I don’t have to think. I’m a man. Leastwise that’s what I should have said.

Instead I asked her why she had 23 pairs of shoes – she only has two feet. This was the first mistake of the evening made by yours truly.

I proudly told her that I had but two pairs of shoes, a pair for work and a pair of tennis shoes for everything else. I buy a new pair of shoes either when my feet hurt or the shoes start to stink, whichever happens first.

As she held her nose, The Wife took the opportunity to point out that I needed to buy a new pair of shoes — then reminded me about the two pairs of sandals in my closet. That’s when I informed her sandals were sandals, not shoes. This was my second mistake of the evening.

Lucky for me dinner arrived quickly, and I was rescued from the conversation. Or so I thought.

During the lag time between dinner and dessert, (dessert is the only true reason to go out to dinner) the conversation started up again. This time the topic was boots.

“Well, what about your boots?” The Wife asked. “They’re shoes.”

I informed her they weren’t shoes; they were boots. But more than that, my boots were a collector’s item.

Proudly I told her that my one of a kind baby-boa snakeskin boots cost over $500 dollars 20 years ago. With inflation, no telling what they’d be worth on eBay today. Even with a slight stinky foot smell. I puffed up my chest and asked her what she thought of that.

The Wife smiled coyly and replied, “Two things. First, those boots just go to show that 20 years ago people had really bad taste. And second, 20 years ago you got ripped off.” Round two went to The Wife.

When we were paying the bill and were about to leave the restaurant, the couple at the next table came over and asked, “Aren’t you the person who writes for the paper? We make it a point to read you every Friday.”

I thanked them for their readership and realized that these must be my kind of people. They must think like I think. So I asked the young lady if she would mind helping me with my next article, the one about shoes. She gave me a cautious smile then nodded.

“How many pairs of shoes do you have?” I asked, convinced that no faithful reader of mine would let me down. She wasn’t sure but last count it was over 30.

Frustrated, I asked her why she kept so many.

Her husband spoke up and informed me that his wife couldn’t stand to throw them out. “I’m attached to them. I hate throwing things out, I even have my wedding dress,” she beamed.

I asked her why; did she plan on getting married again? This was the third mistake of the evening.

Somehow we made it out of the restaurant alive and walked over to the grocery store for a prescription to fight the Yellow Scourge of The South, otherwise known as pollen.

The pharmacist – who happens to be a nice lady – filled my prescription and asked if there was anything else she could do for me. I smiled, told her about our shoe argument and then asked her how many she had. The pharmacist smiled and said she really didn’t know, but really didn’t think that 23 pairs were too many.

Finally giving up, I conceded the shoe argument to The Wife. Resigned to the fact that, on this issue, men and women are never gonna agree.

But it did get me to wondering just how much money I could sell my one of a kind baby-boa snakeskin boots on eBay for. The home improvement store with the big orange roof has a spring sale on power tools next week. Tools. Now that’s one thing you can never have enough of.

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