A dilemma—One shoe is wearing out faster than the other. Shown above, the top shoe, the left shoe, has part of a metal shank showing. The other shoe doesn’t; there’s still plenty of life left in it. Funny, when I bought the shoes a few years back, they both looked pretty much the same, wear-wise. Actually they were brand new and when the nice lady brought them out from the store’s back room they were in the original box wrapped with that crinkly tan tissue that makes new shoes so special. “Wow,” I remember thinking to myself, “I am going to be the first person to actually wear these shoes!” I hid my excitement from the sales lady, knowing that they look for signs like that to know that they’ve got a sure sale here and probably a really big honkin’ commission check coming. I think I might have said something like, “Well, they look like they’ve never been worn, and seem pretty well matched, what with having been made in China and all.” When I tried them on and got up and walked around, rocking back and forth trying to simulate the feel of walking up a steep mountain trail, they felt just right. I faked a little limp right before I sat down, trying to throw her off a bit, but I sensed a change that came over her—not something I could pinpoint exactly—maybe it was a rush of pheromones or something. I knew—she knew—a sale was imminent.
But that’s all in the past. Little did I know then what I know now, that one shoe is wearing out faster than the other. I got to thinking, how could this be? Maybe it goes back to my days in Navy boot camp; we always started out a march step with the left foot. Was that still how I walked? I rarely march anymore except maybe when Karla says,“Tom, dinner’s ready!” Or maybe it’s how I climbed the extension ladder to get up on the roof of our storage building last summer when I made hundreds of trips up there installing our solar panels. If I put the left foot on the bottom rung, I could always step off of the ladder without having to do that silly little two-feet-on-the-same-rung dance on the top step. Or maybe I just weigh too much on my left side. I could wear my watch on the right wrist, and put the pocket knife in my right pocket. I already carry my wallet in the right pocket, but that’s something I only have with me when I make a rare trip to the Big City.
Getting the shoes re-soled is out of the question. The last time I tried that with a pair of old shoes, the guy at the shoe repair shop leaned to one side and looked to see if there was a Candid Camera crew behind me. I kind of doubt if I can find another left shoe that would match the good one, so it’s time to resign myself to tossing two shoes when only one is worn out. It’s just not fair!