Tuesday, October 08, 2013

the final walk

I am not really sure about other guys, but I have an abundance of shoes.  I know I have at least a dozen pair, some sneakers, some sandals, some more dressy, and some just old that I couldn't bear to part with.

Take for instance, my American Eagle... well, I call them clods.  Closed toed and heel, they are slip-ons with a buckle on them to tighten them.  They are heavy.  They "clomp" "clomp" as you walk across the hardwood floors here at The Cabana... and I love them.

Originally, I purchased them around 1999, for a grand total of $60.  I can't remember the last time I was actually in American Eagle in our Galleria Mall, and especially the last time I actually bought anything from there--it might have been these shoes, so that tells you that AE isn't my first choice...

I always thought that American Eagle was kind of the hipster older brother of Abercromie & Fitch... maybe the cool kid until a younger, more sultry, his-friends-thinks-he-is-awesome-the-adults-thinks-hes-an-idiot Abercromie came on the scene.  Now Aber and his friends look at AE and say, "Whatevs. You were cool.. now you're just a loser... obvi."  Where was I even going with this?  I dunno.

So, I wore these AE shoes with khakis, to work, probably to church a million times, and they were one of the only pairs of shoes I'd ever actually paid a shoeshine boy to polish.  They were my "Dress" shoes, for all purposes, and even just "Date" shoes on those rare instances when  I had a date, and so on. 

Even when the sole of one of the shoes split, putting a big cracked divide between the front of my foot and my heel,  I wore them anyway, going out and purchasing some Gorilla Glue to mend them.  Ended up doing this for the right and the left shoe...  I loved these shoes.

The shoes in question.  Worse for the wear.  Heavy, formerly comfy, living
out its last few days here.
And over the years, no matter how many pairs of shoes I obtained or discarded, the AE Clods were always in the mix.  Eventually, about a year after we moved from the apartment (Case de Pesos) to the home we are in now, "The Cabana", those AE shoes made the move, missing the cut of things--shoes, clothes and otherwise--that were discarded for non use and age. 

A few years later, The Lovely Steph Leann insisted that we do something with the shoes all over the place, to which I went out and bought one of those shoe rack things that go over the back of the closet door.  And there the AE Clods went...

...and stayed.

You know how you own things, especially shoes and clothes, that you wouldn't dream of getting ride of, and you think "I'll wear them soon" and "Oh, haven't worn that in a while, I'll do that this week"... and it never happens?  That was this pair of shoes.  I loved them, they were my favorites back in the day, and they sat on the bottom rack of this shoe rack, me intending to wear them, never doing it.  I am sure in the last four or five years I've worn them... but I can't remember when.

So, Sunday morning, I decided I would, in fact, wear them.  I pulled the off the rack, dusted them off, and took them downstairs.  I slipped them on at the bottom of the steps, waiting for that familiar feel of those Clods, waiting for those ol' reliable AE shoes to grip my foot, to wrap my heels, and if I'm quiet enough, if I listen hard enough, I might... just maybe... be able to hear my feet say to the shoes, "Well... hello, old friend..."


They felt funny.  They felt... foreign.  It would be easy to say "They felt like I hadn't worn them in 4 or 5 years" and that's probably the truth of it, but... still... these were my old school American Eagle shoes, my favorite pair from back in the day.

The traction, gone.  The split, which is similar to the one on the other
shoe, is deep.
I took a few steps and slid on the hardwood.  Not much, I didn't fall, but my foot slid a little. I looked at the bottom of the left shoe, and saw the traction was almost completely gone.  And there was that familiar split across the middle of the sole.   Walking into the kitchen, I realized these shoes had gone from "favorite pair" to "they'll do the job for now", and had a half-mind to run upstairs and put my Merrill slip-on shoes that I love so much now. 

I wore them all morning without a problem, no pain, they walked just fine.  But they weren't my favorite shoes I remembered.  They were an old pair of shoes, a pair that... well, it was probably time to get rid of, because I knew I wouldn't wear them again.  Not when I have so many other pairs of shoes that are far more comfortable and actually look a lot better. 

I even wrote about shoes in 2009, in "kicks just keep getting harder to find", and mentioned these AE Clods in particular, saying "my friend called them "clods", but they were like loafers, and are approaching their 12th year in my care and unfortunately are drawing near to the end of their life..."   And that was in 2009!  The math doesn't quite add up from what I said earlier, but no matter.

Sometimes we have things that used to be awesome that just aren't awesome anymore.  And those things need to be discarded, to make room to allow the other awesome things to be more awesome.  For me, it was a pair of shoes.  I can free up that space on the shoe rack, and I've even thought of getting rid of two more pair that were never favorites and I also never wear (The Lovely Steph Leann is reading this, nodding in agreement)

Sometimes things need to be edited out.  Sometimes its things... tangible possession.  Sometimes its activities.  Sometimes its people.  Sometimes its a number of other things... but sometimes there are things that just don't belong anymore.  And you know it.  You feel it.  Perhaps they are awesome still, but to move forward with your hopes, dreams, plans, you realize that space and time become invaluable resources, with finite limits, and in those limits, you have to prioritize what the most important things are.  Figure out how much space and time in your life those use up, then see whats left.  Keep going until you are out of time and space in your life... and then figure out what to do with what you don't have time and space for.

I mourn my shoes.  Its a silly thing, and I tend to be nostalgic and have personal attachments to things that have no emotional relation to me--like shoes or a favorite "lucky" pencil (I still have the automatic pencil that I took every important high school test, all 4 ACTs, wrote a 144 page story called "Dayton's Quest" and wrote my college graduation paper with, protected in a velvet box... oh, I wish I were kidding)... and I mourn other things edited out. 

That's a good thought... what needs editing... what needs discarding... what might have been awesome, but now is just not important enough to devote time to, or takes away too much time from the things that are really important...

Do you need to edit?


  1. I have a box of military pant in every style of camo you can imagine. I love them, my wife hates them. They don't fit anymore and I was planning on trading them in for the most recent pattern, at the local military surplus store. I do have one pair of blue camo that I wear to do fall yard work. They still fit which is a miracle since I bought them in 1988. Maybe it's time....Maybe not?

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  3. Aaaaaand I'm pretty sure you're talking about the class I had to drop last week. SO awesome, so hard to part with.... but not necessary for my dream and just sucking time and running me ragged. Silly how hard it was to part with that class, but you NAILED it. It was time to let that awesome go.

  4. Lovely post. Just. Lovely. --Erin

  5. And...I was thinking after church that I'd tell you those shoes were well past their prime! Ha! Stephanie $


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