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Nurse Judy and I both love shoes. I’ve written about this subject in the past. My closet has rows of bins with color-coordinated shoes inside. Mrs. Marcos from the Philippines had nothing on us when it came to numbers of shoes.
Of course, there is a difference between my shoes and Nurse Judy’s. Sometimes I wish she had her own bins. Still, I can clearly differentiate them so I guess I shouldn’t fuss. I have flats and kitten-heeled pumps in all colors. She has shoes in all colors, all heights, and all of them are bedecked with beads, embroidery, bows, seashells, glitter, and even sequins. If it wasn’t so pathetic, it would be funny. I swear that woman thinks she’s 18.
Fastidious housewives often have you remove your shoes upon entering their homes. Nurse Judy and I hate that. We feel we have lost our identities without our wonderful shoes.
Years ago, we were astounded to see Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the desk at the United Nations. We would never pound our precious footwear on a desk for fear of scratching or hurting them in some way. We have been known to step on bad bugs with them and occasionally to delicately use them to pound in a nail, but these would only be our very lowest level workout type of shoe.
Some women have bragged that they are actually aerating the soil when they walk across someone’s damp lawn in three or four-inch heels. We frown on this. Not only does it ruin the heels on the shoes, we’re convinced it may very well ruin that newly planted lawn. But I digress.
The next time shoes became a national event was when a crazy terrorist boarded a plane with a bomb in his shoe. We could not believe that anyone would allow a shoe to be exploded deliberately. We never would. Because of his actions we now all have to take our shoes off before boarding a plane. This is better than the housewife rule, however, because you are allowed to put them back on completing your chic traveling ensemble after leaving security. At first there were some minor embarrassing moments when we de-shoed, such as holes in our stockings or socks, but we have learned to make sure we have pedicures and new hosiery on for every trip. You can see we are adaptable.
Now things have gone too far. Shoes have become the new weapon of choice. They are being used to take out Heads of State, as evidenced by our president’s recent lucky escape in Iraq. We were pleased at how quickly he was able to react. It made us wonder about ourselves. (I do know we aren’t Heads of State, but Nurse Judy does think she’s royalty.) We aren’t 18 and it is doubtful we would be able to get out of the way of a freight train given a half hour to cross the tracks, let alone a shoe barrage at 50 paces. Forget about car bombs and machine guns, we are all vulnerable to a shoe attack.
Now we are wondering where this is all leading. When we fly from now on, will we not only have to take off our shoes through security, but will we have to leave them at the airport? Will we have to travel barefoot? Will we have to have a permit to carry a shoe? When driving, will we have to keep our shoes in the glove compartment with the safety on? Will Nurse Judy and I have to register all the millions of shoes in our closet? It is all very confusing.
One thing we are sure of. We Americans will never become shoe-toting terrorists. With our economy the way it is, we can’t afford to throw our shoes away with no way to replace them. After all, we’re all now living on a shoestring.
Judy Conlin writes