I put on my black, semi-dressy shoes today, which is unusual for me because I am a running shoe sorta guy. I wasn’t always, but once I developed heel spurs I was advised to go through life with runners on my feet — even though I couldn’t run. In point of fact, I wore runners to school almost every day in my last ten years of teaching, and nobody ever said boo to me about my lack of standards. I never got called on the carpet or had to explain my casual dress. Maybe the reasons were self evident. Or maybe nobody in charge gave two hoots about silly things such as ties or shoes anymore.
Anyolehoo (how I love saying that!), I now have a comfy-womfy, orthotic-friendly, black pair to don when I want to spiff up a bit. Not that they’ll ever be mistaken for Tanino Criscis, but still …
Since I had a doctors appointment today, I thought I should put my best foot forward (so to speak) and washed my feet, changed my socks and laced up my nice shoes in preparation for the event. While I was putting them on, not for the first time I remembered the days when it was a Saturday night ritual to polish our shoes for church the next day. They needed it too: partly because we only had one pair, but also because that’s what shoes required back then.
Times have changed, and I don’t know when I last polished a pair of shoes. What are you supposed to do with them nowadays when they get scuffed? Just toss em in the dustbin?
One thing I do remember with a sad shake of me ‘ead is my college roommate, Tony, polishing his shoes. Oh no, he didn’t do it on Saturday night as I had been taught to do but waited until Sunday morning. He’d carry out this chore inches from my head because we shared a small dorm room at university. And, get this: he polished or at least buffed them with a toothbrush. Toothbrushes are pretty small, eh? But they’re noisy, eh? So it took him a long time, eh? So, it fair near drove me crazy, eh?
Maybe he meant it to be a punishment for me not going to church with him although I usually did attend in those days. That’s where I met Cuppa, and we were quite religious about going to church — haha. My recollection is that if I stayed at uni on the weekend, it was most likely because I was behind in my schoolwork and needed to get caught up, so I would take a pass on church on those occasions.
Anyway, I still shake my head at the change in footwear which now seems to last for decades without requiring polishing, and I also shake my head when I remember Tony using a toothbrush to noisily polish his shoes inches from my head on more than one Sunday morning.
What I really shake my head about, however, is how forbearing I was with good ole Tony. But, then again, I was a good Christian boy — even though I did skip church on the rare occasion. Surely my good Christian upbringing is the only reason why Tony was allowed to live.