Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Shoe Elves

On the drive this morning, an old song which I liked very much was playing on the radio, called “The Dream” by Michael Franks. When I was younger, I thought this song’s lyrics mirrored my own hopes for the planet (fine, snicker if you want). Listening to the song again today, I realized with sadness that I had lost most of that lovin’ feeling for humankind. (If you ever considered “Cochise” as a personal anthem too, raise your hand).

The stuff of anxiety dreams yesterday: Minutes before a particularly formal client presentation, my shoe broke. As I was climbing the stairs to the office, I felt the strap give. Bad enough, right? But as I sat waiting in the reception room, I could swear that both shoes began to crumble, a little more with each breath I drew. Lest you think I was wearing a pair of tattered shoes to begin with, may I just say that these were TOTALLY intact when I pulled them out of my closet that morning. They were black and were shaped a little like ballet slippers, with intricate embroidery on the front… but I digress. As I sat there, waiting for my appointment, I began to experience shoe envy, looking at the feet of everyone that passed. I pulled out my mobile and began punching out panicked messages to loved ones, including two friends who had shoe mishaps in the past. One replied hours later, while the other answered almost immediately with “HAHAHAHA!” I briefly considered switching to a pair of running shoes that I had in the car. I stood up and was slightly relieved to see that my pant bottoms hid most of the shoes anyway, so all one could see were the intact tips and heels. Feeling better, I walked towards the boardroom. And then I heard them.

The shoes were making a strange noise. They were clattering, as if I were a hired tap dancer with castanets. They were making a sound not at all characteristic of a solid object. I felt both shoes breaking apart, and I had dark visions of me leaving behind bits of shoe as I walked to the front of the room. I refused to look down, afraid of what I might find. Rattled, I auto-piloted at the presentation, and finished a little too quickly. I clattered back to my car, kicked off what was left of my footwear and had a cry and a big laugh.

Since yesterday I have spoken to a few people who have had a similar experience or know someone who did. Here is what I have learned (a little too late): Leave a pair of shoes unworn for too long, and they will take revenge. No matter how expensive they are, or how new or intact they look, the combination of our lovely tropical weather and the secret work of disgruntled shoe elves will take effect, often at the worst possible moment. You have been warned.

As an epilogue to this story I will tell you that despite The Shoe Incident, the day was good. I’m touched that my date for lunch was undeterred by my tailored-trousers-and-Adidas get-up (even more incredible if you knew of his affection for Nike). I begged to rain-check the good restaurant, and asked for a decidedly less-fancy, uncrowded place. And so we went, sat across each other at lunch and snickered at the silliness of it all. It’s still a charmed life, I tell you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shucks, I know how that feels.
My rubbershoes fell apart.
HEEHEEHEE. Who knew you were so funny!
Hi! This is Sharon. Carlo's friend.
He sent me a link!

September 21, 2004 10:36 PM  
Blogger Eli said...

Hee hee hee..

Adidas whore to defend against Nike Snob here.

What a Mentos moment. With a skippity hop and away you went, I envision. :)

September 22, 2004 2:31 AM  
Blogger nini said...

Thanks, you two. I'm not aloooone. :)

September 22, 2004 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Niña mumu paradise tayo ulit nila carlo! dun kahit anong fashionista disaster mangyari sayo ok lang... basta NO vegan food ah hehehe :)

- kelvs

September 22, 2004 11:35 AM  
Blogger nini said...

Hey Kelvin, let's go!

September 23, 2004 11:24 AM  
Blogger Tee said...

hello again friend, that is one inspiring writing. i don't know suddenly I read much about life from your pair...let me know when you have time for that girl talk :) i'm off to bicol next week...magic word: catanduanes

September 28, 2004 4:10 PM  
Blogger nini said...

Catanduanes??? Wowwwwww...Whatever you'll be doing there, would you by any chance need an assistant?

Take photos ha? Let me know when you are back, let's really meet up. Can you have that beer now? ;)

September 28, 2004 5:36 PM  

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