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An ode to fancy footwear

Submitted by on Friday, 12 December 2008 One Comment

For some reason, I seem to be the type of person people get into gift-buying ruts with.

During one slump, my grandmother gave me underwear for three Christmases running. I teetered between distraught and offended.

I suspect Big Guy’s fallen into a similar pattern, but I couldn’t be more thrilled with his stand-by: Slippers.

I am a house-shoe addict.

I can barely make it from one Christmas to the next without the footwear going threadbare. Except restrained slippers won’t do — I have a red plaid pair somewhere in a closet that’s almost as old as Big Guy. They’re simply too boring to wear, so they’ll never wear out.

Part of it’s practical. I have chronically cold feet. Frigid, as in I often wear two pairs of socks to bed in the winter. Freezing, as in I used to hit a hot bathtub the second I got home from work to thaw them. Painful, as in I’d amp up my blow dryer to its hottest setting and use it to chase away the chill that set in after muddy, rainy halftime shows when I was in marching band in high school.

And as go the feet, so goes the rest of me. I used to think that was just a quirk until a colleague wrote a story almost a decade ago about a medical gizmo a local company was trying to sell hospitals. I can’t find a link so you’ll just have to take my word for it, but the device’s goal job to regulate the temperature of patients’ feet, because researchers had found that if the tootsies were happier, the body followed.

So a comfort footwear obsession came naturally to me. The fancy part, though, I’ll blame on my era.

I was a teen during the 1970s toe-socks craze, and it was one of the few trends the parents allowed in the house. Eye makeup and hoop earrings were banned, but toe socks were OK. I suppose that was because they kept the craziness under cover. Respectable East Coast folk didn’t wear socks with sandals back then.

The slipper part emerged later, when a roommate gave me a pair of football house shoes her younger brother had refused to wear. I loved them in all their toasty, tacky glory though they did have a slight drawback. They were close to six inches wide each, making it difficult to curl your feet up on the couch without hyperextending a knee.

Next there was a Grinch pair — they’ve survived a decade, but only because I limit them to December. Their wingspan is only four inches, so they were do-able.

A collection of dogs, kittens and other animals followed — funny, but I’ve never had bunny slippers — until the guys hit on last year’s House Shoe Hall of Fame classic. Day Glo Green frogs with red Angelina Jolie lips. The soles started falling out last week.

I don’t know how they’re going to top the frogs, but Big Guy appears to be determined to try.

“I know what I’m going to get you,” he hinted Monday. “It’s red. It will keep your feet warm. You’re going to love it!”

If it keeps my feet warm, I can guarantee him I’ll love it.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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One Comment »

  • ParentingPink said:

    Toe socks???? Whew! Glad I missed that decade. Although, I can’t say being a teen in the 80′s was much better. You should have seen my BIG hair :-)

    I love the Grinch slippers. You should NEVER get rid of those. And look at it this way, as you’ve aptly mentioned, there are worse fetishes to have!