Certified Dork

I don’t understand fashion.

Haute couture is a concept that is entirely alien to me. Someone might try to explain to me the logic and sensibility that form the foundation of fashion sense, but they might as well be explaining the concept of the color chartreuse to a person born blind.

Shoe style in particular befuddles me. As far as I’m concerned, anything that covers my feet completely and doesn’t promote blisters or smelly socks could be considered a quality shoe. I remember when I was in my late teens and I discovered tennis shoes that had Velcro closures. Think of it! The end of the untied shoelace epidemic! I figured this would be the biggest thing since square headlights.

Surprisingly, Velcro shoes didn’t catch on. At least, not for those over six. Undaunted, I kept right on wearing them. I’d instruct my poor mother to only purchase shoes for me that had Velcro straps. No laces! They got harder and harder to find in grown-up sizes; I’m not even sure they’re available any more.

Despite having been forced to wear lace-up tennis shoes, and even (gulp) dress shoes, I have still been completely unable (and entirely unwilling) to understand or embrace shoe fashion.

Which is why I sometimes get frustrated when I’m asked to help locate and select the proper foot attire for my highly fashion-conscious wife, particularly when it’s urgently time to leave for work, and her shoes are scattered to the four winds.

“I need shoes!” she will say to me, making no subtle implication that somehow their disappearance is my fault. Naturally, I can understand this. After all, ninety-five percent of the time it’s Mr. Man here who moves things around and hides things from her. Because there is little in life that brings me more glee than relocating her footwear.

“Where are they?” I’ll ask. This is a stupid question, I know. But yet it still manages to form in my mouth and then cross my lips. It’s almost involuntary, like the way you sneeze when you step out into the sun.

“I DON’T KNOW! WHERE I LEFT THEM!” Now, this is entirely true. They are right where she left them. The trouble is, she did not file a Last Known Location memo with me when she removed them from her feet. Thus it becomes my mission to recall the previous day’s events, starting with her arrival home, and to mentally follow her dotted line path from the garage door into the house, around the lower level and then upstairs to change. Somewhere along this path will be those shoes.

Eventually, I’ll locate a pair. They might have been hidden under a chair, behind an end table, protruding from under the couch, cowering in the laundry room, any number of places.

“Here are some,” I’ll say, holding them up.

“No, not those shoes! I need non-dorky shoes!”

My wife really loves me, I know this. Because she still hasn’t noticed, in our ten years of marriage, that I am a dork. And that as a dork, I do not understand what constitutes dorkhood in anything, let alone a shoe.

And as such, I have no way to respond to that exclamation.

But I have learned, that as a husband, it is possible to side-step certain issues if they cannot be addressed directly. In this case, that means trudging on and looking for more candidates. I am versed enough in her worktime accoutrement to know that there are only certain kinds of shoes that are acceptable, so this narrows the list down considerably.

Each of her shoe pairs has a particular name associated with them, so that I can quickly reference them without having to go into deep description. There are the black clogs. There are the red clogs. There are the beetle shoes. There are the green tennies, and there are the black tennies.

“How about the beetle shoes?”


“The red clogs?”


Ah ha! I’ve made a connection. Score the point for dork boy! I quickly scan the floor looking for the shoes. Today they’re resting underneath the computer desk, one canted at a jaunty angle over the other.

With shoes applied and keys and coffee in hand, it’s kiss-kiss and out the door.

Another morning with a successfully shod wife, and scored points for hubby.

“I’m going to chip your shoes some day!” I call out to her and her car pulls out of the garage.

I wonder if there’s a GPS locator app for shoes? I’m going to have to investigate that.

5 Responses to Certified Dork

  1. Unfortunately, when it comes to shoes you have a big handicap, it’s called being MALE!!!!! Sorry but that’s just the way life goes.

  2. Says Mary, owner of at least 1000 pairs of shoes

  3. Michaelsownmommy

    Hahahaha! It was in the fine print when you married me. I Tom will help Jackie find her shoes for better or worse!

  4. Ah, how well I remember your obstinacy and mulishness over the velcro shoes. So you are right you did make an enormous fuss over that item.
    But made up for it the nights you made spaghetti and I could just go out and loll in the hammock (something I evidently did not do a lot of since the poor thing rotted from being left out in the weather!) Mom

  5. Alice Kable

    Hey, you can get velcro shoes in adult sizes. Look for ads in AARP’s magazine or other publications for old farts!!!