I have four pair of shoes: black, brown, tennis and a pair of sandals.
I asked my men friends recently how many pair of shoes they had. Here is a sample of their responses.
“Two pair of dress shoes; a pair of gym shoes and some flip flops.”
“Uh, why? That's a weird question dude.”
“Probably four … maybe five.”
Then I asked some of our lady friends the same question:
“Dress shoes?, casual shoes?, sports shoes? … you will need to be more specific.”
“Good grief, I have no idea … probably at least 50 or 60.”
“I'd have to go home and count.”
“In my closet, or would that include the fall and winter shoes in the attic and the spring shoes in storage in the garage.?”
These questions came about because the other day Elizabeth brought home a sack with three new pairs of shoes in them … all black (or so I thought). I asked her why she needed three more pair of black shoes. I was told in no uncertain terms that they were not “BLACK”. One pair was midnight blue to go with a pair of slacks that she would someday have that were that color, but the shoes were on sale now and she didn't have any that color, so it was a good time to buy them. The other pair was ebony and they went with a purse that she bought three years ago and couldn't use because it didn't go with anything she owned, and the third pair was off-black (whatever that is) and went with a jacket she had.
I asked her to show me her shoes. She has high heel shoes, which she admits she should get rid of because she will never wear spiked heels with pointed toes again … but, she needs to hold on to them until she finds the same color shoe in lower heels to go with the outfits that she bought the high heel shoes to go with in the first place in case she needs to wear one of the outfits for which she only has high heel shoes. I pretended to understand that.
I asked her why she had sixteen pair of black shoes … they are grouped by color in the original shoe boxes in her closet. She very patiently explained that 1.) there were several shades of black to go with different shades of black clothes and accessories and 2.) that the shoes were of various heel heights and shapes because all of her pants were not the same length. And, since she couldn't wear white shoes after labor day (something I had never known) she might need a black pair to go with a black and white outfit. I pretended to understand that, too.
Then I knew I had her. I found an identical pair of shoes. Exactly alike. She shook her head, “No they are not,” she explained, pointing at one pair. “These are a size larger. If I'm going to be on my feet all day, I need to have them a bit bigger as my feet swell up and this pair wouldn't be comfortable … the other are for when I'm not going to be on my feet very long.” And, she went on, “This pair has leather soles which tend to be slippery so I can't wear them when it rains.” Again, I pretended to understand.
“Okay,” I said, “But why don't you get rid of some of these? You've had them so long the sticker on the box has turned yellow.”
She rolled her eyes, with that 'oh, why are men so ignorant' look. “Because you never know when a shoe may come back in style.”
“That's ridiculous,” I said. “White plastic disco boots with stilleto heels will NEVER come back in style,” I pointed out knowing that I had finally won a round.
“Fine,” Elizabeth said, looking at my side of the closet, “perhaps you can explain to me why you have approximately 80 ties hanging there. Wide ones, slim ones, flowered ones, ones with martini glasses on them, and even one with hula hoops on it?”
“It's a guy thing,” I responded and left the closet with what little dignity I had remaining to me.