Next up, cheerio after soggy cheerio was dropped inside of me by one absolutely exhausting toddler. Cheerio exits treat box. Cheerio enters mouth. Cheerio, now squishy with slobber, exits mouth. Cheerio promptly drops inside of me. Toddler claps. This scenario played over and over and will likely now make up the the skipping track stuck inside my nightmares. Want to know how many slobbery Cheerios I ate today? Nineteen! Nineteen slippery, slimy, doughnut-shaped ground oats; the breakfast of champions. Kid! I am not a tennis shoe, basketball shoe, or skater shoe. I do not need this extra boost of carbs, thank you very much. Fortunately The Woman saw what was happening and quickly scraped out the cereal and put it in the trash, then I was relocated to the bedroom to be kept safe and sound. At least, so she thought.
The bedroom also happens to be the place where I found the dog. More properly, I suppose the dog found me. I mean, how could it not? I smelled of naked foot and soggy Cheerios. There was not a dog in a ten miles radius who would pass up a whiff of this splendorous odor. The wet nose of the family pet got closer and closer. She is a hairy thing, this dog, and her black nose is always shiny with doggy snot. She started at my toe and worked her way up the laces. Then, unpleasantly, she nosed her way around and licked my insides. Gave me the willies. Fortunately this dog knows shoe chewing is off limits, so that was the extent of my uncomfortable encounter with the dog. After the lick she withdrew to chomp on her soggy tennis ball and I was finally left alone.
While sitting amidst the rack of pretty shoes I couldn't help but feel a little bit bland. The Woman has spike heels, flowery printed flats, booties, beaded moccasins, bright yellow runners, furry Sperry's, and me, a simple leather desert boot with mundane rubber sole. My laces are brown. My leather is brown. My sole is tan. There is seriously nothing fancy about this old sole. My mate and I have nothing to brag about. However, despite our lack of fleurs and frills, we still get worn an awful lot. My once stiff leather is now supple and creased. My toes are scuffed and going slightly bald from use. My heel is worn and pliant. I may not be the Sunday Best shoe of choice, but do help The Woman make it through five of the seven weekdays.
Here I take a moment and reminisce about our first meeting. The Woman was pushing an empty shopping cart around the Nordstrom Rack I once called home. She looked glum, put out, and a bit bleary eyed from scanning all of the women's shoe racks. I watched her for a while, moving back and forth through the aisles. She tried on pretty platforms that buckled around the ankle. She put them back. Next up was a pair of cobalt heels that I could see were much to slutty, even from my shelf across the way. She put them back too. Over and over she tried on and then put back. Finally she seemed resigned to leave, but stopped. I could see her squinting in my direction, the direction of the smaller men's sizes.
She wheeled her cart right over, reached her hand right up, and snatched up a pair of blue and brown suede oxfords just to my left. I'll admit, my heart broke for a moment, knowing I was not the shoe to catch her eye. The emotion was short lived though, because as soon as she flipped them over to check their price tag they were right back on the shelf, the expensive snobs. Then her hands were on me. She tugged me out, checked my price, and moved to find somewhere to sit and try us on, my mate and I. She had socks on then; lovely, clean, cotton socks that were black with blue stripes. She slipped her toes in gently, tugged on the laces softly, tied a perfectly symmetrical bow with my laces, and stood up. The whole left foot fit in all of the right places. We were quite a pair, The Woman and I. She must have felt the same about my mate, because before we knew it we were being whisked back inside our box, the lid securely covering us, and placed into her cart.
I thought just then, that it wasn't so bad to belong to The Woman. She really loved me. I was her most favored shoe. I brought comfort to her day. I matched all of her casual attire. I was practical and useful. I was her favorite shoe. She always put me on first, after all. Really I could put up with the naked foot once in a while, even a few soggy Cheerios here and there, because I had a place to call home.
After a while The Woman returned for me. She was ready to set off for her routine Saturday lunch and errands, and she had on the socks. The clean, soft, black and blue socks she wore the first time we met. I loved those socks. She slid her toes in, tied the laces, and we were off. I ran with her out the door, and down the steps. I stood patiently while The Toddler was bucked into the car seat. I scrambled around the car and she kicked off the snow before settling in the back seat.
We chucked through Chuck-a-Rama for lunch and I avoided trudging on anything sticky or slimy. We ran into the grocery store for Q-tips and ran right back out while avoiding the slushier puddles. We climbed the steps to The Parent's house and were removed in the entryway because Grandma is classy like that. Later my mate and I were retrieved and put back on for the safe return home. All the while, I was happy to be there every step of the way.
It may seem a bit mundane, my life as a human sole, but honestly anything beats living in a cramped cardboard box. I like keeping The Woman's feet firmly planted and sufficiently protected. I like running and walking. I like scrambling and shopping. I like being the well used, well loved left shoe. Well, most of the time I do. I don't think I will ever like slimy Cheerios, but who can blame me there?