Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sole Man

I'm not sure what possessed me to grab them, after they had sat up there on my shoe rack for at least the past couple of years. Perhaps it was because it was Summer, I was dressing more casually at work, I needed a pair of brown loafers, and this pair was more lightweight than the shoes I had been wearing.

Whatever the reason, they were the pair I chose that day and I didn't give it any more thought. Thinking back on it, I do remember a couple of instances while walking in them that things felt kind of.....different. But certainly not different enough to make me stop and investigate what was up.

Later that day, as I was finishing up my lunch, an Outlook reminder flashed on my computer screen. Good thing too, since I had forgotten all about it. An impromptu meeting had been called earlier that morning. We weren't told why, but it was important since not only was my boss attending, but my boss's boss, and my boss's boss's boss.

In other words, I HAD to attend. And it was starting in 5 minutes a few buildings from mine. Then as I quickly gathered up my notebook and writing pad and made my way out my door THWACK! I heard it.

What the?

I looked down with amazement as I looked at my right foot, whose socked toes were staring me right in the face! The sole of the shoe had nearly completely separated from the leather. I couldn't take a step without them clapping together.

"You've gotta be kidding!" I grumbled to no one in particular as I weighed the options in my mind. Not enough time to glue them together. No material to sew them with. "Ah ha!" I thought, as I grabbed a rubber band off my desk and attempted to quickly wrap it around my shoe. It busted on the second twist, leading me to curse a bit more under my breath. I tried again with a thicker band which thankfully held, but was extremely obvious as it was light tan in color against a dark brown shoe.

It would have to do. I would just avoid people as much as possible.

But as I walked out my door not 10 paces in front of me were my boss's boss and boss's boss's boss! They turned to me "Headed over?" they asked. "Meet you there in a minute," I said as I veered off in another direction, pausing to give them enough time to distance themselves. Then, as I exited the front door of the building confident that I was clear I ran into two other colleagues from another office headed the same way. I couldn't avoid it this time. We would have to walk together.

As I walked I made small talk, trying my best to keep them from glancing down at my still bound shoe. Suddenly, I heard a SNAP! as the rubberband shot off the end of my foot and landed out in front of our path. Grrr...how embarrassing. I wasn't sure if they had noticed, then again I'm not sure how they couldn't have. "See you there" I confidently said and thwacked my way ahead of them to the building we were meeting in.

Entering the room, I seized the a chair in the back row, hoping I could sit there unnoticed. Of course that wasn't going to happen as another group of colleagues entered, saw me and took chairs surrounding me. I certainly didn't want them to look down and see my toes sticking out of my shoe. Even as benign as it was, it was one that I didn't want people to joke about around the water cooler for years to come.

Thinking about it during the meeting, I knew that I would never have had this problem before becoming a father. Now, I just don't have the same kind of time to be as thorough with the little things such as checking the soundness of my shoes. C'est la vie!

After the meeting ended I lingered, leaving with the last person out the door who happened to be heading my way. "I'll see you back at the office" I said to her. "I'm going to make a pit stop first."

And with that I shuffled off in the other direction, hoping no one else would notice.


Portland Dad said...

It's funny how something so silly as your shoe breaking can give you so much anxiety. I have been there

Didactic Pirate said...

I blame the kids for this sort of thing too. This is the equivalent of walking into an important meeting with a giant splotch of dried formula on your (my) shoulder, when you so used to the smell you didn't even notice it when you walked out the door that morning.

Unknown said...

Great story. Life is hilarious. Funny how stories like these make you love your children even more.

EdathomeDad said...

I haven't run into this situation yet. I have found legos and toy dinosaurs in suit pockets. I'm sure the treasures will get more interesting with age.

Unknown said...

Ha ha ha .. been there with broken shoes ( heels) which is just as bad. No real noise, but it tends to make you walk like a hunchbacked pirate with a shortened wooden leg.
You covered quite well.

WeaselMomma said...

This is hilarious. We've all been in your shoes before. (I crack myself up). I'm just glad to see you can laugh about it.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Portland Dad - I know. Nobody wants to be a spectacle.

@Didactic Pirate - Been there too.

@Jeff - Yes! Even though this one was really NOT his fault.

@Ed - I would love to find a dino in my pocket one day.

@Holly - Lol. Yeah, as I was shuffling off I looked like I had just had knee surgury. Dragging the one leg.

@Weaselmomma - My shoes are on thier way to Africa as I took them that afternoon to a local thrift store to donate. They send them to a place that puts them back together and ships them off.

writtendad said...

This is hysterical. And the sound are great. But you really only have yourself to blame. Not for the shoe, of course, but because you're just a pleasant person. If you were a jerk, no one would talk to you. See, problem solved. But I guess that whole loose sole thing would still be there, huh?

Great post James. And great story overall.

DGB said...

If it makes you feel any better, I once spent the better part of a day ignorantly wearing two different shoes.

If I Could Escape . . . said...

That's hilarious!! So sorry to be laughing at your expense!!

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I feel your pain. That happened to me as I was running to catch a flight home after having been overseas for six weeks. My international flight landed in JFK late and I had to run to catch the connector to Boston. There I was clack, clack, clacking all the way down the jetway.

john cave osborne said...

three words.


i've been away too long. great stuff.

Rose said...

As a new reader of your blog would it be rude of me to say that's what you get for buying ugly shoes? lol

Daddy geek boy... wearing two different shoes use to be in style. :)

Mrs. M said...

I can hear you clapping away with your feet - too funny!