A person's choice of footwear often provides insights into their personality. I first realized this while listening to the Firesign Theatre's I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus. Upon exiting the bus the main character is told to inflate his shoes, to which he replies that he never wears them anymore. I spent a few minutes contemplating this (as I am wont to do with seemingly irrelevant comments) and decided that people seem to use shoes as much or more than clothing to communicate to the world just who they think they are. For example, a neohippie's decision to wear Birkenstocks indicates openness and willingness to expose himself to new experiences, while the punk's decision to wear Doc Martens displays her rejection of the world she finds herself thrust into and corresponds to the barrier she throws up between herself and conventional society. When a sorority girl wears three-inch spike heels to a kegger she seems to be expressing a belief that she is (at least in part) a sexual being, and the business major's choice of leather dress shoes shows that he is prepared to conform to the demands of the corporate world and play by the rules of his profession (whether they include insider trading, graft, and other white collar crime or not). As anyone who has ever recieved a foot massage or walked barefoot in grass covered in morning dew can attest. The decision to deprive one's feet of sensory input is a cultural phenomenon, and as such cultural perceptions of identity tend to be reflected in the method of deprivation.


Thus ends another nodeshell's reign of terror :-)
Forrest Gump began the narration of his story by looking at the shoes of the young nurse sitting at the bus stop next to him and stating,
"Those look like comfortable shoes. Momma always said you can tell alot about a person from their shoes. Where they're going. Where they've been. I've worn lots of shoes."

And so began the first of several flashbacks, with the young Forrest taking his first few steps after being fitted for the leg braces he'd wear until he literally ran out of them.

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