Typically my eyes start at the bottom and move upwards. This time was different. I couldn't see his footwear so I was forced to take another approach. His hair is one of his best features so I took some time to study that. Thick, dark, with a lot of body; I was in love with the 1950s style before I moved down to his forehead. I'm not sure if I read, or heard, or was told that having a high forehead is a sign of intelligence, his eyes were sharp and deep. For several seconds I was lost in a fathomless pool of color, then I gathered my thoughts together and replied to his greeting. I love men with hands that look like they could go out and perform hard manual labor if he had to, there were several nicks and cuts on his skin, and I wondered where he had obtained them. Forearms are another weakness of mine, his were practically perfect. Maybe I swallowed hard, if I didn't, I probably should have.
There's a certain build I like, and he had it. Then he moved, and it went from love at first sight to what are you thinking with those shoes? Maybe he didn't have a lot of money, at least that's what I told myself even though other things about him, his hair for instance, seemed to speak of a well to do background. The air around him sizzled, there are places that smell like old food, old money, he smelled like the moment before you cry out when you're in bed with a legendary lover. Of course he didn't really smell like that, it was my imagination, but that's what I wanted to smell when I saw his nostrils flare ever so slightly. He wasn't my type I told myself, thinking about men I describe as skin in the game partners. By the time he was done with you, half the skin on his back would be under your fingernails while yours would be pink from his palm prints.
Everything about his shoes was wrong. The color, the style, the size, the width, the shape; I could go on, but you get the idea. Great footwear systems start with the right socks, he didn't have those either. But he wasn't interested in what I had to say. The best footwear provides the wearer with a foundation that allows a foot to interact with the earth in a manner that promotes overall health and wellbeing. The soles are neither too thick, nor too thin. They are designed with the entire person in mind despite starting at the bottom. A really fabulous footwear set will flow seamlessly into the next item of clothing that is visible, and give way to healthy skin if it is designed to be worn without socks. There wasn't anything I could do about his shoes I thought to myself, but that never stopped me before.
He was seated at a chair when I saw his footwear. Perfectly shaped, beautifully cut, buttery soft leather that followed his feet precisely; I fell in love with him in a way few do, seeing him from the soles of his feet right on up to the spiky dark hairs that would have been well out of my eyesight had he been the one standing instead of me. This time I spoke to him first, but he waved me away initially. Later on I had an opportunity to observe him from across the room. He was still seated, but this time he had chosen a different chair. At 44 years of age I have seen a lot of men sitting in a lot of chairs, I had a great angle to study him further, and he made sure that I could see whatever I wanted to if I was interested. That might not sound subtle, but it was since he paired it with conversation that was anything except sexual.
Great footwear systems are a weakness of mine, but I'm not really into men who are handsome and think highly of themselves. He was an important person and he knew it, in the words of Shania Twain, that don't impress me much. Initially I let him talk to someone else, gradually I was pulled into the conversation, he didn't really give me a choice in the matter, but he acted like he did which I found amusing. No matter where I went, his eyes and feet followed me. At one point he was trying to talk to the other person and me, but the three of us made an awkward triangle so I had some fun watching him try to pay equal amounts of attention to both of us. I didn't want to like him, but there was something endearing and compelling about him. Maybe it was nothing other than the fact that being desired as a woman is flattering, and he was giving me just enough attention to make things spicy.
He would be the type to lay in bed for a while I thought to myself. Nice sheets, white would go well with his skin I decided. I wasn't in love with him, but I liked him, it was an odd sensation. It wasn't long before I had another chance to interact with him. That went well, then I had to give him some bad news. He responded appropriately, it felt to me as if a spell had been broken. Oh well, I sighed to myself. Plenty of other fish in the sea as I have so often heard. Time went by and I thought I wouldn't ever see or hear from him again. Then someone else forced the issue. It was entirely unintentional, embarrassing, and what makes matters worse is how professional he was about the incident. Pride goes before the fall, and I had fallen. The man with the beautiful shoes deserved a woman who wouldn't do the thing I had just done. Silently I wondered if he was hiding an empathetic and romantic side, but that remains a guess on my part.
Clearly these were hypotheticals designed to get people to think about footwear in a sense they may not have before. It's fun for me to think about the what ifs, and could have, would have, should haves of the world, and to invent silly scenarios such as the ones you just read about. I no longer work in the industry anymore. It has evolved without me, and a part of me is really sad. Suppose that these men existed in real life, and I was given a choice between them. Would I choose the man who is still a bit rough around the edges, or should I try to play it a bit safer, and go with the one whose footwear calls and speaks to me in a way I am unaccustomed to experiencing? Often life is like this; it is no longer a simple yes, or no, if I had to choose, there are similarities, yet the differences are primal and exciting. Neither is really an option, but if they were to knock at my door tonight, would you vote for the best, or the worst wearer of shoes?
To Be Continued...