I should tell you about my shoes. It is a sordid tale of boastful pride and the desire to be envied. Actually, it is more of a confession than a story.
It all began last spring when I had my old loafers re-soled. These shoes had nobly and ably served me and my feet. Indeed, I’d had them re-soled before and I had done so with a glad heart because I liked my loafers. Although of humble lineage (Kirklands from Costco) they had become very comfortable companions on my walk through life. I also thought they were fine looking shoes, although Judi didn’t care much for the tassels.
After I had my Kirkland loafers re-soled they gave me more months of faithful service. Then, last fall, my loafers began to come apart at the seams. Clearly the time had come for new loafers.
I searched at Costco, but they no longer carried loafers. Penney’s and Shoe Pavilion had nothing that appealed to me. Then I went to Nordstrom Rack and there I found my new loafers. They were black and immediately comfortable, and they were tasseled. I quickly purchased them, took them home and showed them to Judi. She thought they were fine shoes and a good buy although she didn’t care much for the tassels.
My old and faithful loafers had been low cost Kirklands, but these new loafers were Cole-Haans, a much more upscale brand. Cole Haans had never before had a place in my footwear economy. The price at The Rack for my new loafers was $60, which was about $100 below their original price tag. I’d never before owned a pair of $160 shoes. I know that people can and do spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars, on footwear, but to me $160 shoes seemed like high living indeed. I was pleased with my good buy.
It is here that the story begins to take an ugly turn.
It was not enough for me that I had found a comfortable pair of Cole Haans for a great price, I soon found myself wanting others to know I owned a pair of Cole Haans. Stitched into the insoles of my new loafers, was a classy satin-like burgundy name plate that proudly announced their expensive pedigree “Cole Haan.”
In some dark corner of my soul I wanted people to see that name plate. I must have thought that others would think better of me if they could see that I wore a more exclusive brand of shoes. “Wow, look at that, he can afford Cole Haan’s, he must be one of those really successful people.”
At the gym, when I changed into my sneakers I would leave my Cole Haans out a little longer than usual hoping someone would notice them. But no one ever did. While staying with Judi’s family on Christmas vacation I left my new loafers in the living room overnight hoping someone would notice them. But, alas, no one did.
It was all very pathetic. What was I thinking? I wish I could say Satan or one of his demons put this distorted thinking into my head. But I cannot blame Satan for this; it was all a product of my own sinful self. My insole problem was a soul problem.
It is now months later and I still have my nice, comfortable Cole Haans but now they are just shoes, nothing more. Well, maybe they are one other thing. They are reminders of the ease with which I can slip into sinful thinking. Whenever I am tempted to think of myself as spiritually advanced and able to handle temptation, I do not need to look deeply into my soul to see the fallacy of that thinking. It’s written in my insoles.
POSTSCRIPT: As I often do, I asked Judi to read my article so I could have her opinion. “So, what do you think?” I asked. She paused and then said “Well, that’s one way to get everyone to notice your shoes.” Ouch!