Cole Haan II

Monday, March 28, 2016


     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!