"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

Shoes, and Internet Problems – Not-So-Effortlessly Combined

What DO shoes and the internet have in common?

Let me try to explain. Stay with me as I venture down the “bunny trail” that may – or may not – make sense to you.

First, let me say with sincerest apology that I was only able to read a few of my favorite blogs during the past ten days. Commenting was nearly impossible.

Why, you ask?

Well, my internet provider, Cox Communications – let’s not use the term “communications” too rigidly, as it has certainly NOT been a form of communication – has not been providing a good form of internet service over the past two weeks.

After having the patience of Job (well, more like the frustration of Job, really), I finally found out that the reason my service dropped out every two minutes or so, was due to a McAfee anti-virus upgrade that happened without Cox’s knowledge.

After finally reaching a real, living, speaking person, we were able to work through their fix. And … as of 20 minutes ago, I’m officially now back up at 100%, versus the 30% I’ve struggled with over the past two weeks.

Can I get an AMEN!!

It’s difficult when you can’t easily send off job applications, connect with fellow bloggers, send emails, etc.

See, this is what patience looks like.

*Seamless segue to shoes using Wayne’s World dream sequence*

So, I’ve had this post on shoes rattling around in my head like a concussion for the last six or seven days and it’s time to spew it onto the screen – I’ll try not to leave big chunks, so you can see it.

If you look into my closet, you will find eight pairs of shoes – four of them are sneakers. Of those four, two of them are six years old or older.

You see, I treat my footwear with the utmost care and respect – like every pair will last forever. I don’t see having more than I need as practical – one of the reasons why I don’t have dozens of pairs, as some are inclined (see Imelda Marcos – 765 pairs!).

This got me thinking about three of my favorites:

1) Johnston & Murphy bicycle toe, work or casual dress shoes.

Johnston & Murphy shoes, bicycle toe

Where do I begin with these “wheels?”

Comfortable. Check
Durable. Check
Value. Check and mate!

I bought these shoes in 2005, and had them re-soled once already. Love, love, love them.

Just look at the close up of how supple that leather is, and it holds the polish so well.

If a guy ever said “Squeeeeeee!” it would be me, about these shoes. :)

Johnston & Murphy shoes, bicycle toe

That leather’s like butta!


2) Sears Die Hard work boots.

These bad-boys have been with me for 19 years. Yep, I said it, 19 years!! So hard to believe.

Sears, Die Hard, work, boots, shoes

Sears, Die Hard, work, boots, shoes

Check out the cuts on the toe.
Steel-toe underneath the leather.

I got these in 1993 when I was a production supervisor in Ohio. Oh, the tales they could tell if they could talk. And the miles they have trod.

3) Sperry Top-Siders.

These are such great shoes – preppy and easy to slip on. So great now that we live in Southern California.

Sperry Top-Siders, boat shoes

I love the white stitching. And even after polishing these dozens of times over the years, the stitching is still nice and bright.

And boy do they need a good polishing! :)

Sperry Top-Siders, boat shoes

Durable and classic.
Still going strong!

I cringe to say that these shoes are also 19 years young. Picked them up at a store closing sale in Omaha, Nebraska in the summer of 1993. They were something like $18 at that time, which was still way below 1/2 price. I do love a bargain, especially on high-quality items.


When I look back at these three pairs of shoes, I’m so reminded of the the expression, “Walk a mile in my shoes.”

The meaning of that great idiom is that before we criticize someone else, we need to know what it’s like to “walk in their shoes.” I just picked three of my favorite pairs – it would take me days to tell someone where they’ve been, and what I’ve done with them on my feet.

And it’s no different for each of us. Maybe I had internet issues this week, maybe my shoes have walked me into situations, over time, that someone else would never want to face.

When I think about criticizing someone, I’ll take a quick peek inside my closet at my shoes, and remind myself to understand what they might be going through – or have gone through – before I open my mouth.


Do you have any favorite shoes?

Any as old as mine? :)


A few interesting shoe links:


  1. This is will sound so silly, but I have such a favorite pair of old shoes that I won’t wear them anymore because I don’t want them to wear out. I know exactly what you mean about comfortable, great, shoes. I’m putting my good shoes in my will

    • I like your spirit, Barb. I’m not sure anyone would want my shoes, except for the Johnston & Murphy’s maybe. You must wear that favorite pair, though – it isn’t right to have them sit around all lonely and everything. :)

  2. Glad you stopped by my blog during your internet headache, MJ. After about two days of that stuff around here, I’d probably have to go to AT&T begging for them to fix whatever it was that was causing an interruption in my service. No researching, no blogs, no Facebook… Do any of us really remember what life was like in the ‘olden days?’ :)

    Love the shoe story. That’s a great lesson to learn from our footwear, too. Do I have an old pair of shoes? Do ice skates count? I’ve had them since I was 14. Haven’t worn them since I was 18.

    I’m more inclined to keep sweaters. I have one…hunter green. No idea how old it is – I’ll guess a good 10-15 years though. I have to keep a spool of thread handy (same color) to repair the holes that are popping up more and more often. Someday it might just be thread…but I’ll still be wearing it.

    • I was barely able to comment on your posts, KK. It kept kicking me out, and then I’d get a whole long comment written, and BAM! – the comment would disappear. I should have called Cox right away. I’m usually super-persistent that way, but I thought it was a problem on my end.

      Ha, I love that you have ice skates from when you were 14. Do they still fit? If so, you better get back out there! Never too old to skate. If you think you are, then you should definitely hang them on the wall so they don’t sit away somewhere. Those are practically antiques! LOL, hehehe, and buwahahahahaha!

      I used to LOVE me some sweaters. Up until just a few years ago, I had still had 10 or 12 great 80’s sweaters – picture Bill Cosby – and I just didn’t wear them in California, so I gave them away. They looked brand new. So, I totally get the sweater thing. Especially in MI. You’re getting close to sweater season aren’t you?

  3. My oldest pair of sneakers is about 4 years old and still functioning. By a woman’s standards they are rather old? I don’t think they make women’s shoes as hardy as men’s, I get nails sticking into my heel and soles falling off all the time. Sneakers are the only ones that can last, if I wear them often enough else the glue dries up (or something) and again the sole comes off.

    Glad your internet issue is fixed. Well, at least it can be resolved once you reach a live person. I just encountered a situation this morning where I reached a live person alright, but she might as well have been a recording because she could only keep repeating the same unhelpful lines, same with her supervisor whom I asked to speak to. They both had the same accent that was not from my part of the world. I suspect the company had outsourced their call center to a service provider in another company, which shall not be named, and the service provider either has no authority or no interest in really helping their customers resolve their issue.

    • That is pretty old for womens sneakers, Elaine. And I don’t know how you can do shoes with heels. My wife has had the whole nails and soles falling off issue before. The aren’t as durable, for sure. Why is it that sneakers get inelastic if you don’t use them? I’ve noticed that as well.

      Oh, I know exactly what you’re talking about with the live person who totally follows those crazy scripts: “Ma’am, did you turn on the computer? Ma’am, is the computer plugged in? Ma’am, do you have an internet provider?” So frustrating!

      Hope you finally got your issue resolved.

  4. Love the Sperry Topsiders or deck shoes as we call them here. I have a brown pair and navy pair. They are so Miami-Key Westy. Problems with you net provider ? This is why I still frequent the telegraph office by Dale’s barbershop over in Weststock. Besides you catch up on really important news and there is always a poker game in the back room and a good snort of hooch if you are so inclined. I also have envelopes and stamps and a fountain pen.

    • My response to your comment disappeared, Carl.

      I had a pair of fake navy deck shoes, but they didn’t last long. Have to go with the best – Sperry. You know, I’m beginning to think you have something there with the telegraph office. I already have the fountain pens, envelopes, and stamps, so I should be set. And I don’t mind a snort or two of the hooch!

  5. I absolutely love the first pair. They look very loved indeed. I had a pair of, butter leather boots that \knew my feet well. Imagine the horror when I saw lefty slaughtered by the puppy. Let us all be grateful that puppies are cute. I actually wore them chewed, until it just became insane.

    • Oh goodness, Tops, I would be freaking out if my little Duke did that. He’s chewed on some of the baseboards already – pretty easy fix, compared to new shoes. Boy, can’t believe you lost your leather boot. I feel your pain, and mourn your loss. :’)

  6. MJ!

    I’m just getting ready to write a post on boots! So weird. I LOVE your wrecked up boots. Guys in boots are hot. Great post, and since I know all about technological woes (and am about to write THAT post now), I will simply say, we seem to be walking side by side rather nicely right now. I’ll try to remember to link up to this post. But I suck at that. I need a system to remember that that is better than I have right now.

    Maybe Sticky notes aren’t always the answer. 😉

    • Hey Renee, that’s pretty interesting that we’re on the same wavelength. Can’t believe you’ve got the “boots” post and technology post coming. I’ll try to add your link if I remember as well.

      And I think sticky notes are great. I’ve tried everything, and now I have to remember where I put the lists! :\

  7. My husband drives me crazy with the Sperry Top-siders. Every year he picks out a brand new pair, swears he’ll take good care of them and they will last FU-ever…yet 3 months later I see him outside doing yard work in them and once again, they are ruined (not to mention how BAD these shoes smell if you sweat in them!). Meanwhile, I still have shoes from the disco era (hey, fashion trends always come back in style!!) and am a misfit of a woman because I could care less about shoes. Sure, I’ve bought a few FM shoes over the years but they give me blisters by the end of the evening and besides, who am I trying to impress anyway? The dog? But some pairs…oh yeah, if they could talk, I’d probably be arrested!

    • That’s funny about your husband and his Top-siders. I’ve known people who actually hose them down when they get that way and then just let them air dry. I know this is wrong, but I have to wear socks with my shoes ALWAYS. I don’t like my feet sweating up against the leather of the shoe.

      It’s surprising how many women aren’t really into shoes. I like your “disco era” comment. hehehe. Very MM-ish!

      I’ve always said that most of the time, women are trying to impress other women. We guys just take our women as they are – not that we don’t support you 100%. Well, most of us anyway.

  8. Well, what the heck, my test comment went through but not my first comment…hmm, well what I did say was WOW to your young 19 year old shoes…amazing/incredible. Second, glad you got your internet back on track and no, I do not have shoes with durability and long life…guess that proves the wise words: you pay for what you get.:)

    • Ha, Sunshine, no worries. I deleted your test comment. I try to take care of my shoes, thus the longevity. Sounds crazy when you think about how old they are. I sound like one of those old misers! I do have a rule that I try not to pay more than $35 for a pair, but the first pair in the pictures I paid around $100 because I knew I would have them forever.

      It’s great to be back, my friend. I have a LOT of catching up to do now.

  9. So glad you are back. Not having the internet is like not having air, isn’t it? Or, does that make me a person with a problem………..Also, I don’t even know how many pairs of shoes I have. More than eight. Eight times some number. That DEFINITELY makes me a person with a problem.

    • I’ve missed being able to connect. You don’t realize how much you take it for granted until it’s nearly unusable.

      Hmm, eight times “mystery number” sounds like an Cootchie series. :)

  10. I love the first pair, too. They look so comfy. I’m with Renee in that there’s something very attractive about a man in beat-up work boots.

    As for my shoes? well, I actually don’t own that many. I know, strange for a woman. But I have one pair of super comfy sneakers I wear nearly every day. I’ve had them for a few years now. I also have one dressy pair of shoes for those pesky job interviews etc. But no heels. I don’t do heels, ever. I am a super klutz.

    • I do love the work boots. Very comfortable for yard work and working in a factory (which I’ve done a time or two). But boy are those first pair of shoes so great for walking. I get excited just thinking about them. :)

      I’m not surprised that you don’t have many shoes based on what you’ve posted. You seem very down-to-earth. You would probably rather spend money on the kids.

      Heels – don’t know how any woman could wear them. They just look so uncomfortable to walk in.

  11. I think you should walk a mile in women’s shoes. (figuratively) I mean, you mine-as-well since you are thinking of walking in someone’s shoes.

    I heard one that you should never wear someone else’s shoes unless they are spiritually higher than you. (I am not sure how you judge this, guess, I guess. Well, if you have to guess, you must be lower.:)) Maybe I shouldn’t buy used shoes any longer…

    • I don’t think I could do that, Jodi – literally or figuratively.

      I’ve never heard that saying about never walking in someone else’s shoes unless they’re spiritually higher.

      Hmm, I have bought used shoes on occasion, but not many times. Only very gently worn shoes. I’ll have to keep this in mind.

  12. Hi mj,
    What a great piece of writing. I had no idea where you were going with this, but I was happy reading, and then when I got to end everything came clear in one of those moments of clarity and great appreciation.

  13. “Don’t tread on me” … but, I did on shoes that were so old that my students questioned my footwear choices. I finally broke down and bought two beautiful pair of sneakers (Asics Cumulus and New Balance). Wonderful for someone who’s on their feet all day.

    Glad you’re back, Michael.

    • Oh, I love Asics. Bought my first pair in 2009 and really like them a lot. They’re my shoe of choice for walking or wearing outside when I want to be super-comfortable. I love the look of New Balance, but they’re too wide for my narrow feet, darn it.

  14. Look at you stepping out! :-)

    Funny, my husband bought new shoes tonight. His two-year old boots looked like hell. TWO YEARS. I am guessing you didn’t get yours from Payless. HA!

    I, also, had internet problems over a course of two weeks. I would go down for two-three hours, then up, down, and all they could say was…..the neighborhood has an outage. Thank-God my employers could see, that yes, my cable company was down and I wasn’t just playing hookey. Frustrating as all get out.

    Glad you are back up and running. Welcome back to the Internet World!

    • Some people can go through boots pretty fast. If they’ve been in a lot of chemicals or concrete, good luck with them lasting long. I’ve always been a believer in buying up a bit in footwear, IF I know they will last longer. I think how much they will cost in terms of cost per year. So if I spend $50 on a pair of shoes and they last 5 years, I’ve only spent $10 per year on that pair. The longer they last, the better the value. Yeah, I’m crazy that way! :)

      My condolences on your internet issues. It’s so very frustrating. You don’t know how good it is, till it’s gone, right??

      Great to be back. Now must catch up!

  15. Oh, MJ, they look so comfortable, all of them. And isn’t that the point? ( Yes, by the way, I am female.) But if my feet hurt I am bitchy — it is as simple as that. Stillettos? those pinchy toe’d shoes? Flip flops that don’t stay on your feet? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

    I have a pair of sandals that I’ve had since about 1989. They look it.

    Fun post, MJ

    • Ha, Elyse, my wife always says, “It’s painful to be a woman.” That in reference to the things you all put yourself through in terms of shoes, makeup, attire, etc. Glad to hear you go for comfort!

      Loving the sandals from ’89. Great job on longevity, there, Elyse!

  16. Do I have a favorite pair of shoes? Where to begin… I am a collector. Over 50 pairs of heels (hey, would love to see you walk a mile in my 5″ stilettos – that would be funny), 12 pairs of boots, a couple of flip flops and one or two pair of sneakers. I think there are some wellies in the back of the closet to boot. That’s just at home. I have a stash of about 12 pair at work. Red, leopard skin, hot pink, purple with yellow flowers and several black. You know, in case of shoe emergencies.

    I don’t think any of them are 19 years old. Six maybe. But I do resole and reheel the good ones until they just can’t take it any more. And then, darn it all anyway, I just have to go shopping for more.

    Shoes are my crack… 😀

    • Wow, 50 pairs of heels?? You do like your heels, don’t you? And no, I couldn’t walk a few steps in your stilettos, let alone a mile.

      Glad you threw the wellies in for safe measure. I think anyone living where you get a lot of rain should have a pair. So practical, especially where there’s a ton of mud.

      Ha, great way to have your separate “shoe store” backup at work. You just never know, right?

  17. Love the deck shoes! Have tried to get the son to buy a pair, but he refuses — apparently, they’re too “Southern” for his taste! Still, if he ever tried them, I’m convinced he’d see how comfy they are. Sorry to hear about your Internet problems. I had some of those earlier in the summer. Will they give you a bit of a refund for your trouble (did you ask??)

    • Hmm, interesting that your son thinks deck shoes are Southern. To me, there very Coastal, or Great Lakes. And you’re right, they’re very comfortable.

      That’s a great point about asking for a refund. I’ll have to ask the question. Thanks!

  18. I love this: shoes walk with you and they have stories to tell. Looking at a situation from someone else’s shoes – that’s a gift. And something to aspire to.

  19. I don’t think women’s shoes are made to withstand years of wear. They just don’t have the same foundation. But I do have a pair of hiking boots that I’ve had for at least three years. That’s a pretty long time for me.

  20. You and Immelda Marcos probably balance each other out on the shoe collection. What did she have, something around 3000+ pairs of shoes?!

  21. A nice post. My shoes (just like other items from my closet) are a part of my life too. That’s why I cannot throw away some of them though I should have done so long ago. I have shoes from my college graduation party and shoes I bought in India. Every pair can tell a story and I get lost in memories every time I try to clear out my closet)))

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jack. It is so difficult to toss a great pair of shoes, that’s for sure. As long as they’re useful, I’ll keep them. If they have no use or I stop wearing them, they have to go. I can’t end up on Hoarders. :)

  22. Anonymous says:

    AMEN! There are a lot of good soles living with you.


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