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Three pairs of shoes

BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces (The Freeman) - February 25, 2021 - 12:00am

I was looking at our shoe rack at home. There were many pairs stored there. Of course, not to Imeldific proportions but too many to wear, and yet too little. Well, I say this because note that when there is an event, we tend to scrounge over our cabinets to find the right dress and their matching shoes, and end up buying a new pair because what you have does not fit the occasion. Or, the heel lacks height, or the toes are too closed, too open, too pointed, too wide.  The color, a shade off and does not coordinate with the bag or … and our reasons pile on.  Then our shoes pile up.  There will always be a time to wear it again, we think. We think!

We go to such lengths to buy the right footwear as if people would really bother to look at our feet or notice how they harmonize with the rest of our garb. Well some, perhaps, but what the heck!

Nothing can still beat my feeling of satisfaction when I wear off my shoes. When it gets torn and tattered of use. It almost equals the pleasure I derive when I am able to consume the ink of my pen after long use. Most often, I lose my pen to another table or another hand.  Someone borrows and inadvertently carries it off. 

Back to shoes, imagine my chagrin when I wear a long-kept pair and – crack – the leather has a breakout!  Or the entire sole of my sneakers is left behind when I ready myself for a brisk walk. Or more embarrassing is leaving the black rubber cover of the heel of your shoe when you move from your place in a white marbled hotel lobby! How you wish people are too busy to notice as you gracefully push the revealing black sole underneath the nearest lounging chair. Oh yes, it has to find cover! 

Most often these incidents happen not for the lack of shoes but the surplus of them that you cannot even wear them all and poof, their glue expires, the elasticity of the synthetic leather gives way, or the texture just shrivels with molds in the box. 

Wasted money!

When you compute the stranded amount that is left in the box you know you could have used the money for better things.

This brings to recall my three pairs of shoes while I was in school. I had one pair of  leather black shoes that had to last ‘til the end of each year. A pair of rubber shoes that must live until all my physical education classes were done, which meant two years, and one pair for Sunday, which carried with it all the special occasions and will never be replaced until they are totally rundown. All were serviceable as my parents made sure to buy the sturdy ones.

I was content and would get excited about having new shoes every start of the school year for that was only when we would have a new pair. And if our Sunday shoes were still good, we could bargain for sandals or whatever was fashionable at that time. And we were content. Not just happy.

Now with so many excesses, we find ourselves wanting more and wasting a lot. When things were hard to afford, we found everything novel and we took great pleasure in little things. Brands did not dominate our world. We were just fine with simple knit knacks.

We made our own accessories and enjoyed what we had. We took delight in the simple yet poignant indulgences.  Time to just sit with friends, to laugh, sing, and share hobbies.  Leisure would be a simple visit to another friend’s house for board games, cards or just chats over linung-ag saging and guinamos (boiled bannanas and fermented salted fish) and ice-cold soda or manga ang bago-ong (mangoes in salted fermented shrimp). And in more affluent moments, we would cool ourselves in all types of ice cream preparations and halo-halo (shaved ice, milk and fruit medley). And then, no one really bothered about our shoes, they lined up outside a friend’s house as we sat laughing inside.

MONEY
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