This morning while getting dressed I pulled down from the shelf a pair of black shoes with silver straps with the statement “HUGO BOSS”.  The shoes were stylish and shiny and looked very nice. Trouble was they were not mine. I asked Someone if they were his; no they were not. I don’t think a “gentleman caller” accidentally left them; I would remember such an event, certainly. We deduced the less scandalous hypothesis the store where we have our shoes shined must have given them to us by mistake when we dropped off several pairs of black shoes before our trip to Mexico.  Someone brought the Hugo Bosses back to the store.  The shopman was quite grateful for he had been searching for the missing items for a fortnight.  We didn’t hear if the owners of the shoes had complained or was even aware of the mix up.

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I am not a ‘shoe person”. I own five pairs of black shoes, which is enough. In “Legally Blonde” there is a gay man ‘outed’ when he discloses he can identify last season’s Pradas. I couldn’t do this to save my life. I am told men look at other men’s shoes as a sort of penis substitute. I often scan men up and down like a searchlight but I can assure you it is never to scope out their shoes.

Whenever possible I try to avoid buying shoes and when I do I buy replacements and duplicates.  This isn’t always easy to do. For awhile it seemed men’s shoes resembled the horrid boots worn by Frankenstein.  Then men’s shoes all had long pointy tips like a court jesters.  I am told by the nephews I wear “old men’s shoes”. I think this means penny loafers and oxfords with laces.  Back in my two-stepping days I had some cowboy boots, which is as close as I have ever been to wearing heels.

I think I will start paying more attention to other men’s shoes. Like Margaret Mead among the Bantus, researching primitive rituals, I might learn something about my fellow man. I should refrain from asking questions about their shoe size and is it correlated to other body features (including egos).  Once upon a time I admired a fellow’s boots only to be asked if I would care to lick them.  Lips that touch Doc Martins shall not touch mine.

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