I knew we had a problem in the aft cabin. Our bed is crazy comfortable, I gave up on ‘special’ sheets cut to fit the mattresses, and never looked back. We figured out where to put the laundry basket. Both of us have barely enough room for our clothing, And by ‘both of us’ I mean me. Mike has plenty of room because he basically has one pair of shorts that I practically forced him to buy. All of these potential issues had been dealt with and were behind us. But still, a major problem was brewing; a problem I thought I had solved earlier in the day, a problem I believed I had successfully avoided. I was wrong.
I was in the head doing my evening ablutions, a routine that has actually grown more complex with moving onto the boat while simultaneouly discovering (because of our Claire) Korean skin care products. So many steps to smooth, younger looking skin. Interesting aside, my hair routine has decreased well past what I used to accomplish in grade school. I have no excuse. Anyway, I finished up the final greasing and stepped into the cabin. Mike was cozy on his side of the bed already.
In the dusky cabin light he looked up at me, love (I thought) in his eyes, and took my hand, pulling me over. I thought to my self, ‘OH, he knows how hard this day was, being my last day of work and all. He’s going to be extra lovey tonight. Such a sweet man. He turned his dear face up to mine, pulled me down, and whispered in my ear,
“You are a terrible, horrible person.”. Whatt???? Startled I pull back. I was alarmed! We don’t do that kind of stuff in the bedroom. We’re middle aged, for god’s sake!
Confused, I look around, feeling guilty for absolutely no reason at all! I mean it! I had done nothing! “What? Why? Why am I a terrible, horrible person? Uh uh… I’m not!”
“Nine pairs! You have NINE PAIRS OF SHOES!”
“Well, let me explain. Yes, it’s true there are nine pair of SANDALs in my new shoe rack. But technically, those are ‘sandals’, not ‘shoes’. My actual shoes are stored somewhere else. I’m just getting USED to the idea of getting rid of more of them and I’ve had most of them for a long, long time, and you know how I feel about special shoes, and, well, I’m always worried that my feet will hurt and that I will not have enough arch support. Plus the shoes I’m wearing lately I won’t even be able to take with me because I’ve worn them so much they actually have a HOLE in the toe! A HOLE! In the TOE! I will have to throw out my lovely Coach black calf skin driving moccasins with the grippy soles that I can actually wear comfortably with no socks. ”
No response. He just looked at me, limpid blue steel peering up from the depths of his pillow. I had not reached his cold, closed heart and he was still clutching my hand most willfully. My distraction had fallen on the ice of his resolve. Hateful man. Wicked. Had he no pity left? I tried again.
Sigh. “Yes, I know. Just give me a couple of days to figure out which ones need to be executed. The J-41s with the Jeep Tough soles and the strappy velcro straps? One of the TWO pair of identical Teva sandals that I’ve walked miles in already? They know my feet so well! The slide on Sketchers, which, while not even a brand I particularly like, are comfortable and look decent with a sundress? The Nike flip flops with the cushy sole so soft you don’t even know you’re wearing them? Finally a pair of flip flops that don’t hurt between my toes! You see, I know them all personally and they’ve cared for my feet so well. It’s hard. I’m sure I can find some to kill, I mean, throw into the trash to be compacted and wasted and add to the growing problem with garbage in this country. ”
His eyes narrowed to slits. He gripped my hand painfully.
I knew what the real problem was. It was jealously. You see, I had created these cool little niches in which to stack sandals upright, using the spaces created by the ladder against the bulkhead in the aft cabin. (It’s impossible to use that ladder. It is narrow and goes straight up. You need the adrenaline of an actual emergency to use it. For that purpose, it will continue to serve.) He wanted one of those spaces, and I willingly, out of the generousness of my heart, gave it to him for his shoes.
There were only two problems with this. First, he has only 4 pair of footwear, two of which he will absolutely never, ever wear in Mexico. They are leather, and they are hot. These are Pacific Northwest shoes.
So that leaves one pair of sandals, which I remember I almost forced him to buy by constantly bringing up the fact that he had no sandals and pointing out to him how hot his feet will be. Obviously! And he has one pair of canvas boat shoes. Again, these will not only be hot, I predict they will begin to smell, meaning no way will they see storage in the aft cabin.
I’ve been stockpiling Mexico sandals for years in ANTICIPATION of needing them. I call that good planning. Other people can use whatever words they want to. Sure people in Mexico wear sandals and I could buy some there. But WHAT KIND? Hmmm? Do they have the kind I like? Yeah! I don’t know! And you don’t know either, mister. There are some things we just don’t leave to chance, and those things are shoes!
Second, Mike’s shoes are too big for the space. They do not fit! Is it my fault that he has long, thin man feet, not short, small little cute feet whose shoes fit perfectly into a small niche created with fabric? I mean, this clears out the shoe cubby under the drawers, mostly for him. You’d think he’d be grateful!
Would you call your wife a terrible, horrible human being because of shoes? Well, if you would, you guys can just get together and cry into your beer together. I’ll get rid of more shoes when I’m danged ready. I’ll be ready on Sunday. That’s right. I will get rid of more on Sunday if I feel like it. I’ll let you know.