I Am Not A Monster!

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.

One of our new paper charts of the Sea of Cortex.

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!”

UH. OH. I was afraid he’d notice that. This stupid living on the sailboat thing. There is just NO privacy! Whose idea was this, anyway?

“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.


There’s room for a third pocket below. I may find shoes I love in Mexico. You never know.

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.



36 thoughts on “I Am Not A Monster!

  1. Oh my gosh, this was hilarious, Melissa! Being a shoe person myself I can totally relate…Mike will get over it ….or not! 🙂

    • Indeed, so true! I sometimes wonder if the new boats, marketed more to women than they were in the 1970’s when this boat was built, have more storage meant for shoes.

  2. Ah yes, the dreaded shoe dilemma. Even though I’ve never been a shoe person, it’s still difficult to find space for all the ones I need — hiking, running, Keens (for the boat), Uggs, sandals and more. I foolishly decided to keep some in storage this year and am missing the selection. I like your storage solution though. It’s a great use of space!

  3. I love this post! But do NOT get rid of any shoes! You will lose some overboard when beaching the dinghy, you will wear them out, and you will not be able to find a decent new pair! Hide them from that evil man, but for god’s sake do not get rid of them!!

    • Ahhhhh. Now THIS is a comment met with appreciation! I never even thought about how I might lose some. ONly how I will wear them out, especially considering that some of them are close to that state now. It is clear we are kindred spirits.

  4. Shoes.
    I’m reasonably sure that this shoe fetish which women seem to universally embrace is the rout cause of all relational conflict.
    3 pairs. Period.
    1 of sandals
    1 of boat shoes.
    1 of town/walking.

    The good town/walking shoes double as hikers. Really, if you decide to climb a mountain in Mexico, you’ll find that Mexicans wear shoes too, and you can buy a pair. Really, it’s true!
    I hear you cry. Good luck! But I’m on Mike’s side for this one. I just found 6 pair of Nicki’ s shoes under the salon table, and she is barefoot!

    • Go ahead and be on his side all you want! I’m on Nicki’s side. Plus, anytime anyone says the word ‘period’ after using what amounts to an imperative, I have to prove them wrong. It’s just in my blood. I can’t help myself. I imagine Nicki has learned to ignore that tone! 🙂

  5. In my defense, I did call you a terrible person in the most loving and Christlike way. Also, I did not witness your efforts to fit my shoes into your admittedly elegant storage solution and so have my doubts as to how hard you really tried.

  6. Don’t forget shoes for walking in the desert such as Sea of Cortez islands (gravel, dust, sharp cacti)….

    Speaking of Sea of Cortez, don’t spend money on paper charts unless they are the NEWER ones produced by SEMAR Mexico. All the rest are pretty useless. (But I think you know that already….


    • I hope my tennis type shoes will suffice for walking in the desert. The last time we were there, I did notice that the going is really rough in that desert! Honestly, it feels like the vultures are just waiting.
      We got our charts from Seabreeze Books and Charts in San Diego. They are the only place, I think, that sells the latest models. We do like paper charts, even if just for planning and being able to see the big picture.

      • If it’s not a Mexican chart (and post 1990), it’s hopelessly out of date. (Look in fine print to see who produced it and date: if it doesn’t say SEMAR, it’s of little use. So many charts in San Diego were based on old DMA USA charts.)

          • These are the charts by SEMAR, used by the Mexican navy. They say SEMAR on the bottom. Not the DMA maps. They are 2006, so not completely current, but probably as good as we can get. After all, we have multiple ways of plotting a course.

  7. Why is it, that except for one, the men have a replied to this issue? I say, shoes are the most important part of clothing yourself! All women know that. If your feet aren’t comfortable, you’ll be miserable! If you find room for them, take them. I love your storage system pictured above, it looks like they all fit quite well! Certainly exceptions must be made:)

  8. Do not get rid of the shoes until you have lived aboard for a year. By then, you will know which ones you never wear, and they can go. I hid mine in the bottom of our hanging locker, stacked fairly deep, all at the forward end! His are aft, and not stacked as deep because of the slope of the hull 😉

    • LOL! Well, our problem is that while we have lived aboard for several months, we will be taking our boat to a completely different climate. So I’m trying to remember what it was like living in heat, and buying my shoes accordingly.

  9. Hmmm, I was counting my “boat shoes” in my head. Two pairs of leather Sperry, (navy and natural, I’d have the pink ones two if I hadn’t procrastinated in buying them), Teva’s, two pair of flip flops, birkenstock sandals, slippers, (cold in Michigan sometimes), and a pair of dressy sandals. Only 8 pair. Darn. But, the total actually changes depending on what I wear to the boat from work.

    I lost one pair of sandal to a leaky gas line in our dinghy, one pair of “water shoes” that just stank after a period of time and one pair of Teva’s that fell apart after only 15 years. Imagine.

    I agree with Karen, see what you wear after a year and then send the rest home.

    • Well, these are just my sandals. I have a pair of Sperry boat shoes, three pairs of boots in addition to my sailing boots, and three pairs of tennis shoe type shoes. The problem is that I needed boots during our wet winter and I’m not quite at the point where wearing my sailing boots to the store is ok with me. The truth is that I will ditch a number of these pairs of shoes after the haulout. I’m saving one pair of tennis shoes just for the boat yard. Then they are history. But I’m keeping ALL the sandals.

  10. Wait. He has a whole workshop for his projects and tools, like, a quarter of the entire living space! Equivalence must be maintained! All those tool things weigh tremendously more than shoes and take up far more space. Two pairs of normal shoes are not quite equivalent to one heavy tool. And for sandals I think it’s a 3-1 ratio…Seems to me you’re short a few pairs… 😀

    • I am using the O Hui Age Recovery system. It’s pretty good and you can get it on Amazon. The products are really large so I expect the set I recently bought to last me over a year. You can google ‘korean skin care’ and find a lot of information about the Korean approach.

      • Oh, I already know quite a bit about the Korean approach, I’m mostly waiting for my western products to run out so I can justify K-beauty products.

        • I hear that! This is the only K brand I’ve tried. I wanted something to give my skin extra care for this upcoming trip since I’ll be in the sun so much.

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