Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Case of the Missing Shoe

I thought the previous post would be the last about my France trip. I was wrong. This woeful tale is a postscript to that trip.

I am a procrastinator, and so following my return home from ten days away my disheveled suitcase, various souvenirs, books and other paraphernalia lay scattered around my bedroom floor. The pile enhanced an already developing mound of stuff strategically positioned before dashing overseas. I will not admit how long before I decided it was time to stop tripping over the mess and start cleaning, but that auspicious time finally arrived.

Dirty laundry had long been disposed of – cleaned, not thrown away. My half empty suitcase, however, remained a cluttered heap.

Days before beginning my cleaning escapade I noticed one of my black Sketchers shoes sticking out of the suitcase. I grabbed it and searched for the second one. It was nowhere to be found. The shoes, purchased this past summer, fit well, looked almost dressy with black jeans, and I could walk long distances without my feet hurting. A winning combination.

But I was busy and had places to go and things to do. I decided to put off until tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that, the task of cleaning and finding the second shoe.

Did I mention I am a procrastinator? And one of the world’s worst housekeepers.

Do not believe me?

Years and years ago, when my son was a tiny tyke, probably around two years of age and talking, I was getting ready to clean the house. I have no idea why, but kids create a lot of chaos and clutter. I had an innate capacity to ignore much of it, but this particular day was different. I was actually going to clean.

The vacuum cleaner was strategically placed in the middle of the floor. I rushed around and was about to begin vacuuming when my son, wise beyond his years, looked at me and said,

“What company is coming, Mommy?”

You get the idea how often I clean. And when.

Now back to the missing shoe. I was not upset – yet – but was beginning to get concerned. The shoes were new, relatively speaking, and enjoyed an honored place in my closet. Meaning I could find them when needed.

I finished unpacking the suitcase and carry-on bag. Still no sign of the shoe, but on the plus side had exposed additional floor space.

A lot of stuff remained to sort through and get off the floor. I continued to diligently put things away, and soon the hardwood floor was almost totally visible.

Still no shoe.

Then - an epiphany. I realized, suddenly and sadly, where my shoe was, why, and the heartbreaking fact that we would never be together again.

The first part of my trip home involved a chaotic luggage check-in. To avoid paying fees for overweight bags, I opened my suitcase and grabbed heavy items I could carry – books.

While opening the suitcase, rummaging around, and closing it again, the shoe fell out. I did not notice it and obviously no one else did either.

That is the only explanation I can come up with for the missing shoe.

Now one fairly new black Sketchers shoe is a permanent alien resident of France.

I hope it has a good life – le bonne vie.

I do not know what to do with its mate. I hate to throw it out, but what do you do with one shoe?