How To Not Get Laid In High School

Write what you know.

Having Too Many Shoes

I have a lot of shoes. It’s a habit which started early on in my adolescence, when I discovered Winners and took a very flexible approach to my shoe size. If you are not familiar with Winners, that’s sad and I feel bad for you. It is a store—usually large—stuffed with clothes which range from ridiculous to surprisingly good finds. It’s also a good place to develop patience: learning to shop at Winners provided me with the fundamentals to tackle larger shopping projects, such as Value Village and Goodwill.

But the shoe aisle in Winners. Oh, the shoe aisle. One of the best things about Winners was the clearance shoe rack, where even a little newspaper-delivering shit like me could afford the likes of Steve Madden and Rocket Dog. Of course, these shoes ended up there because nobody except twelve year old girls and other thrifty thrifty eccentrics wanted them, but who cares as long as everyone gets what they want in the end.

Yes, shoes. Whereas I wanted so badly to wear narrow-toed, platformed boots in flashy colours, my Scottish heritage had other ideas. Indeed, through the process of lamarckism, my likely bare-footed ancestors developed very wide feet so that they could maintain balance while walking across the craggy Scottish rocks. While I have never been to Scotland, I’m sure a rocky landscape populated by wide-footed people is not for from reality.

I settle for more practical fair now. Doc Martin’s and Chuck Taylor’s carefully sought out from rows upon rows of used shoe racks. Yet while I was busily not getting laid in high school and when I wasn’t being goaded into buying much-hated uniform shoes, it was I who wore all those unloved shoes at all those unspeakable prices.

It this very moment, I’m looking around my house at all the shoes I have for all the different events in my life. There’s walking shoes, fancy shoes, work shoes, boots, running shoes, shoes I never wear, strolling shoes, and tough guy shoes. And it’s really hard to justify all these freaking shoes. In a lot of ways, shoes have always been an indulgence for me. Not having a lot of money as a kid, it was nice having a vice. But when that vice is becoming impractical, it’s time to cut the apron strings. By the way, apron strings don’t make good shoe laces.

Better jokes will be available some day.

Projects On the Go

  • new zine idea
  • figuring out which shoes to give away and which to keep

Stuck in My Head

Biz Markie, “Just a Friend”


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