thisworldofhurt

Archive for the ‘shoes’ Category

Area 51… Or Maybe Just My Bathroom

In Abductions, Aliens, Chicktography, Dads, daughters, dresses, Footwear, Humor, husbands, Investigations, Laundry, life, love, Men, naked, Parents, Sandals, shoes, UFOs, Women on November 19, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Every home in America contends with laundry. A home with six permanent and two part-time residents generates quite a bit of it. When five of the six permanent residents are girls, two of whom are teenagers, the home tends to generate the average American family’s weekly laundry allotment in about sixteen hours. For those of you who may not be familiar with teenage girl wardrobe selection protocols, please allow me to give you a brief summery of the manual.

Actually, the previous statement was a lie. I cannot tell you what is contained within the pages of this manual, as I have never seen it. It is a strictly guarded secret in the female realm, much like their special language. The language where the wife speaks the words, “I am so thirsty,” which could be translated into “Honey, I would like you to bring me something to drink,” or perhaps, “I am so tired of summer. I can’t wait for fall time,” or “Does anybody know where I sat down my glass of water?” or it could mean, “I am so thirsty”. Who knows? Not me. All I know is when my wife speaks in this way, there is a 70% chance I will interpret her meaning incorrectly.

Why? Because I have never seen this manual containing this language, rules, interpretations, addendums, or in this case, dismissed wardrobe selection protocols, that’s why. And even if I did stumble across one, it would take a special decoder ring in order to actually read what was printed on the pages inside. Therefore all I can do is give you my assumptions based on observations I have witnessed over the last several years.

In the world of the teenage girl, the mere consideration of wearing an outfit for the day deems the outfit mentally soiled, thus requiring a laundering service. Basically, thinking about wearing something makes it dirty. And apparently, prepubescent girls have a condensed but similar manual.

In the elementary version of this textbook there is a different set of clothing protocols. While there seems to be nothing specifically about wardrobe considerations, there is some kind of parameter that states the dirty clothes hamper is a perfectly acceptable overflow container when the dresser drawer is full. At least this is my assumption as I can think of no other reason I would find layers of neatly folded clothing beneath piles of dirty ones.

And this constitutes only a small portion of the laundry we create. These are the clothes not worn. The remaining articles of clothing, the ones actually worn, those requiring soap and water, take up a considerable portion of one of the rooms in our house.

A couple of years ago we built onto our home in order to accommodate the growing size of our family. One of the things we did was to build on a bathroom large enough to install a washer, dryer, and hot water heater. With a double sink, toilet, and bathtub, as you can imagine, this bathroom could easily equal a small bedroom in many homes.

Not long ago, after skipping a few days of laundry due to extra time spent working at the newspaper office, I stepped into the back bathroom to catch up on some household chores. I was concerned, if not shocked, perhaps even momentarily terrified at what I saw.

The clothing lay strewn about the floor in a most curious fashion. There were shirts, inside out, hair ties cinching the fabric to better fit the form of the slender body that no longer remained inside. I saw pants along side the shirts, inside out, underwear still attached; in some cases, socks peeking from inside the cuffs of the legs as if some mysterious force sucked the body from within the garments. Empty shoes, boots, and sandals tossed about the floor, a floor I could no longer see. This was either the epicenter of one of the worst laundering accidents experienced by mankind, or this was the scene of a massive alien abduction.

In the end, I figured if the aliens had them, they better hope they had one heck of a laundry facility aboard their interstellar craft, because they had abducted an entire squad of laundry generators. I smiled, alone with the thoughts of just how foolish this “superior” species had been to abduct my crew. I set about my task of triaging the scene by color, which was promptly ignored when the girls had returned home, apparently not abducted by aliens after all.

So, for now, I will just continue to buy the industrial size detergent box, keep looking to the stars for potential UFOs, and make sure the Maytag Man is on speed dial, because the quest for whiter whites is an uphill battle in This World of Hurt.

Dangerous Fashion

In Beach, Body, Footwear, life, Men, Sandals, shoes, shopping, Uncategorized on June 19, 2013 at 9:59 am

Through a series of events I recently ended up spending the night in Charleston, South Carolina, a city that in many ways reminds me of my old stomping grounds, New Orleans. Except that it’s cleaner, and surrounded by beaches. The food isn’t as good, and the music scene is not even close to comparable, but at least you don’t have to carry your money in your shoe to fool any would be mugger that lurks around each dimly lit corner of the Crescent City. Don’t worry, I still love you Big Easy.

What I discovered in Charleston is that I’m glad I don’t have to depend on my footwear to protect my finances. The shoes that I brought along with me would have done their job splendidly on the filth covered streets of the French Quarter, but were less than desirable when it came to beach sand.

Bear in mind that this trip to Charleston was an unscheduled detour on our trip. My wife, who had made a business trip to Portland, Oregon, earlier this year had mentioned that if we were to detour slightly and head to Charleston, she could have traveled coast to coast this year. Without giving my footwear a second thought, I said that would be a great idea, so while heading south toward Columbia, I just kind of real subtle like, turned the wheel to the left and drove to Charleston.

After arriving, I removed my shoes for a nice walk on the beach with my wife, and upon returning to the car I soon remembered something that is easily forgotten when living in an aired climate such as West Texas: beach sand is not easily removed from the skin, especially moist feet. Damn. I didn’t pack my sandals. Which I am not a fan of by the way, and not just “my” sandals but any sandals. To me sandals are like the Eiffel Tower of foot ware; they may be very well made and very safe, but when you look at them they just appear to be incomplete. But like I said, I didn’t pack my sandals, so moot point right?

Well like them or not, I looked in some of the local beach shops for a pair of sandals, and decided that I would just have to pass on spending fifty plus dollars on a pair of incomplete shoes. Unfortunately, the high price of unfinished footwear led me to the purchase of an item that I have not had on my feet since I was six: the “flip-flop”.

I see people in all walks of life, all over the country, in all types of both urban and rural settings with flip-flops upon their feet. In fact I was discussing my experience with a gentleman I met down at the hotel’s pool area named Lee, who told me that he, on occasion, even rides his Harley wearing flip-flops. So my question to all of you people who seem to get around with the seeming ease of mobility while having the soles of your shoes held in place by nothing more that a string between your toes is: How in the hell do you do it?

For crying out loud, I could barely get from one block to the next, and I am not too proud to admit that it took a conscious effort to accomplish this. First let me say that I do not like the sensation of anything being between my toes. I don’t do toe socks, toe rings, and there is no way that I am even going to attempt to to try on a pair of the new five finger shoes that have become so popular; not gonna happen. But just a few years ago I couldn’t stand for my food to touch. In fact I would prefer all of my edibles to come served on individual plates, but hey, now I can eat fajitas no problem. Baby steps right? So, I strap these things between my toes and off I go.

I don’t take two steps before my brain realizes that something is going seriously wrong. I would guess that the communication between my brain and the rest of my body is going something like this:

Brain: Ok everyone, we’re trying out some new shoes, so lets get him up to speed and then we’ll switch over to auto-pilot.

Body: Understood we are ready for walking procedures.

Toes: There seems to be something stuck between us, but it is causing no real discomfort.

Brain: That is part of the new shoes; It should be ok. Are we ok to launch?

Body: Ready.

(A few steps later)

Inner Ear: Losing power!

Brain: Feet! What the hell is going on down there!?

Feet: Toes are curling, sir.

Brain: Toes, Report!

Toes: The footwear is not attached! Repeat, the footwear is NOT attached! We are curling in an attempt to grip the shoe.

Brain: Understood, good work. Arms! For crying out loud slow your pace before you put him over on his face!

Arms: Sorry, sir. Slowing.

Brain: Heart! Lungs! Relax down there. We had some minor issues with the new shoes, but the toes are compensating.

Heart and Lungs in unison: We percieved danger! Are you absolutely sure that additional oxygen flow is not required.

Brain: Affirmative Heart and Lungs, there is NO danger. Stand down. I repeat, stand down.

Inner Ear: Power is back up, sir. Balance is reengaging.

Brain: Systems check.

Body: Running at 94 percent, sir.

Brain: Toes?

Toes: We’re holding our own, sir.

Brain: Good work. Keep it up.

And this is how the rest of my day went. Me attempting to maneuver around the streets of an unfamiliar city, while a portion of my brain is devoted to making sure that my shoes stay on my feet. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to remove the flip-flop while driving, before I became a danger to everyone else and not just myself. Driving barefoot is equally uncomfortable, but I believe that should be a blog all unto itself. For now let me just say that driving barefoot is intentionally making something that you have done a million times suddenly uncomfortable by removing clothing. Driving barefoot would be similar to grocery shopping in a speedo.

I managed to survive day one of wearing one of the most dangerous garments ever created by man, and I look forward taking them off at the end of day two. And so do my toes, who have to spend yet another day gripping the soles of an incomplete shoe to insure that it remains in place. For them it’s just one more day in This World of Hurt.

Books, Shoes, Life, and Death

In baths, books, children, death, dogs, life, love, Moms, shoes on May 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

There are a couple of things that my wife truly loves. One, she loves to read books. She’s always in search of a well-told story and she enjoys many different kinds of literature. However she will always eventually circle back to the tried and true romance novels. She will buy a new one—usually a six or seven dollar paperback—read it intently, transporting it from room to room, occasionally bursting out in laughter, all leading up to the inevitable waterworks. What is it with crying? This seems kind of unreal to me, but when a female cries, she may be neither sad, nor be in any kind of pain. In fact, I have discovered the full gambit of human emotion could at any time be expressed through tears. So when a woman cries, she could be sad… or overjoyed, or angry, or stressed out, or completely indifferent and upset about the fact that they feel completely indifferent, or it could be that there is just currently too much information running through her head to be processed at one time. All you can do is ask her what’s wrong, and chances are she will respond between sniffles by saying, “nothing”.  If that wasn’t strange enough, they will seek out forms of entertainment such as television, cinema, and books that will evoke this very particular response.  Girls are weird.

Anyway, the second thing that my wife truly loves are shoes; specifically high heels—around five to six inches—and I have to say that I dig the whole “love for heels” thing. After all, high-heeled shoes are sexy; are they not? I mean how often do you hear some guy say, “Hey, did anyone see that gorgeous bombshell in the flats?” I don’t love it so much when we go on any kind of road trip, mainly because of the amount of shoes that are brought along. But you never know what you’re going to do on vacation, and—of course—any outfit that may be worn for any particular outing or event is going to have to start with the perfect pair of shoes. Needless to say, however, whenever we travel, at least one suitcase is going to be full of various makes and models of elevated footwear.

Now, as it happened one sunny afternoon, I arrived home with a carload of my young ladies. The teenager and mom had not left school yet when I followed the younger kids through the front door of our home. I was forced to remain just inside the entryway as the children had formed a human roadblock, keeping me from proceeding to the living room. I instructed them to keep moving, reminding them that my hands were full, and gently tried to nudged them from behind. But, it was if they either didn’t hear me, or were incapable of moving at all. Then, as they stood there frozen, whatever items they were carrying suddenly dropped to the floor, their limbs, paralyzed with shock. I continued—for a moment longer—with my orders to keep a forward motion when I saw for myself what had petrified my children.

There, in the center of the living room floor, were a pair of my wife’s, sienna colored, open-toed, heels. The shoes were covered—as well as much of the rest of the floor—with what appeared to be confetti. Tiny pieces of paper lay strewn about the room, some of which seemed to have markings on them. I noticed a few larger pieces, and then a few more; it seemed as though to be a trail. I followed this trail of increasingly sized paper, all the while, cocking my head this way and that until I realized with a great measure of alarm just what those markings represented: words, sentences… paragraphs.

This scenario temporarily gave me pause as my mind worked out the possibilities, followed by terror of the potential outcome of my internal investigation. I instantly turned back to the shoes in the middle of the floor—having not remembered seeing them there when I left for work that morning—for a closer examination. My fears became reality as I inspected the shoes, finding thousands of tiny holes and missing pieces of leather. Oh know, I thought, the dog!  You see we are the owners of a young two-year-old Border collie. A dog, mind you, that I firmly said, “No” to, and one that my wife brought home the following afternoon anyway. However, she is a beautiful animal, smart, good with the kids, and was my favorite price… free. Even though I wasn’t thrilled about this new addition to the family at the time, I have grown to love my dog, and could not imagine my life without her. That’s right I said her. Why should that come as a shock at all by this point? It’s just one more girl.

I knew that the children and I had to work fast in order to save the life of the K-9. We had to thoroughly clean the crime scene, as well as make sure the room itself was free of any of our personal items that did not belong in the living area. My wife has unusually sensitive olfactory senses; so it would also help to spray the room with the cinnamon and apple spray that is her favorite.

I instructed the children of what needed to be done, to which they agreed immediately—after all they were also concerned about the life of the family pet—and we began to work with furious efficiency. It was about this time when the dog arrived, having come from her hiding place in the teenager’s room—the one furthest from the front door—and cautiously returned to the scene of the crime. “Duchess Archiline Hurt,” I exclaimed to her, “are you out of your mind? You ate mom’s book, and a pair of heels. Holy crap! She’s going to kill you!”

Her face was solemn as she looked up at me with her golden eyes and in my head I heard her soft British accent reply, “I know and I am truly sorry. I just get so nervous when I’m alone in the house… But in my defense, I only ate the first three chapters of the book; they were not as delicious as the shoes.”

We continued with due diligence, and by the time that my wife walked through the door, the cleanup operation was successfully completed. “Mmmm, it smells good in here,” she said upon entering, and then swiveling her head about continued with a gasp, “and it’s so clean!”

I took her by the hands and looked lovingly into her eyes. “Baby,” I said, “There is something I have to tell you.” To which she immediately exclaimed, “THE DOG ATE MY SHOES DIDN’T SHE?!” I sat her down and explained the series of events that had just taken place. Fortunately, for the dog, my wife had already finished the first three chapters of the book, and the shoes were not her favorite pair. So, much to our relief, she agreed to spare the life of the dog.

Now, I told you this story to help illustrate a truth I have just recently discovered. Even though we live way out in the county, we prefer Duchess to be an inside dog. This is in part because being a border collie she instinctively attempts to herd any animal she sees, and my brother-in-law’s horses do not wish to be herded, and partly because she always seems to return covered in all sorts of nasty material, and of course, smell like a dog. This does not sit well with my wife’s sensitivity to smells and I am in turn delegated to bathe the dog.

In those cases in which Duchess has made a successful escape from the house I have noticed that she will not return to me when I call for her. I will call her name, she will turn in recognition, and I will see momentary contemplation of decisions in her body language just seconds before she sprints away in the other direction. Now, how can this be? She minds me with unquestioning loyalty inside the house. It will literally take but a snap of my fingers to bring her to my side from any room in the house, but only inside the house, never outside. She will come to my children and she will more often than not come to my wife. My father-in-law frequently takes her with him riding around the countryside and reports that she helps him herd the cattle and returns to him with no problems… but not so with me.

As I pondered this, the answer hit me like a shovel to the face of an unwitting burglar, the baths. Yes, that is it. The dog now believes that I am calling her, not to bring her in for food or shelter, but for the dreaded scrubbing of a lifetime.

This is a member of the family that I feed, water, show love, and ritualistically scratch those hard to reach places like the base of the ears. I take her out—sometimes in the middle of the night—when she has to go, sneak the occasional delicious treat to when no one is looking, and at least on one occasion, have saved her life, and yet—because of my wife’s nasal issues—she listens to me no more than any one else in the family. It would seem as though, my wife and her overactive sense of smell, have managed to put a significant strain on my relationship with my dog. I have come to the conclusion that there will be no resolve to this situation, as I am frequently reminded by the youngest of the 10 year olds, “A happy wife leads to a happy life.” I gather that I will just have to take it one day—and one bath—at a time living in This World of Hurt.

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