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DeWayne's World - Shoes pose a quandry

DeWayne Bartels

I recall a song from the ’80s, “I Think I’m Turning Japanese.”

I also recall a song by Helen Reddy titled, “I Am Woman.”

Those two song titles have been going through my head as I contemplate a nagging question. That question — Am I turning into a woman?

I’m concerned after a recent visit with one of my sisters-in-law.

On June 27, I got a call from my sister-in-law, Amy. She asked me to come to her house.

I found out she had been at a sale at the Washington WalMart.

She found shoes on clearance for $1 to $2.50 a pair.

She bought me 12 pairs of shoes — tennis shoes, dress shoes, causal shoes and hiking boots.

I’ve never really cared much about shoes in the past. They were just something to get me from Point A to Point B without something sticking  me in my heel.

But, that afternoon as I peered at all these shoes, I was actually excited.

I pulled them out and looked at tennis shoes with shock absorbers in the heel.

I rubbed the suede shoes.

I let my feet luxuriate over the bumps in a pair of Dr. Scholl’s slip-ons.

I pressed the gelatin in the heel of another pair of shoes.

I have never had that many pairs of shoes at one time in my life.

That night I lay in bed looking at the shoes. I started going over in my mind what I would wear the next day.

I decided on a pair of blue slacks and a green polo shirt.

I asked my wife, Melody, if the light brown shoes I wanted to wear would go with the ensemble I had selected.

She cocked her head, and said, “You are becoming such a woman.”

I think she said that out of jealousy.

She only got three pairs of shoes from her sister.

I got 12.

But, a comment like that can fester. I know I went through hormone changes when I was a teenager.

Perhaps I am going through some now that I’ve passed 50.

Am I becoming a woman because of this shoe thing? That is the question I asked of my co-workers, hoping they would help me sort this out.

“Caring about one’s appearance is not just a ‘woman’ thing. My question is, is that sale still going on? And can I get there and back on a lunch hour?,” said publisher Linda Smith Brown.

Morton Times-News Editor Nathan Domenighini said, “I can say that you are not turning into a woman. You must have become so bored during your vacation that you began to consider things women do.”

I was starting to feel good.

Then executive editor Jeanette Kendall chimed in with, “No, we, as humans, all have wants/desires. Men’s are just a little different than women’s, but the fact that you are getting excited about shoes may suggest you are a little on the feminine side. (Just kidding!)”

Just kidding, she says.

Yeah, I’ll bet. She must be jealous of my shoes, too. She even mentioned I cut my beard off.  

I bet she’s sending out an e-mail right now to all the other women in the office. “You won’t believe what DeWayne has on. The shoelaces in his new shoes don’t match his shirt.”

Or she’s thinking, “I can see why those shoes were on sale.”

Oh, I’m just going to put Jeanette and her petty remarks behind my back, out of my mind. Instead, I’m going to go out and get a new sports coat and ascot to accessorize my shoes. But, a pedicure is definitely out of the question.

I already feel more masculine.

DeWayne Bartels is news editor of the Woodford Times.