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Ordinary People Taking Action
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How often do you look at someone’s shoes?
I’m not a huge shoe person. If you ask my husband, I own a lot of them. Although, I know that I don’t have nearly as many as some of my friends. Many of them are hands- down-shoe-people. They have closets bursting with shoes — some of the best-looking shoes that I have ever seen. They’re the first to tell me that shoes complete your outfit. Some will even choose cute over comfort. My shoe style? Practical, but still cute.
When I was younger, I always thought that having a size 8 shoe size would be great. It seemed that every cute shoe came in a size 8. Maybe that is why I never developed a shoe obsession. They never seemed to fit my size 10 feet. I was already a size 10 in middle school — no cute shoes were a size 10 when I was in middle school.
Nowadays, cute shoes come in every size, so the “size 10” excuse doesn’t work anymore. Shoes to me are mainly about comfort, although I don’t approve of frumpy shoes nor shoes that don’t match your outfit. In my opinion, if all else fails, go with a classic shoe.
Today is August 25, 2010, and for some reason, I’m paying more attention than usual to people’s shoes. Maybe because I needed to stop and pick up a new pair for my son. Here’s what I noticed:
And then, I came across a man; let’s call him Chuck (the reasons why he looked like a Chuck to me are probably a whole new entry in itself). Chuck made me laugh. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt —nothing too fancy — but he still looked put together. I don’t remember the t-shirt specifics, except for the fact that it was a darker color, maybe navy blue. He had long hair, but not long enough for a pony tail. It was styled, but a messed-up type style. Can you picture that?
He was walking around with a huge smile, although I didn’t see his face until after I looked up from his shoes. Chuck, in my opinion, was a very happy-go-lucky guy. His jeans were rolled up a bit, which I imagine was done so that you wouldn’t miss his shoes. What made them so unique, you ask? They were clown shoes – yes, clown shoes. The kind that are bright blue and bright yellow with red and white stripes on the tips. They even had a big yellow star on the side. They were huge — much, much bigger than his actual foot. When he walked, they honked. Yes, you read that right. With every step, he made a honking noise.
Chuck was walking through the mall with his clown shoes on. Smiling the entire time. What does he do for a living, I wondered. Was he an actual clown? I really knew nothing about him. We made eye contact for a minute after I looked up from his feet and he gave me the biggest smile that I have ever seen. All this, randomly, on the day that I’d decided to pay attention to people’s shoes.
I then noticed that every person walking by was smiling at Chuck and he was smiling back. Even if they weren’t looking at shoes like I was, you couldn’t miss them. They were huge. They honked. You noticed Chuck no matter what.
Whether it was his intention or not, Chuck made me smile. I believe his intention was to bring joy to people — he had to know that people would notice those shoes. I wasn’t in the best of moods that day. Yet this random guy, forever known in my mind as “Chuck with Clown Shoes”, made me smile.
So, the next time you put on your shoes, whatever they are, remember your shoes might be noticed more than you ever thought they would. Maybe, more importantly, remember you have the power to change someone’s day for the better. At the mall, at the park, at the office. You have the power to make someone smile.