|John and I have discovered there is a little problem when both of us decide to buy the same kind of shoes to cope with the winter weather. These are our new shoes, along with the red tags John has added to solve the problem.|
|These are our old pairs. How do you choose which belong to you?|
|The winter lineup: from left, our two pairs of new shoes, our two pairs of old ones, my running shoes for better days, my Sorel boots for worse ones.|
A few years ago, when John and I went to look for winter shoes that would grip in the snow and repel the slush, I was struck by the fact that men's shoes were so much more -- everything -- than the women's versions. Better built, more substantial -- they looked like shoes that meant business. As a longtime walker, I couldn't see the point of the flimsier ones over in the women's section. The result? We ended up with two pairs of the same men's shoes -- John's one size bigger.
This year's wretched winter sent us back to the store for updated versions, and once again, I was glued to the men's section. We were both interested in the new-technology water-repellent shoe on offer, and both of us found it more comfortable than others we tried on. Once again, we ended up with the same shoes.
We are quite comfortable with matching shoes (and hats, for that matter), but we have found there is one problem. One day, on my return from a long solo walk after we'd bought the first pair, John gave me a funny look. "Did you notice anything strange about the shoes?" he asked. Turns out, I had taken one of his shoes. All I'd felt was a slight looseness, but he couldn't get a foot into one of the shoes I'd left behind.
John solved the problem by adding red tags to the backs of his pair. When we got home with our new ones, his first move was to bring out the red tape. He doesn't mind sharing the men's shoe department with me, but he wants both shoes to be at home when he needs them.