Wednesday, May 4, 2016

If Shoes Were Cars

My son owns a landscape construction company (and I work for him). Every year he buys two or three trucks to add to the fleet. This year he bought a tandem. In case you don't know what that is, it's basically a really big truck.

The day he brought it home--or to the yard (the truck's home), all the men oohed and aahed. The other landscapers salivated and grew green with envy (although green--and growing are both good in this business).

Sometimes the men forget that I'm a woman and start talking about engine parts, tires, and vehicle performance. I stare at them vacantly, just like they do when I talk--in general.

I suppose that's what it's like for men when women talk shoes.

My husband owns five pairs of shoes. Two standard interchangeable ones for work, two pairs of sneakers and one pair of hiking boots. That's it. My daughter owns 40. Her ex-boyfriend sold most of her nice sneakers to a crackhead that he worked with, so she "only" has about five. 

I don't know--or care about--the difference between a Ford F-350 and an International 550, except that one is bigger. But I have learned that there are various types of trucks that are useful for different kinds of work.

Just like shoes.

If trucks were shoes, I would understand their purpose so much better. And I could pick them out in a vehicular lineup.

That gets me thinking. What if shoes were trucks? Or cars? What would they be?

Let's start with work boots. Made to protect your feet while you get a job done. They're meant to get dirty and take a beating. Hummer material. A tank for the everyday person.

Hiking boots? They're like tandem trucks or other, similarly large dump trucks. Really big trucks meant for the long haul that can withstand all sorts of weather.

Cowboy boots. A pickup truck of course. With a rifle rack in the back window.

Rain boots however, should not really be in the "boot" category at all. They're sissy boots. Playthings. Who even wears those anymore? Rain boots? Smart Car. Who even drives those?

Sneakers are tricky because there are ordinary, everyday ones (like Sketchers), walking shoes (New Balance),and Cross Trainers (Adidas, Nike, and Reebok). And then there are the sneakers for serious athletes, like Under Armour and...well, I don't know because I'm not a serious athlete. Keds are sort of like rain boots--play sneakers. No support. You wear them because you either want to look like Taylor Swift or pretend you're still living in the 1950s--which I think she also did when she was dating that Kennedy boy. And then there are designer sneakers, none of which I know. But Amy (my daughter) would. Or the crackhead who bought them from her ex-boyfriend.

I'm going to play the diversity card here. Okay, so it's the easy way out. But seriously, sneakers go from Keds to...those designer ones. So basically, they could be any car. But not a truck. And always a mid-line model, because that's what sneakers are. They're sort of in the middle of the shoe category as a whole.

Loafers and other sensible flat shoes that you'd wear to work: Chevy Malibu. No further explanation.

Orthopedic shoes? Take a guess...

That's right. A Buick.

Then there are sandals. Fun summery footwear. Flirty. Cute. Kind of basic. Definitely Jeep Wrangler or Mini Cooper.

Flip flops? They don't even count as shoes. They're rubber cut outs. I'll be nice and say moped, but I'm prone to think that they're more in the bicycle category.

Now we get into our dress shoes. There are the ones you buy at Kohl's, Dress Barn, and Marshall's (can you tell where I buy mine?). These are akin to a Toyota trying to be a Lexus, a Volkswagen attempting to imitate an Audi and a Nissan copying an Acura. No one quite knows which one it is until they get close.

Then there are the real deals. The Christian Louboutin (I had to look up the spelling, so you know I don't have any of those in my closet, although I know my daughter does), Manolo Blahnik (yup, had to look that one up too), and Jimmy Choos--to name a few. Contrary to what you may think (based on the above paragraph), these are NOT the Lexus, Acura or Audi. Well, some are. But mostly, these shoes are the Mercedes Benzes, Beemers, and Porsches (um...I had to look that one up too) of footwear. 

I think I may have discovered a Rolls Royce here. Oh, please, don't pass this by. Click on it. By the way, you know you've encountered something expensive when the item does a 360 degree turn on the page all by itself. 

If you're too lazy to click on the link, I'll tell you what you missed: 

Christian Louboutin crystal leather pumps. 

Made with real Swarovski (had to look that one up too. I can't even pronounce it) crystals and genuine leather--not the fake stuff I buy. It's got a padded insole, which is good because the heel is almost 5" and probably only a quarter of an inch thick. Even if I could afford them, I wouldn't be able to walk in them.

The price tag? $3,995.00. But the good news is that if you register your e-mail address with Saks, you get a 10% discount! That's $400 off, bringing the price down to only $3,595.00.

I could by a crappy used truck for that and get a lot more mileage out of it. Then maybe I'd be able to talk shop with the guys. As for them talking shoes? Well, my guess is that every one of them has the same number of shoes in their closet as my husband. 

I'm better off learning to talk shop.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tools vs. Purses

I don't get the fascination most men have with tools. Or trucks. Sure, both are useful. Tools do a job. Trucks get you somewhere. But so do purses and shoes. And they're so much more fun to buy. And cost less (for the most part). Which is how women justify the need for so many.

Since I have a lot to say on this topic, let's talk first about tools vs. purses. Tomorrow, we'll delve into trucks vs. shoes.

Tools vs. Purses

Both do a job. Tools fix things and are useful for installing hooks, nails, screws, and other various hardware necessary for hanging pretty pictures and putting IKEA type furniture together. But not really. It's the men who do the fixing, installing, and building. They only use the tools to complete the task. This is why I don't need tools. I have a man.

Of course, there are women who don't have--or need--a man to do these things. Many women are quite adept at tool-related tasks. Some even enjoy it. For those women, I applaud you. Good for you. Also, there are pretty pink tool kits that combine all the tools you'll ever need into one handy carrying case. I used to have one. But then I got a man.

Or you could use your purse to put the ugly tools in. Either way, there's no need to have 4,593 tools that do the same job. All on the same top shelf of the toolbox, by the way. There are never any tools in the drawers.

Purses also do a job. They fix things, like where to put all the items you need when you go out. They're useful for holding things that you don't necessarily need, but may someday want, like bobby pins, three-year old lip gloss, two pennies, a memo pad, coupons that you forget you had until you get home, and other various objects that you move when you switch purses.

If you don't believe me, watch this video (What's in my purse? by Maddie Bragg). She has a LOT more in her purse than I ever did, including spare underwear.

That's another thing that purses have over tools. When you get tired of one, you can switch it out for a bigger, smaller, or more seasonal one. A screwdriver is just a screwdriver. Okay, there's a flat head, a Phillips head, and an Allen wrench. All equally boring. Who are these guys anyway that they get tools named after them? And is Allen his first or his last name? Typical male--uses only one name. I suppose it's like a Very Bradley purse. Or not.


Some smart man came up with the idea of wearing an all-in-one tool on his belt. I think it's called the Leatherman or some equally manly name. If it were a purse, it would be this:

Both are sort of cheating. 

And then there's the murse--a male purse. Otherwise known as a man bag. But we're not going there.

Then there are power tools. And power purses. For men, these would be circular saws, drills, sanders etc. And this thing, whatever it is. If that's the owner's manual in front of him, it must be pretty complicated. But men don't read those things anyway. They seem to already know how to use them.

A power purse, in case you're wondering is a Coach, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and the like. THESE are the kind of tools that women agree men should put their names on. 

One interesting thing to keep in mind: Power tools and power purses are actually similar in cost. Which one is worth the expense? You decide. Personally, I don't think either one is. 

I prefer to buy an average purse. The kind that's small, but roomy, lightweight, and looks good on. Yes, gentlemen, we try our purses on, just like our shoes. 

Speaking of shoes, notice how hers match her purse? I'll bet she searched all day for those. I don't know one man who would search all day for the perfect tool to match his truck. 

Tune in tomorrow, when I'll discuss those shoes...and trucks.