In a recent conversation where stories were being shared on the topic of "Really Stupid Things I've Done," one of mine had to do with wearing mismatched shoes--not once, but four--count 'em, four--different times in my life. I blame this on two habits in particular:
1. If I find a "triple-threat" shoe, i.e. comfortable, attractive, and affordable, I usually buy it in several colors.
2. At the end of the day, I'm inclined to kick my shoes off into a little pile rather than line them up neatly on the shoe-organizer shelves in my closet.
The first time I wore mismatched shoes was in 1972, when I hurriedly pulled on knee-high go-go boots, one black and one brown, and wore them to the grocery store. This was in a tiny town in Georgia, and my sweet neighbor, bless her heart, said not to worry about it, that anybody who'd noticed would be wantin' to get a pair just like 'em.
The second time involved high-heeled pumps, both black, one with a subtle leaf design on the toe and one plain, and one with a heel that was a half-inch higher than the other. I wore those shoes to work, and I remember that for the first hour or so of that day, one foot was sort of dragging when I walked.
The third time, I wore one black loafer and one navy blue one, identical except for the color, and didn't notice it until well after I got back from running errands on my lunch hour.
You'd think there couldn't be a worst-case scenario involving mismatched shoes, but on the fourth occasion, I managed to top the first three. That time, too, it was one black shoe and one navy blue one, and I remember thinking as I drove to work that the shoe on my right foot was painful. I couldn't imagine why, since I wore those shoes frequently and they were well broken in. By the time I got to work, I was too busy to pay attention to it. Once more, hours passed before I noticed I was wearing shoes of different colors. It was while I was slapping my forehead and laughing about how I couldn't believe I'd done it again that I noticed one more thing: Both the black one and the blue one were left shoes.