Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Joke Is, I Don't Wear Shoes Unless I Have To

During my 2-1/2 years+ between jobs a while back I discovered two very important things about myself.
  • I would have no trouble keeping myself happy and occupied in retirement
  • I hate wearing shoes
I mean any shoes. The most comfortable sneakers. Hush Puppies, if I could get away with not getting beaten up. Terry bath slippers. I shed them all and discovered the joys of bearing my feet, walking, running and doing nothing at all.

To accommodate polite society I did develop an affection for flip-flops. I wore out my first pair in two years and in 2007 bought a pair of Rainbows for the outlandish price of $45 on the advice of a kid I should not have trusted. I wear them constantly, to this day. Excellent value prop.

But I digress. A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of dining with an eclectic group of people including Shane and Shawn Ward, the shoe entrepreneurs. We stayed in touch, and one day they graciously, and with zero warning, gave my wide-eyed daughter and I a backstage tour of the store at 238 Mulberry Street.

As we were saying our goodbye's and thank you's and as I awkwardly tried to figure out exactly what sort of handshake slash hug thing was going on (I can only imagine the fun the brothers had at my so-unhip white boy expense after we left) I reached into my pocket for a business card and also pulled out my money clip -- which probably also dates me, though it an accessory truly popularized about 5 generations before my time.

I had a few bills that day, and Shane started calling me J-Money. I am sure that this was only the leading edge of the fun they had at my expense moments later (see above). My daughter was mock mortified, increasingly so as I attempted to work my new, proud moniker into conversation after conversation.

And now, it all comes full circle.

I don't wear shoes unless I have to, but I have shoes named after me, by Shane and Shawn. And they are called J-Money.

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