Growing up on a grain farm in the 1970s, I had three footwear options: boots for winter and spring, shoes for church and runners. If these didn’t cut it, going shoeless worked. At my prime, I could run barefoot across our gravel yard the size of a football field. I was a prairie-kid version of a fire walker. And if bare feet were good enough for Fred Flintstone to power a car, then they’ve got to be good enough for a backyard.
Fast forward thirty years to the suburbs and you’ll find my kids, each with their own Imelda Marcos collection. Each twin has: runners for school, runners for outside, cleats for soccer, dress sandals, Crocs, flip flops, winter boots, rubber boots, dress shoes and slippers. They could go a week without wearing the same pair twice.
The choice baffles even them. William delights in wearing his rubber boots after it’s snowed a foot. Vivian prefers to put on flip flops when she’s wearing tights.
How did this excess happen? Likely with the same philosophy that gave my kids twenty pairs of pants each, 5,000 pieces of Lego and a zoo-sized menagerie of stuffed animals.
No wonder we need shoe racks and closet organizers, two items I never had growing up.
Humans need a shoe rule: one pair per year of age, maxing out once you’re a teenager. Babies get one pair, 12-year-olds can have a dozen. It’s a shoe moratorium, saving ourselves from consumer excess.
Of course, that would necessitate reducing my own footprint.
—Ironic Mom (aka Leanne)