Always Wear Shoes


I was an instructor at a small college northeast of Cincinnati. As an instructor I always wore shoes. It had been a long time since I ceased walking around barefoot.  My wife gets angry at me because I enter the house, walk around the house, walk the dog (out of the house) and go from room to room with my shoes attached to my feet. I firmly believe that when in your house, or home, you ought wear your shoes. I have always believed this, but I did not always know why.Well, you reach a certain age and you get tired of watching television, tired of reading and, yes tired of wearing your shoes.


But my advice is, wear your shoes.


Here is why. You never know when you will see anyone not wearing shoes, but when you do you will know how important it is to wear shoes. Not because your feet stink, you can take a shower and be rid of stench, and not because you will step on a nail, a tack, a bee, or any number of things which fall on your floor, but you do not want to be seen barefoot. Unless you are showering or swimming or high sky diving you ought always wear shoes.


And here is why.


There is nothing more terrifying than seeing a human being with out shoes on his or her feet. It happened once when I was a youth. My parents went out to some function and I wither did not want to go or I wasn't invited. It was a rainy night and my favorite show was on. In those days, when I was a youth, we only had three channels on the television we possessed. That meant not very many choices to watch and if you or I had a favorite show, Sky King, later it was X-Files, you would happily let your parents go to their boring parties.


So there I sat. The show was over and I was kneeling in anticipation of the next week's presentation when I heard a knocking at the door. Gathering up my courage I walked slowly to the door. I slowly put my face to the window, then I slowly let my eyes leer at the ground where I saw the most frightening thing I have ever seen.  A man, or perhaps a woman, was standing on my uncarpeted front porch withÉno shoes on.


Terrified, I let my heart race. The fear was so tremendous that I could hear my heart pulse in my ears. I wanted to move away from the door, but I wasÉafraid. Would the feet without any shoes follow me to the television or the bathroom? Would the naked feet grow a mouth and holler at me? Would the feet jump through the window and steal all my newly bought CD's?  Many such intelligent thoughts filtered through my mind, as I was unable to move my head, and thus my seeing, from the horror of naked feet on a cold wet night at my door.


Life returned when I realized that the naked feet at the door were not outside in the rain but my very own feet inside and quite dry.


Let it be known then why I do and will continue to wear shoes, and socks, in the house, especially when it is raining, especially when I am home alone. 


© G. David Schwartz


Bio:  G. David Schwartz is the former president of Seedhouse, the online interfaith committee. Schwartz is the author of, "A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue" and "Midrash" and "Working Out Of The Book." Currently a volunteer at the Cincinnati J Meals on Wheels, Schwartz continues to write. His latest book is,  "Shards and Verse"  (2011, Publish America).