Old Shoes, New Shoes

I hate shopping on principle, but I really, really hate shoe shopping.  Why?  Because I think most men’s dress shoe styles look ridiculous, with their pointy-toed or square-toed ends and other decorative flourishes, and they especially look absurd on my gunboat-like size 13 feet.  The experience always leaves me feeling like I have a natural set of clown feet.

IMG_6351But, I had no choice.  My current set of work shoes were simply so old and worn out that even a shoeshopping-resistant person like me had to admit the time had come.  On one pair the sole had worked free and was beginning to flap, on another the heels were falling off, and on a third the vamp had cracked open.  And, I have to admit, separate and apart from these structural failings they all looked pretty beat to hell, too.

So today Kish and I went off to one of those mega-shoe stores and I walked down aisles of fancy men’s shoes, trying to find a sturdy pair of black shoes and two pairs of simple brown shoes.  I once again learned that shoe sizes vary widely depending upon the manufacturer, that the elves who install the laces on new shoes insist on doing so in a weird and sadistic way, and that male shoe designers apparently have been ingesting psychedelic substances and obtained their inspiration from the footwear of medieval court jesters.

Tomorrow I’ll be wearing some new shoes.  They will look ridiculous — of course.

Strawberry Shortcake

IMG_6344I’m not a dessert person, for the most part — but I’ve always had a soft spot for strawberry shortcake.  It’s the first dessert I remember eating at a restaurant, on one of the many occasions when Grandma and Grandpa Neal took UJ and me out on a “Sunday drive” to one of the small towns in northern Ohio.

So, when I see strawberry shortcake on the menu, the memories kick in and I’m always tempted to try it.  I gave in to temptation last night at the Sycamore.  They do it right, with freshly baked, light, crumbly shortcake, succulent sliced strawberries, and a creamy topping.  It’s the perfect end to an excellent summer meal.