Shoes send messages

Published 4:25 am Sunday, February 8, 2009

By Staff
I have a beef this week and I wanted to let off a little steam. I could sum it all up by making one statement, but for those who may need a little more explanation, here it goes.
Just this week I was driving on a street in Brewton. I won't give the name of the street or which day this incident took place for fear that I may unintentionally embarrass or other wise harass any individual.
As I drove down the street I noticed an individual walking along the side of the street. This in itself is no big deal. People all over Brewton and East Brewton walk the sidewalks for exercise and as a way to get from point A to point B.
What caught my attention more than anything else was the large, fluffy, somewhat dirty house shoes the person was wearing.
Now, don't get me wrong, I like to be comfortable as much as possible. But one thing is for sure, unless you see me walking down the hall of the hospital in a gown and housecoat, you will never, ever see me in public wearing shoes that were made to be worn in my house.
And, everyone should keep in mind the kind of shoes you wear can certainly send a message to those who see what you're wearing.
This image brought up so many other memories of seeing similar clothing options walking around on the sidewalks, in grocery stores, in fast food restaurants and just about any other business you can imagine.
I have seen people, young and old, male and female, in line at the counter at local fast food restaurants in their pajamas. Most folks did take care in taking off their fuzzy slippers in favor of a pair of flip-flops, but they were still in their pajamas.
What's worse is that most people who choose to wear their house shoes to do the grocery shopping do so while dragging their scruffy slippers across the tiles of the store.
Seeing people wear bedroom clothes and shoes in public reminds me of something else that bothered me when I was a child.
If you're more than 35 years old, you'll probably remember this if you can think back that far.
When I was a child it was typical for a family to do their weekly grocery shopping on Saturday.
I can't tell you how many times those Saturday morning grocery store visits netted a few sightings of women in hair curlers.
Oh, they'd try to hide them. All manner of scarves, kerchiefs and hats would be crammed down over those pink and green sponge rollers. It was a sight to see.
The difference in those women in rollers of so many years ago and the folks who wear their pajamas to town today is that those women showed a little humility in their attire. At least they tried to hide the fact that they weren't quite ready to have the world see what was going on under that scarf.
Let me throw this in as an excuse for those ladies back then. People only went to the grocery store once a week instead of the two or three times we drop by the grocery store these days. Saturday was the day when those shopping trips were made. And, since Sunday followed Saturday and required a good hair-do for church, there just was no way to avoid the occasional trip to the store in hair curlers.
That, in my opinion, was a somewhat acceptable excuse. There is, in my opinion, no excuse for showing up at the grocery store, the gas station or even a fast-food restaurant in pajamas.
However, if a person shows up at the hospital emergency room in their pajamas, either with a sick loved-one in the middle of the night or if they're sick themselves, I will certainly offer my sympathy and grant some leniency.
I have a theory that if a person is caught off guard and needs to get out of the house so quickly as not to have time to change from pajamas to regular clothes, the very least they could do is throw on a pair of flip flops. If you have to take the time to slide your feet into something, couldn't you just as easily slide into a shoe that was made to be worn outdoors in public? I'm thinking the answer is yes.
Here's the one statement I said would sum up the whole thing: they are called bedroom/house shoes for a reason.
Lisa Tindell is news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by email at

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