Most of us recognize the old expression “to start off on the wrong foot.” I’ll be bold and speak for myself and my fellow humans, and say that we have done, and continue to do this repeatedly.
And then there’s the saying “to put the shoe on the wrong foot.” I’ve probably done that literally, a few times, although I can’t remember any specifics. It’s the kind of thing one likes to forget. Metaphorically though, I know I’ve done it frequently.
But what about “to wear one wrong shoe?” It’s not an expression with which I’m familiar. But after the first morning outing of the new year with my dog-walking pack, it’s a phrase I’ve been considering.
Yesterday, round about the halfway point on the walk, a friend noticed that I was wearing two different shoes. “Maybe it was intentional?,” she suggested, graciously offering me the benefit of the doubt.
But no. It was unintended. I was clearly not attempting a bold fashion statement, like the occasional celebrity swanning down the red carpet in deliberately mismatched eight-inch fuchsia Manolo Blahniks. Nor had I even been aware of the difference. As usual, I’d picked out two boots from the dim jumble of the hall closet (which includes the vacuum and its various attachments). And put them on without really looking. I remember thinking one felt a little odd. Even then, as I examined it, I didn’t notice I was wearing an unmatched pair.
“At least they’re both boots,” another friend commented.
Yes. An excellent point. And much alike in shape and color, I will add. One boot was older, with more wear. But not old enough, and not worn enough, to be discarded just yet. And speaking as an older person, one who shows more wear, I will absolutely not say that the older shoe is the wrong one.
I’d like to glean some wisdom from this little anecdote. Maybe it’s that we tend to walk with more confidence, and less awkwardness, when both shoes are of a pair. A match, though, is not absolutely necessary, and maybe not always even preferable, depending upon the circumstances.
But maybe the real point of the story is this: surround yourself with friends who are willing to stick by you, no matter what shoes you happen to wear. When we walk with the right pack, a kind and thoughtful pack, no shoe can be wrong.
May this new year find you journeying along with just such a pack.