Dear Holly: You are So Obsessed with Your Shoes, You Wear 4 of Them at a Time!

1 year, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

This morning as I held you, walking your brother across the street to where the bus stop is, you held a pair of shoes in your hands. Obviously, you were also wearing another pair of shoes on your feet as well.

On the mornings I take you to school, the same thing happens. I get you all ready to go, and you’re always so excited. You grab your lunch box and walk to the front door, but then make a quick detour for the shoe closet to pick up a 2nd pair to hold.

Yes, if guess you figure since you only have 2 feet, you might as wear a 2nd pair on your hands… in theory.

So then I load you up in the car, drive you to school, and hand you to your teacher; and the whole time, you’re holding those shoes in your hands so tightly!

I admit it’s a little bit of a challenge to pry them out of your little pink hands. Seriously, it’s just that you’re so proud of your shoes. So naturally, in your mind, wearing one pair of shoes at a time just isn’t enough!

It didn’t take long for me to understand how you became this way. All I have to do is look at your Mommy.

She is so classy, so stylish, so fashionable. Though she would never admit it, she’s on top of things when it comes to making sure our whole family looks more than simply “presentable”.

So for you, at only a year and half years old, shoes having already become a part of your identity. I think I have to give all the credit to Mommy on this one.

I think it’s possible you’re starting to realize just how adorable you are…

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Holly: Your Monster Feet Slippers

1 year, 5 months.   

Dear Holly,

Grandma got you some fun bedtime slippers to wear with your pajamas. They turn your cute little feet into huge monster feet!

For the past couple of weeks, Mommy has been trying to get you wear them while she reads you a bedtime story. You have been quite skeptical, only leaving them on for a few seconds each night.

But perhaps that is changing, now that you are really getting into shoes. Even when we’re not about to go outside, you still walk over to the closet and insist on picking out a pair of shoes for me to help put on you.

It’s a normal thing for you to be playing with your toys in the living room, while wearing your pink Nike running shoes; not because you need them, but because you are a shoes girl!

I think in your mind, you’re not fully dressed until you are wearing shoes, even if you’re just hanging out at the house with us.

You are forming your identity. It’s becoming obvious that shoes are a part of who you are.

So, even if the “shoes” are actually funny monster feet during your bedtime story… you are recognizing, they are still shoes!

This past weekend you decided to go public with your monster shoes. And by public, I mean that you decided to walk out of your bedroom during story time and show your brother and me.

I’m not quite sure if you fully realize that the monster shoes are meant to be silly, but as you strolled around upstairs in them, you proudly showed them off.

Your fashion show was met by us praising you for how cute you looked in them.

Yeah, you are going to be a shoes girl… even if they turn you into a fury monster!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Wearing Mommy’s Shoes, but Not in an Ironic Way

1 year, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

As I was working on the dishes in the kitchen, I heard Mommy calling me over from the bathtub in our bathroom, “Nick, come quick! And can you bring your camera?”

I entered our bathroom to find you stepping out of our walk-in closet, with a serious look on your face, as you carefully took each step while wearing a pair of Mommy’s shoes.

To be clear, you weren’t doing this to try to be funny in an ironic way. No; instead, you had simply taken it upon yourself to be like Mommy. Why shouldn’t you be able to wear Mommy’s shoes and walk around just like she does?

It never crossed your mind that her shoes are a much larger size than yours are. Nor did it matter.

You just kept strutting back and forth across the bathroom floor, while your family watched in amazement.

Yes, I have to say, it was quite impressive seeing you move in those shoes!

I don’t remember you falling, even once. Nor did you smile or laugh, even once.

Please know that Mommy, your brother Jack, and I were all laughing the entire time. You were unfazed.

Shoes are a big deal to you. It’s actually part of our daily routine that you walk to the shoe closet in the living room each morning and tap on the door, then you do a signature grunt which translates as, “Daddy, aren’t you going to open the door? I have to put my shoes on.”

Without fail, you always attempt to put the shoes on yourself, first. You sincerely struggle to figure out why they won’t just magically slip on, as you place them upside down on the soles of your feet.

Yeah, you love shoes. Who cares if they’re really Mommy’s? You’ve now proven that won’t hold you back.

Love,

Daddy

Strange But True Stories in Fort Payne, AL: My Shoes Crumbled Apart on the 2nd Day of Work, Then I Had to Escape From a Bathroom Stall

You should walk a mile in my shoes… if they don’t disintegrate first.

Between my 4 months of unemployment and my current job at GameTime, I did a brief stint for a company I highly respect, but I knew I wasn’t a good fit there.  So after about a week and a half, I left them.  The following events took place during my first and only whole week there.  Even if they thought I seemed like a normal person who doesn’t encounter Jack Tripper-like situations, they will learn the truth now.

The weekend before starting the job, I came across a forgotten pair of some of my favorite shoes ever at my parents’ house.  So I wore them to church.  That went well.  Sure, I bought them in the year 2000 from American Eagle, but they were still cool and showed no signs of needing repair.  Very wearable.

So I wore them two days later on my 2nd day at work.  After the first hour passed, I noticed what looked like chunks of mud all around my desk and leading up to my desk.  Then when I got up to walk to the printer, I noticed one of my shoes felt especially “springy”.  That was because the middle of the sole had fallen off- along with various other parts of my shoes.

Right as I had realized this, my boss came up to me and asked me if I would be ready within the hour to go out and make some sales.  I said yes, then immediately called my wife to have her bring me some different shoes.  It worked, and I had about 15 minutes to spare.

The next day, I worked up enough courage to enter the bathroom stall which had a warning sign posted saying that the latch was broken and that I shouldn’t lock the stall door.  So I did it anyway.  I ignored the sign.  Good thing I’m limber. Though the distance from bottom of the stall to the floor was only about 18 inches, I was able to escape.  I’m glad, because this particular bathroom is located on the other end of the building where no one ever goes, and besides, I had left my cell phone at my desk.

I’m sure someone figured out it was “the new guy” that walked right through that warning sign and got locked in the bathroom stall.  But at least they never knew about my shoes crumbling apart.  Until now.  That’s just how the shoe crumbles.

Note to self: Copyright the phrase “That’s just how the shoe crumbles”.


Are Jeans Really as Comfortable as We Think?

Jeans vs. regular pants… you make the call.

Paraphrased conversation from this weekend:

Me: Those are cool.  Did you get some new plaid pants?

My sister: No, I just think you’ve never seen them before.

Me: Oh.

Pause.

Me: Actually, usually when I see you, you’re wearing pants, not jeans.

My sister: Yeah, it’s because jeans aren’t comfortable.  They fit tighter and they’re thicker than regular pants.

Me: Good point.  Maybe I should just start wearing dress pants all the time too.

Scene ends.

In my mind, I like wearing jeans because they’re so much more comfortable than dress pants or any color of khakis or corduroys.  But I can’t shake my sister’s words.  She’s right.  Jeans aren’t really as comfortable as I’ve been giving them credit for.

Though I had always assumed that pants are uncomfortable, it’s actually what I wear with the pants that I actually have a problem with.  Typically when men wear dress pants, they also wear a button down collared shirt (tucked in to the pants) and dress shoes; accordingly, women wear a dressier “top” and nicer (painfully uncomfortable) shoes.  But when we wear jeans, we tend to wear a more comfortable shirt (maybe a t-shirt or something along the lines of a long-sleeved polo or sweater) and go untucked.  And obviously, we wear more comfortable shoes.

Everything we wear with the jeans is less restricting than if we were wearing nice pants.  But honestly, the jeans typically fit tighter and are thicker than dress pants.  Plus, I believe there is more pressure to “look good in jeans” than there is to look good in dress pants.  More eyes are critical of jeans than they are for pants.

So what is the solution?  The obvious answer in my head is to start wearing pants when I would normally wear jeans.  That means I would wear sneakers or Chuck Taylor’s with any color of khaki or corduroy pants.  And a Smurf t-shirt.  Already though, that’s starting to sound slouchy.  How ironic that replacing jeans with dress pants could actually lower the standard, but it sort of does.

Even still, if only a personal project, I will be making a conscious effort to replace regular pants with jeans.  For guys, baggy jeans are a thing of the past (they died out around the time that dark jeans became the standard), which means these days we aren’t able to hang loose like we use to, thanks to the new norm being tighter fitting jeans for guys.  And for girls, I get the impression that not only are jeans not comfortable to begin with, but they’re more trouble to look good in, despite what happen for all four girls in Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.

Challenge: Let’s replace jeans with normal pants with jeans.  I think we can find a way to make it work without looking like a slob.

Surprising twist ending…

Everything you just read was written exactly a month ago.  It was saved in my “drafts folder” because I questioned whether or not enough people would agree that jeans aren’t as comfortable as we say we are.  But today in church, my friend Tommy Axford told my wife and I that because he went to private school, he never really wore jeans until his sophomore year in high school, and after having worn khakis his whole life, he declared that jeans are not comfortable.  So much so, that he proudly proclaimed he even wears khakis when he’s just chilling out in his living room at his house.  It was because of this conversation with him that I decided this post must be made public so that others could have a chance to agree that regular pants are better than jeans.

Being that this was written last month, since then I have had the opportunity to take my own “try wearing khakis instead of jeans” challenge.  The result- I’ve continued to wear jeans in casual situations.  Not because they’re more comfortable, but because I somehow feel they’re more appropriate for me as a guy.  I have this fear of looking like a banker- and in my mind, male bankers never relax enough to wear anything besides nice pants.  But I do hope to get over this one day.  If it were truly up to me, I would wear pajama pants all the time, but I couldn’t feel comfortable socially.  You just can’t win.

dad from day one: One More Month to Go

Thirty-five weeks.

Jack’s due date is November 11th, so it’s pretty likely that within the next thirty days, he will be born.  I am past the stage of being nervous, afraid, or underprepared (because I’ve accepted the fact that no first time parent can truly be prepared enough). Instead, I am completely excited and feeling very positive about it all.  A few nights ago I had a dream that Jack was a few months old and I was holding him, feeling his face against mine, and even though it was a dream, it was a feeling that I have never experienced before.  But it’s a feeling that I know I will be experiencing soon in real life.

This late into the pregnancy, it feels more like our baby is actually born and less that my wife is still pregnant.  We’re so close to meeting him.  I’m already feeling a hint of this great desire to do anything I have to in order to make sure he’s taken care of.  Like an innocent puppy that winds up on my doorstep with sad eyes that say, “Please take care of me…”  Except he’s a human being and I had a part in bringing him into this world.

I look forward to caring for him with my life.  I don’t care about having to change diapers, losing sleep, and just flat-out transforming the normalcy of my life to be a dad.  I want this little boy.  And for the record, he’s got some cool shoes waiting for him out here in the real world.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com


dad from day one: The Importance of a Man’s Shoes

Twenty-three weeks.

I blame it on my Italian heritage, which trickled down to me throughout my life thanks to my grandfather Metallo; of course, since I grew up in the South, he was simply “Paw Paw”.  I’ve inherited an instinct to incorporate just a little bit of peculiar character in purchased items.  It’s a careful balance of finding items that are slightly flashy and clashing, yet still classy, but not trashy. (Bet you can’t say that phrase five times real fast…)

In this American generation, the idea of a man caring much about his shoes is often considered to be related to gay or metrosexual culture.  But I don’t subscribe to that mentality.  In fact, I believe an important part of being a man is how he dresses; and as everyone should know, his shoes are the most important part of the wardrobe, since they ultimately set the tone for his clothing.

My mindset is more of an old-school class American idea; yet it is still a staple concept of any movie or TV show portraying Italian culture.  From The Godfather movies to The Sopranos, the way an Italian man dresses is well planned out.  Never an accident.  Italians are not slobs.

Paw Paw Metallo

Being that my wife and I both are one quarter Italian, our son Jack will also be one quarter Italian as well.  That means he will not get by with the typical American guy’s shoe collection: a pair of black dress shoes, a brown pair of boots, a pair of running shoes, and a pair of flip flops.  No, not my son.

Jack will be like me.  I own no less than 15 pairs of shoes, some of which are at least 10 years old, yet you would never know it because I take such good care of them.  And while Jack won’t be born for another three months, he already has two pairs of essential “flashy, clashing, and classy yet not trashy” shoes awaiting him.

Last week as my wife and I were registering at Target, we found some shoes on clearance that not only meet the criteria, but also are essentially identical to shoes I already own.  A pair of Kelly green sneakers (6-9 months, in time for Summer) and a pair of white leather loafers (12-18 months, just in time for Christmas).  Like father, like son.

*Jack is still the size of a papaya; no major change in fruit size this week.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

Official "baby bump" picture