The temperature was 95 degrees Fahrenheit. My feet were almost melting in socks further enclosed by a pair of leather shoes. Walking on 8th street, I noticed the feet of a woman in a sky blue foot wear that was letting every pore on her feet to breathe. I wondered how comfortable this woman must be feeling. I was quite happy for her because she could chose to wear what is comfortable for her. I was proud of her as well for making a choice for herself. As we got into the building and walked into elevator, she pulled out from her purse another pair of footwear, which was fancier and apparently more office-like. All the stock points she gained in my head in last 120 seconds, she lost in no time now. Rate at which stock price of the woman-with-sky-blue-footwear fell, was exponential. I could not ask her why.
Another hot morning to work. Just when I was about to get off the Q train, I saw a gentleman in a nice grey suit. What caught my attention though were his feet, which were interestingly not covered in shoes or any other close footwear. He was casually and comfortably walking out of the subway station. But this time I asked him, “Are you going to work?”
“I am quite amused by what you are wearing on your feet, which is in stark contrast with the rest of the paraphernalia that is covering your body. I wish I could wear slippers like that. But I have logistic dilemma – is that appropriate to wear to work?”
“No, not really. I change into formal dress shoes when I reach work.”
“Where do you change?”
“In my office, I have a big office room.”
“Oh, alright, great. Have a great day!”
I started wondering about my options. I don’t carry a purse to place an extra pair of shoes. I don’t have a big office room either. Should I continue to burn my feet? But more importantly, why the woman and gentleman above had to change their footwear? Would the seriousness of their actions at work be doubted if they continue to wear something they are comfortable with and something that is not conventionally counted in formal office wear? Are human feet so ugly they need to be covered all the time to do any kind of business?
Few days later, I decided to wear flip flops. I really did. I had to attend a workshop that day. A woman asked me, “What is it that you are wearing there?” I looked at her feet, and I noted that bottom of her feet were covered by a flat black sole and top of her feet were covered by a pair of black slings. Essentially, the only difference between hers and my foot wear were that mine were made of rubber and hers were made of leather, and mine were white and hers were black. So I was quick to reply as I pointed to her feet, “What, you can, and I can’t?”