Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

You’re old.  Once you actually step out and take the risk, people will come up with excuses for you.  You won’t have to say much – just nod your little old head to indicate whatever answer you wish to be appropriate at the time. 

If truth be known (and I’m not sure that’s always a positive), it’s more fun to have people come up with reasons for something you do than it is for you to say something yourself.  The comments are diverse:  “You can get by with that when you’re his age!” (Those people are of particular distaste to the general public, I feel.)   “He doesn’t care what others think.”  “Oh, that’s just Bob, he’s a character.”   And, the one that surprised me the most, “Bob can pull it off because of his personality.”  That last comment can be interpreted either very positively or extremely negatively.  I nod my head vigorously, “yes.”  At that point, I don’t really care what they mean.  They have recognized that I do indeed have a personality, and, at last, seem to be worth talking about.

The issue in question has brought me much laughter recently.  Wearing “crocs,” those very distinctive shoes that I don’t think anyone would mistake as good looking.  Reminds me of a duck’s bill riddled with buckshot.  Until this past Easter, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in a pair. 

Then my wife bought me a pair.  Me: “You can take those back.  I wouldn’t wear them to the basement.”  She:  “That’s fine.  But, humor me and at least try them on.”  I humored her and tried them on. They’ve been on my feet ever since. (Brenda’s not sure they’re all that appropriate when I’m sitting on the front row in the church choir.  But, hey, it’s her fault, wouldn’t you say?)   

At first, I was concerned about wearing them out in public public – when you see people you don’t know.  Outside your comfort group.  The reason was the color.  Blue.  More like BLUE.  More like BRIGHT BLUE.  I asked my wife, “Didn’t they have other colors.”  “It was either that or pink,” she smirked.  They make many colors, but the store didn’t have others that day.  So I wear the BRIGHT BLUE Crocs.

One motto I have learned to trust, “People treat you like you treat yourself.”  When you wear bright blue crocs, you better be feeling really good about yourself.  Women don’t appear to notice them.  Men do.  And, not subtly.  Dan, a good friend, came up to me in the middle of a group:  “I assume you only wear those things around people when you don’t care what they think.” 

I immediately kicked off both shoes and said, “put them on.”  He had been challenged in public.  So he tentatively stepped into the shoes. His eyes popped in surprise.  And extreme comfort.   Last count he has three pairs.  His wife doesn’t want him to wear them to church, either.

I’m so glad crocs weren’t invented earlier.  I’m just now old enough (and confident enough) to wear them.

Date of Blog Story: 
April 30, 2008

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