The thing about here is, you hardly ever have to wear shoes.

Especially when working at home: in the morning, I go from the bedroom to the computer (via the bathroom, where I freshen up and do the "contacts" thing so I can see). Boot up, set the modem up to dial, and make a fresh pot-o-java. Most days I make at least one trek across the lawn to the research office; I sometimes wear slippers* for that (when it's raining). (*"Slippers" are flip-flops, in Hawaiian-ese.) For lunch, if it's sunny, I take my hammock and a book out to a nearby set of pine trees; I'll slip on some topsiders to make it over the rocks in the field on the way.

After work, jump in car, head for the beach. Barefoot's the way! Slippers may seem wise at some beaches to get from the car to the sand, but then what do you do with them after that??

But socks are certainly not necessary! Socks are only for things like, well, weddings; I haven't been to a wedding since I've been here. The last wedding I went to was in Singapore (a Chinese wedding: those folks know how to EAT!). (Ah, Singapore! The days of 95 degrees [no shade] and 95% humidity EVERY day [and EVERY night], and a long- sleeved shirt and a tie EVERY day! Shoes, SOCKS, the works!) Socks are helpful here, sometimes, though. For going out into the field and hiking, socks come in handy with hiking boots (but are hiking boots really "shoes"?).

You don't need socks for (my kind of) business, though. I've been known to go on a 2- or 3-day "business trip" to Honolulu without packing socks (slippers & topsiders suffice!). I DID, however, wear socks to a recent job interview, along with a collared shirt (a novelty!) and jeans. I didn't get the job; if it was because of the jeans, I don't mind (who wants a job where they won't let you wear jeans?).

And then, of course, there's diving: I always wear heavy-duty dive boots; there are too many rocky places to walk on the way to the ocean! (One of my dive buddies wears full-foot fins [and no booties]; I accuse her of wishing she were on a dive boat! She DID bring some "portable" booties with her last time, however!)

And those are stories about ALL the shoes I own!

The thing about here is, you hardly ever have to wear shoes.


-Philip A. Thomas
Copyright © 1997


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