My husband frequently teases about all the shoes in our closet. He laughingly calls me the Imelda Marcos of Patterson.
Ok, I don’t have THAT many … yet ... there are only 31 pairs that I confess to. Pretty good for a gal who went barefoot most of the time growing up in central Florida.
“But I have an excellent reason for all this footwear“, I retort to my husband with a whine. “I have to match my outfits.“ Outfits?! What outfits!?! I no longer work outside the home. When I put in my time with High Finance I had very nice clothes with matching accessories including purses and hosiery. It was expected. But now I don’t have ’outfits’ unless you count my usual fair of blue jeans, a print t-shirt, and the afore mentioned sneakers with white socks as an ‘outfit‘.
Shoes have been around for thousands of years, you know. Our ancestors first began wearing shoes around 40,000 to 42,000 years ago, about the same time they developed more sophisticated toolkits and began creating elaborate art. I’m told that anthropologists and archeologists can tell all this because the toes of East Asia’s oldest modern human skeletons show that they wore shoes.
Doesn’t that sound like an unusual job … studying toe bones!?
Ladies, can’t you see yourself at a party with nice people all impeccably dressed, sipping adult beverages (like the one I’m nursing now), and speaking in hushed tones with classical music playing softly in the background. Up saunters a handsome man and he says “Hello” smiling with his straight, white teeth.
My ‘brian’ slipped away for a moment (that’s for you JBA). Tee hee
“Well,” you smile back sweetly to him and say, “and what is your occupation sir?”
“I study toe bones.”
Blank stare as you think, “Riiiight. Unusual pickup line bud. Move along now before I call the cops on ya … pervert!”
So back to the shoes … how can they tell all that about how long we’ve been wearing shoes from our ancestors toes? Seems that robust leg bones and thick toes denotes being shoeless. It’s because when one walks barefoot, the middle toes curl into the ground to give traction during push off. Gracile (slimmer) toe bones means the individual wore shoes. When wearing a shoe, a person pushes off with the big toe, placing less stress on the middle toes, resulting in less-developed toe bones. This gracility develops during childhood.
Well, that adult beverage has kicked in … but that’s my defense for having so many shoes. It’s my 40,000 year old ancestor's fault!