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Dangerous Laceons paper

I have worked for “Shoe Life” for five years and interviewed numerous shoes, from the downright bizarre- PeeWee Hermann’s shoes to the undeniably stylish- Manolo Blahnik’s from the hit HBO series “Sex and the City ” but rarely have I encountered a shoe with such depth and humor than Denim the shoe I stumbled upon while walking to the local market. The following questions and answers are taken from an excerpt in an interview I had with Denim- the ordinary shoe with an all too interesting life.

Tell me about yourself where are you from and how did you come about?
I am from a shoe factory in Malaysia. I did not have the best start in life; the factory in which I was created was one of horrible conditions. There were hundreds of shoes in the factory and we were all tossed into a box waiting to be sorted out with our pair. Whether it was just bad luck or coincidence I was at the bottom of the box, practically smothered because the weight of the shoes on top of me were too heavy to support.

My birth was from a drawing by a local shoe designer in Malaysia. The shoe designer was inspired by a pair of jeans, so I was told, he thought of the universal appeal of jeans how it could be worn at anytime with just about anything and wanted to apply that same concept with a shoe.

Malaysia is a long way from America, how did you end up in the states?
My voyage here is not much different from a lot of shoes. I, along with hundreds of other shoes were packaged and sent to America. It was a long and arduous trip. For about two weeks I was stuffed in a box that was too small to hold that many shoes. Once I hit America I was placed and put on sale at Foley’s Department Store. I was displayed for a month and was finally purchased by a teenage girl.

Denim, are you happy with your owner?
My owner, Len, is a good owner. She does her best. Because my appearance is limited I don’t get worn much but that isn’t to say I don’t get worn at all. I like my life. I am worn and then I get a break. Len is very active she likes to run so when she wears me at the end of the day I am, for lack of a better word, worn out and I need time to recover. She treats us (her other shoes) well. I, along with the other shoes have a shelf where we are placed. I am not cleaned often but that is fine with me I think the marks I wear add character.

How do you describe yourself?
I am not the universal shoe because of my design- tan soles with tan stitching, laces and a denim covering. Because of the color and material combination I can be worn with only a limited number of outfits. I am resilient and versatile due to the rubber platform of my shoe I won’t be easily damaged. The cleats on the platform make for a non-slippery bottom so the wearer of the shoe won’t slip easily. My appearance is sporty trendy. That my appearance is categorized also limits my universal appeal.

I noticed that you have no brand on you, what are your thoughts on that and how does it affect you overall as a shoe?

Yes, I have no brand. At first it was disheartening I didn’t know where I was from, where I belonged, where, I, as a shoe fit in the world. I had no past making it difficult to form an identity. Now with years of shoe therapy along with age and experience I accept myself. Self-acceptance is one of the hardest things to achieve, I am not completely there yet but I am on my way. I can look at myself in a store window and feel proud of who I am. I am a great shoe with a lot to offer. I am no longer troubled with being brandless I actually see it as a benefit. By having no brand I am not bound by anything I am free- free to be myself and feel no shame. Being brandless has taught me to understand that all shoes are different, no two shoes are alike even when made from the same plan. I have also learned that being markless has given me an advantage in that by having this hardship early on I am more apt to deal with the adversity life gives. As the saying goes “when life hands you a bad shoe, walk it off.”

Wow, you have been through a lot and through all of it you have been able to keep your humor intact. What role does humor play in your life?
Without a sense of humor I would have fallen apart long ago- pun intended. Humor makes dealing with life easier. When everything seems to be going wrong stepping on gum, being mauled by a dog, thrown in closet to collect dust, humor is the only anchor to keep one sane. Everyday life is filled with absurdities and being able to laugh about it makes being a shoe in a shoe-filled world easier. Sometimes when chaos is rampant you just have to stop walking undo your shoelaces and laugh.

If you could trade places with any shoe for a day which shoe would you be?
Hmm, that’s interesting. I am a casual shoe and I have never had the pleasure of being in the company of the fancy shoes. I don’t have a specific shoe but I would like to be a Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo classic pump. They are so tall and extravagant and are ridiculously priced. I just want to feel and see what all the hoopla is about. Though I would not want to be a fancy shoe I think the purpose of a shoe is to be worn and if it isn’t worn then why does it exist. It would sadden to no end if I was just worn a few times a year.

How big of a role does a shoe play in a person’s life?
A huge role. Aside from keeping protecting the feet, a shoe a person wears says a lot about them. There are so many types and styles of shoes that the one the person finally decides on has to mean something. Being a shoe, naturally you travel to a lot of places with the owner becoming one with them.

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