My dad had three pairs of shoes: his LLBean duck boots, and his black slippers – one pair in suede, and the other in leather. The leather ones had hard plastic soles and were deemed his dress slippers; he’d wear them to formal events accordingly.
Growing up, I never thought of this as particularly strange. I can’t think of a time he wore sneakers, for instance. During my childhood, he was at one time a limo driver and at another, a country club bartender, so he did own one pair of shiny tuxedo shoes for work, but otherwise there was nothing in between. He went to the supermarket in his slippers, to weddings, to restaurants.
The two sets always sat by the door, ready for their next event. Before we’d go out, he’d pick accordingly. Sometimes he’d ask to make sure. “What type of thing is this? Should I wear my dress slippers?”
I think now that my dad was ahead of his time. Today, shoes seem obsolete when considering the comfort of working and bunkering from home. Everyone has a pair of dress slippers now.
Inspired by him, whenever it’s not raining, I put on my “formal” slippers and step onto the balcony, or into the grass, to enjoy the rays.
I like to think he’d approve, as I stand outside in my PJs for all the neighbors to see, me in my formal slippers, ready to take on the day.