It’s easy to laugh at someone else when they do something silly, forgetful, or just plain stupid. I don’t think there’s any harm in it as long as the “someone” is laughing too. Then you’re laughing “with” them rather than “at” them.
On a weekend fishing trip one summer, Gary and I had fished for trout on the lake and stopped to stretch our legs on a gravelly beach at the mouth of a creek that fed into the lake.
The fish was a tease, jumping repeatedly, just out of reach. No problem, high gumboots meant Gary could wade into the water and get closer.
But not quite close enough. Gary is a good flyline caster but still, the fly landed just a little bit short each time.
“Aw…darn,” he said. “My boot has a leak. Oh well, might as well go in a bit farther. I’m already wet. I think I can get close enough. Darn it all! Should’ve brought my waders.”
Persistence paid off, and the fish was hooked and released. Now for a well-deserved rest on the gravel bed. The rocks warmed the fisherman with the wet pants and sopping wet feet.
As he lay down on the gravel to soak up some warmth, I took his photo and noticed….
Not only was there a split in the bottom of one boot — the cause of the leak — but the boots were for two left feet. Somewhere at home in the garage were boots for two right feet.
This may seem to be a whole other topic, but I assure you the chapters are related.
I have troublesome feet, so I wear orthotic inserts. I also have had trouble finding comfortable shoes, so when I discovered some Brooks runners that fit my feet comfortably, I bought them and wore them happily nearly every day. At last they started to look slightly worn. I went back to the same store and bought exactly the same thing again. Well, they were ever so slightly different in colour, but basically the same shoe. One would be my good pair and the other the “beater” pair. See the “beaters” below.
For now, until I would get a second pair of orthotic inserts, I put my orthotics into the shoes I wore most often (the beater pair). Last summer I bought a pair of Costco Dr. Scholl inserts as spares for the time being and put them in my new runners.
The other day I put on my shoes to go out. The left one was a bit tight, so I loosened the laces. That was better. I was going to loosen the right shoelace as well, but then I realized that, although it was snugly laced, it was comfortable as it was.
“Hmm…I wonder why that is.” My right foot should be bigger if anything, and a tighter squeeze, so why is that shoe more comfortable?” I put my weight on one shoe and then the other. Definitely, the right shoe felt better on my feet. I had a closer look. You can take a look too. Do you see what I see?
When I discovered what I was wearing, I went looking for my other pair of runners. In the garage was a pair of Brooks, as mismatched as the ones on my feet, but my mumbled “OMG” got louder when I discovered that the “odd couple” in the garage had the Costco Dr. Scholl’s inserts in them. Remember, I had bought these inserts months ago, so if there was one Dr. Scholl’s in each of these shoes, they must have been like this since last summer.
Gradually a growing horror dawned on me. I had been wearing mismatched shoes since last summer and this is now almost December! I thought of all the places I had been and the homes where I visited and took my shoes off at the door.I had even been to the doctor to get a referral for new orthotics! “OMG! OMG! OMG!”
It must be my punishment for laughing at Gary’s two left feet.