wp-1457729499697.jpgMy sneakers are in the basement, sharing space with the hot water heater, the washing machine, and a pair of litter boxes that may or not smell at the moment, depending on what type of litter was put in them the last time they were changed. So why are my sneakers down there with such nefarious company? Because they got peed on, or possibly got peed on, or maybe got peed on. I’m not even sure anymore, they’ve been down there so long.

What I do know is that I don’t feel like I can just take them out of the plastic bag in which they reside and put them on my feet. I physically could do just that, but I’m concerned that I’ll be going around with peed on sneakers and not even smell it. I could throw them in the washing machine, but they’re old. I’m afraid they would fall apart. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just buy a new pair and toss them in the garbage? Why not? Because I can’t bear to get rid of things.

I’m a pack rat. I once kept a pair of sneakers that had nearly no soles just because they hadn’t fallen completely apart. Underwear? Don’t get me started on that. I have several pairs of boxers right now they are literally hanging by a thread. But they cover what they need to cover, for the most part, so I hang on to them. I have no shame that way. My wife tries to talk me into tossing them into the garbage, and by about the fifth time she mentions it I think about doing just that. Or at least I say I do.

But I can’t bear to part with any of it. I have a t-shirt that has been around since the first Bush presidency, a pair of pants that have tears around the ankles, and a dress shirt with a stain on the back that I only wear with a jacket. I have socks that have long since lost their elasticity and keep sliding down into my shoes, a pair of boots that I’ve had since 9/11, and a fleece that’s a size too small for me after being washed so many times. You could say that I’m attached to my clothes.

Or you could say that I’m cheap. I wouldn’t fault you for it, even though I really doubt I’ll be wearing these particular sneakers again. Which is a shame, too, because I like them better than any sneakers I’ve had in the past 10 years. In fact, my sneakers are probably the only thing in my wardrobe that I’ve changed nearly every single year. That’s because I drive them into the ground — somehow — with the way I walk, and their soles just don’t last long.

Now if I could only purchase new soles that don’t cost a fortune… but that’s another story for another time. Right now, though, I have to sadly admit defeet. It’s on to the next pair, and god have mercy on any cat’s soul who dares pee on them.


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