I'm not one for observational humor. You'll rarely encounter a "Didjou ever notice" on my blog. And yet, because I've had the same conversation with many different people, I finally want to share it with you:
Whither the shoehorn?
I have never actually purchased a shoehorn, but over the years I've found myself in possession of quite a few fine speciments.
Even as a little kid, I remember these custom shoehorns (well, not THESE exact custom shoehorns, but reasonable facsimiles thereof) languishing in bathroom drawers. Sometimes they came tucked alongside coupons in the mail, and sometimes they were from the podiatrist who fixed my pigeon toes. Sometimes they even came from the store where we bought my special orthopedic saddle shoes. And sometimes, I think, they were from hotels in Atlantic City where my dad went on business trips occasionally. They'd turn up in the linen closet, or in the cabinet under the sink, or sometimes at the bottom of the coat closet, as if one of us had just tossed the shoehorn in with the boots, in hopes that someday one of us might find it necessary to use a shoehorn, and we would be grateful that another member of the family had thoughtfully put a shoehorn right where we needed it -- buried under three-sizes-too-small snow boots and a bunch of mittens without mates.
Sometimes, shoe horns are very, very long.
These longer shoehorns, much like their shorter counterparts, are to be used for the same purpose:
To horn the foot into the shoe. Clearly. I imagine in olden days, shoes were tighter and one had to pull the back of the shoe back, so one could wodge one's foot into one's shoe.
But, like, do you buy shoes if they don't fit?
(Answer: admittedly, yes. But they were bright red and non leather and I didn't know they'd prohibit me from walking)
Back to the point at hand: I have never used a shoehorn. I don't believe anyone in my life has ever used a shoehorn.
And yet, even right now, in my this-is-the-drawer where-you-keep-the-safety-pins -and-the-pirate-eye-patch -and-the-teeshirt-cincher-from-the-90s -- I have a shoehorn. It came from a Wakey Wakey pack when I flew Virgin, and even though I didn't need to keep it, I kept it, because I'll hoard anything that's free (see: my ridiculous assortment of shampoos and body lotions from every hotel I've ever stayed in with awesome toiletries -- because you never know when you're going away for the weekend and need to bring shampoo and body lotion!) But I have never needed a shoehorn. Even after a cross-atlantic flight.
Do you have a shoehorn around? You do! Even if it's still in the outside pocket of your rolly bag where you stuck it there as you were checking out of your hotel because, hell, what if you needed a shoehorn?
It's like shoehorns are the wannabe superheroes, swooping in to rescue unfortunate soles (ha!) from evil shoes that are too tight.
And yet, like oh so many superheroes of yesteryear such as Captain Aging Gracefully and The Super Telephone Cord De-Tangler, their work here is done and they are now obsolete. Shoehorns, I wish we could retire you to the great superhero Hall of Justice in the sky.
And sometimes, shoe horns trying to evade retirement disguise themselves as shoes! SNEAKY TRICKSY SHOEHORNS!