Piles of cruddy, mud-caked shoes have recently hung a white sock on the entryway closet door to let us know that they are suffocating—and they are about to give up. We already knew this, but we thought we had the problem solved by closing the door and playing loud seasonal music. (Shoes that are suffocating make groaning noises and they claw at the door. The music does nothing to soothe them, but it helps everyone else who may be bothered by distracting thoughts of a messy closet.) However, I have to admit that I’ve been cringing every time I walk by that closet, knowing what’s inside, and I am tired of crawling around on the floor in my nice clothes, looking for shoes. That’s not happening anymore. Those cruddy shoes are going to shine like they’ve never shined before. Buying and assembling one shoe rack—possibly more—will make everything so much better.
At the grocery store, I see a “shoe tower” that will hold 30 shoes and I think it might work, so I snap pictures of it and send them to Nate. He replies, “It’s too tall.” So, I ask him how many pairs of shoes we have. He thinks we only have 12-15. I think he’s lying. That’s why I decide on two smaller shoe racks that will hold 20 pairs each. Nate thinks we only need one. I think the shoes have multiplied since I last saw them-and that perhaps, they are multiplying now. By the time I buy two shoe racks, I may need four more. I must hurry.
Racing home, I fling open the front door and pull shoes out of the closet.
“What’s Mom doing? Is she okay?” Alex asks Nate. “Does she need help?”
“Nope. Don’t help her. She wants to do this one herself.”
“Seriously, is she okay?”
“Alex, I’m fine. I have to put some shoe racks together now and I have to hurry, before there are more shoes. They are hell bent on producing more, I just know it!”
I whip out the instructions and am absolutely delighted to see the words, “Takes about 15 minutes or less” and “no tools required.” (A flathead screwdriver is actually needed. It’s not included in the instructions, but if you keep reading, you will find out why.) Indeed, the entire package consists of two stands marked “A” and “B” (Left and Right) and about eight poles. Still, I don’t have a good track record with directions for things that can be assembled at home. Those directions often look like this to me:
The directions that I have before me are really not that bad, except they do skip one step: The poles are fused together at the ends, and there is no indication of how to get them apart. Nate suggests that I try to bend and twist them apart with my bare hands, but I don’t have any luck. Nate tries, then realizes that he could just pop the capped ends off and the poles would come out. However, the ends are not budging. Quickly, Nate finds a flathead screwdriver and saves the day by wedging the poles between his legs and popping off the ends with the screwdriver. Since that figure is not drawn on the instructions pamphlet, I thought about including one here, in case you find yourself in this situation. However, I am not an illustrator, so when I tried to draw Nate with a shoe rack between his legs, it didn’t look professional at all.
Once the shoe rack poles are forced apart, it’s just a matter of pushing them into the stands and throwing out a few really nasty shoes that are beyond repair and that don’t fit. (Oh, and Nate was right. We only needed one rack. I can take the extra one back to the store.) Now, I can place the rest of the shoes onto the rack and play seasonal music at a normal volume. My, how those hiking boots, thick with gravel and some guy’s gum, do shine!
Your Turn: Are you a believer in shoe racks? Discuss.