One Shoe Off, The Other Stays On?

Last week at a work event we were asked to state a “fun fact” about ourselves. It wasn’t until a few hours later when I was on a walk with my brother that I came up with what I wish I’d said:

“I can only take off one of my boots.”

Unless, that is, someone has a paperclip handy.

You see, last spring when the zipper on my old boots busted, I foolishly replaced it (thanks, Mom, for taking it to the shoe repair shop!).

Later, my brother told me that I could have just attached a paperclip and it would have done the same job.

It wouldn’t have been quite as stylish, but my zippers weren’t uniform after the replacement anyway, and it wasn’t long before I upgraded my boots.

When my zipper snapped off in my hand one morning last week, thoughts flooded my head:

  1. Time to buy new boots?
  2. Gotta get to the shoe repair shop (is my mom free?)!
  3. Is there a paperclip in the vicinity?

Since I couldn’t get my boot off and Condo Rules strictly prohibited me from making the journey to the paperclip receptacle with my shoe(s) on, I proceeded to work, where I grabbed a paperclip and attached it to my right boot.

The next time I wore the boots, I noticed that with my dress, the two-inch silver paper clip was completely visible.

Not in a good way.

It surprised me that none of my students had noticed it last time I sported the clip, but then again some students don’t notice that their teachers are looking different until they’re seven months pregnant.

In six and a half months, they were bound to notice the paper clip!

But then it dawned on me: Why wear the paperclip all day? When my brother suggested the work-around, he probably was wearing straight-legged jeans that covered his paperclip. Mine didn’t have to hang out there for everyone to see.

Paperclip Zipper is not super stylish.
Paperclip Zipper is not super stylish.


After using the clip and all its lever/pulley magic to get my boot zipped, I slipped it out of the boot and put it in the front hall closet next to my husband’s wallet.


Boot securely fastened; paperclip removed.
Boot securely fastened; paperclip removed.

This brings us to my fun fact, which I shared with my brother on the walk to his apartment.

“So,  if you invited me in, I wouldn’t be able to take my right boot off!” I declared, gleefully.

“So you don’t have the paperclip with you?” he asked.

“Nope! I’d have to hope that you had one!”

I imagined going to a doctor’s appointment and them asking me to change; I’d have to leave my right shoe on.

Or what if I went swimming? Or bowling? Or to yoga?

“Maybe you should put one on your key ring,” my brother suggested. “You know, just in case.”

So now I’ve been carrying my paperclip around with me for the past few days. Just knowing it’s there has increased my braveness in wearing the zipperless boot out and about.

Bonus: I won't forget my keys at home, because I need them to get my boot zipped.
Bonus: I won’t forget my keys at home, because I need them to get my boot zipped.

So far, I haven’t used my paper clip anywhere but home. I await with anticipation the moment I can whip it out in public or at someone’s home.

More than anything, I just hope I’m wearing these boots the next time someone asks me for a “fun fact” about myself.