When I was in school, one of my teachers designated a block of time once a week to read from Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic. I always looked forward to it, partially because I thought that being read to was a great luxury and partially because I was so captivated by Mister Silverstein’s works. But mainly the former.
Later that year, my teacher told the class that Mister Silverstein disliked wearing shoes, and so he often went without. This piece of information changed my little tiny life. To go without shoes! I hadn’t even considered the idea that I could simply choose not to put them on.
I went without shoes the entire summer. I grew to dislike wearing shoes, myself.
Decades later, I can still say that I dislike wearing shoes and get made fun of for slipping them off whenever I can. Since my younger self was discouraged from taking up writing as a career – why did I listen to adults, ever? – I can’t spend my days with naked feet, citing artistic reasons.
Ironically, I have no idea whether or not Shel Silverstein really did harbor anti-shoe sentiment. As a child, I assumed that my teacher knew everything, and not a word that could escape her lips that wasn’t absolute fact. Now that I am an adult, myself, I’m not so sure about that.