Look at that. I was just about to say "Well, now that the hubbub over the pope has settled down a bit..." So silly.
So this has been an interesting couple of days. You know it's been an over the top media event when I've been watching it, and I am perhaps one of the least interested people you could meet. For me, watching it is more akin to the way in which some people settle down in front of the TV or computer to watch endless hours of repetitive coverage about a school shooting, or a terrorist attack, more akin to the highway rubbernecking that seems almost instinctual. You know, wondering how these kind of things happen, how we allow them to happen, and what it is in human nature that makes people act in strange and irrational ways.
But what I've really been thinking about is the red shoes.
You know the ones.
And I'm wondering (a lot) if this new guy, this Francis guy (I hear that's a good name for him to have picked) is going to wear the red shoes. Well, not THE red shoes. Not the same ones that his predecessor wore (see above), which I hear were made by Prada (ooh la la). Any red shoes. Becuase this whole red shoes thing is really interesting to me.
For years now, whenever given an opening, I have been an evangelist for red shoes. Not religious red shoes (if there is such a thing). Just red shoes. Ask anyone I know. At some point, I probably have asked them if they own a pair of red shoes (and the cool, and somewhat strange, thing is that most people just nod, like they know that rule, and of COURSE they have a pair of red shoes). I have definitely said that it is my belief that everyone should own a pair of red shoes (and by everyone, I mean women...I admit that I have never thought about whether men should own a pair of red shoes, and I can't say I'm inclined to start now). I don't really know why. It's just a thing. I think it's important. Red shoes put a spring in your step. They stand out, they ensure that you are not invisible. They make people smile...or scowl. Either one is good. Red shoes say that you're not afraid. Everyone (see definition above) should own (and wear) a pair of red shoes.
Which, being who I am, has got me thinking. I know. Unusual.
What is the deal with red shoes? How is it that I am such a maverick, spreading the good word about red shoes long before they became a topic of papal discussion? I mean, it's not the first time I've been ahead of the curve, but still.
So back to this Pope for a minute. Did you hear about how he wouldn't ride in the car, but took the bus? Did you hear how he took off the showiest vestments (or whatever they're called, there are so many words that I don't know) very quickly, as soon as he could? Did you hear about how he refused the fancy white chair in the Sistine Chapel, and just sat with the other cardinals? I think these things are pretty decent.
And yes, I know he's anti-abortion. I know he said that gay people adopting is discrimination against children and "child abuse". I know that he said gay marriage is evil. I've gotten all the emails from every LGBT organization, I've seen the posts on facebook. Get real. He's the POPE. He's the head of the Catholic church. Those things are pretty much a given. Did someone (even one person...yeah, in the whole world) imagine that the cardinals would vote in a person who thinks all of those things are a-ok? Give me a break. Yeah. I don't like those things about him. Or the church. Or the followers. Maybe it's just that I'm a person who is able to hold two conflicting things in mind at one time. Yeah. He's a conservative Catholic whose social and moral positions are far different from mine. Yeah, he may have some horrible political history in Argentina (and the other popes didn't have horrible political histories?). I don't know about you, but it's not like I've been sitting around wondering when the Pope and I are going to agree and have coffee or something.
Still, he appears to have some degree of humility, which is kinda unusual for a Pope, and at least is somewhat in line with the whole religion thing, certainly more than gold chalices and a $350K Mercedes. Humility about something. Anything. That seems like a pretty good thing. That's all. And that's why I bet he's not gonna wear red shoes.
The real question remains: What is the deal with red shoes? Dorothy. Hans Christian Anderson. The Pope. Me.
See what I mean?
I'm not alone. Apparently, Elaine Webster, a sociologist from New Zealand, has done extensive research on why women wear red shoes (another fine use of research). She reports that "some men may become befuddled and even confused [at the sight of women wearing red shoes]" What power--I'm thinking that's a good reason for women to wear red shoes right there. There are guides on how to wear red shoes. There's a red shoe movement. There's a history of red shoes.
The best I can tell, they're about power. And about being noticed. And about magic, and desire, and wishes. And about shoes that won't come off your feet or that go on dancing even after your feet are cut off. Ew.
I don't think he's gonna wear the red shoes.
I still think you should, though.