Go West part 4: Arkansas: New Trends in Footwear

The mystery of fashion has been unfathomable to me.

Until today.

The latest greatest trend in footwear this fall is mismatching shoes.

I know.

I found the source. Perhaps the only source of intelligent fashion sense. Who would have thought it comes from Springdale, Arkansas?

Let me explain.

Rarely in my life have I retained friends whose humor, grace, wisdom and pure coolness combine to make me feel that I am the luckiest person on earth to share their presence. The one attribute common to all my friends, strangely, is patience. (Figure that one out.)

My dear friend who lives in Springdale, Arkansas, (who I will simply call ?Gordie? because he is reportedly on the run from not only the National Security Administration but also from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,) is one such friend.

I have not seen him for five years and show up on his doorstep, with a large teenage child in tow, and am welcomed with opened arms.

He has, while we traveled, camping, found a divine campsite for us nearby and arranged fantastic dinner with his friends on a local farm. He did not warn us of this, but rather, offered us options, these merely among them.

But the best thing about Gordie is his sense of humor.

A little backstory is called for: Gordie?s parents and my grandparents were lifetime friends and both families lived in Argentina for many years. I met Gordie about 20 years ago, the two of us relegated to the end of the table, third wheels, and inadvertently began the family-friend tradition.

Gordie, who has been paraplegic since teenage, has lost a leg to infection since our last visit.

He doesn?t seem to miss it much and commented only ?It?s a helluva way to lose 12 pounds.?

But he?s not finished.

He enlists my son, a known tech-wizard, to help him with a little annoying problem.

He has to buy two shoes but only needs one.

The easiest solution, he has determined, is to impel the shoe industry to sell single shoes.

This will only happen with broad customer demand.

So let?s all help Gordie out. Wear a different shoe on each foot.

It?s cool.

Because Gordie says so.

By Maile

Maile Field is a writer living in Northern California. Born in Hawaii and raised in Montana, she earned her master of fine arts in nonfiction at George Mason University in Virginia. She encourages constructive criticism.