I Left My Shoes in Oklahoma City

Gone forever.

Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, as the song goes, but I left Messy and Bessy in Oklahoma City. I know, without context, that means nothing to you, so let me explain.

It was one of those moments in time where you knew you just had to get away for a weekend. It really didn’t matter where, you just needed to go.

That weekend, the Missus and I decided to travel three hours north to Oklahoma City for the extended weekend. We’d use credit card points for hotels and live life on the cheap. Unfortunately, traveling to a new city is no way to live the cheap life.

This was the trip I was bound and determined to get rid of Messy and Bessy. You see, those two “girls” were my tennis shoes. They had been with me every step of the way for about three years now, quite literally. With the exception of Church, I never went anywhere without Messy and Bessy on my feet.

But I was being forced to part with them. Miriam refused to go out to dinner with me when I was wearing those two gals on my feet. Can’t say as I blame her.

Let me back up even further. I’m not a poor man. I can afford new shoes, but I am always wanting to get another mile out of the ones I already have. Point in fact, I bought a brand new pair a month ago, wore them once, and decided to return to Messy and Bessy. They were just comfortable that way.

So when I suggested to Miriam we get out of town, Miriam asked, “Promise me you’ll get rid of …The Shoes.”

Well, now there’s a fine how do you do. First, she puts burdensome conditions on our travels, and on top of that she insults my clothing choices. The Shoes as she called them are a part of my family. They’re old friends. But now I had a choice to make – get out of Dodge or stay cooped up at home for the weekend.

I relented to her onerous condition but didn’t like it, let me tell you that. I wouldn’t say I was stewing on the ride there, but the wheels in my head were turning to say something witty or clever to make up for the internal churn that was happening.

The trip was fine. We took in a museum, an arboretum, and a couple of local restaurants. When we were heading out the hotel door, I placed Messy and Bessy in the trash can. Miriam witnessed it and if I’m not mistaken I saw tears running down her cheeks. I understand, though she interpreted her own tears differently than I did. Funny that.

But there they were, though, heals sticking out of the tiny trash cans, waiting to be scooped up by overworked and understaffed hotel staff. No doubt they would recognize the incredible gift they were given and be overjoyed at the prospect of finding new homes for Messy and Bessy.

The trip home was uneventful but within an hour of arriving home, I heard Miriam shriek like a wild banshee.

“Thomas J. Renner!”

After 22 years of marriage, I recognized that tone. It meant I better start thinking fast.

“What are these raggedy ol’ things doing in your suitcase?”

“Now where did they come from?” I asked. “Oh, I know what must have happened. I put them in the recycle can instead of the trash can. They got their feelings hurt and…”

“In the kitchen can is where they’re going,” the Missus said. “No recycle can here. In fact, I’ll do that now and seal it up tighter than a drum and take it down to the curb so that no one can retrieve those nasty things.”

“But Miriam, be careful, You’re hurting their feel…”

The look Miriam shot me warned me that if I uttered another word, my life was in jeopardy, even if she herself did hurt Messy and Bessy’s feelings.



  1. Hahaha!! I love this and it definitely resonates. I am working on getting my husband to ditch his terrible old beloved trainers… in the trash can.

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