In praise of the unsung shoehorn

Your more exotic name, 'shoespooner', gives you a touch of mystery ...

Dear shoehorn,

THERE you are, sitting in the sock drawer, waiting, watching and willing to serve. I write to apologise for not utilising your services more. Not that you complain that I don’t.

That’s just the sort of object you are though - selfless. Whether I use you once a day, once a month or once a year, you’ll still be there when the need arises.

And considering how often shoes are worn, the need is considerable.

The stress of reddened fingers, squashed against a shoe’s counter (the vertical portion of the shoe that wraps around the back of the foot) while trying to haul on joggers, boots, loafers or the winter slippers, could be avoided if only we looked to you.

In today’s disposable society where new shoes are purchased rather than having them repaired or re-soled, footwear care is on the wane.

The rise in popularity of alternative open-toed items such as sandals, thongs and those foam-rubber clogs (otherwise known as Centrelink strollers) have broadened peoples’ options for foot protection. Thus, the need for items like you has become questionable.

But not in my household any longer, for your usefulness has elevated you to a new status. You now stand in joint company with the likes of the fork, the tap and the hat.

What other invention is there for smoothly delivering a foot into a shoe?

Generations before me, and I would suggest before many reading this, more fully appreciated your application.

You and your kind hung from bedroom doorknobs, belt racks or perhaps even from that hook installed solely for the purpose of hosting your handy self.

You, dear shoehorn, are the short handled variety, however I see purpose in your long-handled brothers.

Your more exotic name, “shoespooner”, gives you a touch of mystery. I can only imagine scenarios of a simpler time when the house was in an uproar because father couldn’t find his shoespooner and the family was already late for the Sunday morning service.

Of course, I haven’t even mentioned the brief thrill of the short slide for each foot that accompanies each use.

So on behalf of pain-free heels, ankles and fingers, I do say thank-you.

The Iceberg LettersDear readers - the majority of an iceberg sits below the surface, and it may just take one special letter to see what else lurks under the tip of a topic.


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