The Dread of Polishing My Shoes

The task of polishing my shoes is right up there with having to change the shower curtain liner.

I DREAD it.

I dread it almost as much as I would if I were having an empacted wisdom tooth pulled using a monkey wrench and a crowbar.

And because I'm one of those people who is very rough on my shoes, they need to be polished after every wear.

I swear to god...after wearing my shoes for only one day, they literally look as though I was using them to tap dance for 16 hours, as one of the Rockettes in Radio City Music Hall.

I have no idea what the hell I do to them that they always look so scuffed and beaten when I take them off at the end of a work day.

When I was a kid, I remember my father teaching me how to properly polish my shoes. He had this wooden box that had a foot rest on top, and it had a cool little compartment inside which stored all the shoe polishing paraphernalia.

(it was a great little place for me to hide my evil sisters tampons)

My dad was extremely anal-retentive about having our shoes always looking PERFECT. Not quite like Joan Crawford...but close. I mean to him, your shoes weren't polished until you could see your reflection in them.

He showed me step by step how to first use the small round brush to apply the shoe polish, and then taking the larger rectangular brush to briskly compound the polish into the leather; after that, he would use the yellow buffing cloth to spit shine them. And for that, I had to put my shoes on my feet and then place them on the foot rest.

Buff-Buff-Buff....Buff-Buff-Buff

Buff-Buff-Buff....Buff-Buff-Buff

OVER and OVER and OVER again.

To this day, whenever I smell shoe polish, I can see my father on his hands and knees at my feet with beads of sweat on his forehead from the aerobic workout he got whenever he polished shoes.

(it was like he just did 60 minutes on a treadmill)

And OY VEY....if he could only see me polishing my shoes NOW.

I use the cheapest shoe polish I can find (preferably at The Dollar Store), and I use an old gym sock to scoop out the shoe polish by placing my hand inside the sock, first. I rub the shoe polish around for exactly 10 seconds and then take the gym sock off my hand, turning it inside out, and then placing my hand back inside. Then I buff the shoes for another 10 seconds....and VIOLA!

I'm done.

And honestly...I know it's not as effective as how my father taught me.

But I don't think I do such a bad job...do you?








36 comments

  1. Aw, just use a sharpie! :D

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  2. NO, you didn't do a bad job at all!!! That's what our shoes look like around here! hahaha

    What a nice memory to have though of your Dad!
    I remember we had a tin of shoe polish but I think just a rag went with it. My parents didn't have a box with the accessories that I can remember. But then again, for as often as they had to dress up it probably wasn't so necessary. Dress shoes with my mothers house coats or my fathers paint clothes just wouldn't go all that well. LOL Mom went to church every week but she probably didn't do her shoes that much. And dad, probably cleaned his up only for a funeral or wedding.

    Well, atleast you get the chore done pretty quickly and it's not a big expense. And I'm sure with you wearing alot of black, just a basic job is noticeable and just pulls everything together. Some might think that people don't notice shoes, but they do!

    Hope you have a wonderful week. I haven't even checked the weather to see what we're in for. I know I had the a/c on one or two nights already just to take the humidity out of the air. It wasn't hot, but just felt a little sticky.

    Oooh, I haven't had time to drop you an email but I will just say for now that the Reiki attunements and class was TERRIFIC! I loved the whole experience.
    More later.....

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  3. Ohmygosh.

    And I teased himself when I first watched him polish his shoes...

    I take it back.
    Really, I thought shoe polishing had become a thing of the past.

    *hands head*
    I am ashamed....

    Well, not really. LOL I still think it's a funny thing to do. AND I disallow him anywhere near my heels with that evil stuff.

    He lights the shoe polish on fire, for crying out loud! Sheeeeeshh. What's up with that?

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  4. Aloha Debi!

    It's funny you should mention a sharpie, because I wrote a post last year about how many ways I've discovered using one - and shoe scuffs were one of them!

    The possibilities are ENDLESS!!!

    Hope you're having SUPER Monday, Deb!

    Thanks for dropping by!

    X

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  5. I don't polish my shoes and boots - MWM does them for me. :)

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  6. My Grandpa taught me how to shine my riding boots that way. Every Friday afternoon before a show, he'd have the same aerobic workout!

    I still have the wooden box, mostly for the memories it holds.

    Have a beautiful week.

    xoxo
    ~vk~

    PS....You do a fabulous job with your gym sock! :)

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  7. Morning Crystal-Chick!

    Thank you my friend...and these are my BEST shoes too!

    HAHAHHHAHAHA!

    Oh man...you mentioned going to church...

    ....that's when my father REALLY inspected our shoes! They had to look tip-top for Sunday Mass!!!

    I never realized how many people DO notice shoes, you're right. I once was talking to a woman at work and she said that SHOES were the first thing she noticed on a man. If he didn't have stylish, perfectly kept shoes...she was immediately turned off and wouldn't date him again - HONEST!!!

    I guess that's why she's STILL single!!!

    HAHHAHAHAHAHA!!

    Isn't the weather PSYCHOTIC lately?? One day it's 79 degrees, the next day it's 45. I hear this week it's suppose to stay in the lower temps! April can be a very strange month!

    ooooh...I thought about you a lot this weekend and was wondering how your Reiki attunements went!? SOOOO glad to hear it was TERRIFIC! I remember my own Level 1 attunement as being something that I'll never forget. I'm so glad you decided to do this, M. You can use Reiki for SOOOOO many things!

    Thanks for stopping neighbor!

    Happy Monday to ya!

    X

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  8. Howdy Mel!

    OMG...you're so funny!

    "A thing of the past"

    Do you know what's interesting? In Philadelphia, they still have shoe-shine men on the street corners who offer to polish your shoes for a small fee. I'm always half tempted to have it done because they do FAAABULOUS job! And I see men AND women having their shoes polished. It's really kinda cool to watch.

    YES!!!!...I read somewhere about lighting/heating the shoe polish tin first before applying. I think it has to do with softening the polish. Maybe I'll "google" that and see what they say!

    I honestly think they should make shoes Scuff Proof. I mean come on, we have computers, cell phones, iPods, why can't they make a shoe that doesn't scuff?

    Anyway, dear lady....thanks for sharing about himself. Everytime you talk about him, it makes me smile.

    HAPPY MONDAY!

    X

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  9. Akelamalu...you are SOOOO lucky to have MWM polish your shoes for you!!!

    Hey...do you think if I FEDEX my shoes to him overnight, he would polish mine??

    Tell him I'll pay at least 50 pounds, ok?

    HHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Happy Monday, dear lady!

    Thanks for dropping by!

    X

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  10. Afternoon Vixen Kitten!

    Thank you sweet lady!

    It's amazing all the wonderful uses I've discovered in a gym sock! And it must be the cotton or something, but they really do produce a nice shine.

    OH WOW....you STILL have the wooden box??? How cool! The one thing I still have of my fathers, is the neck trimming clippers he used on us when he cut our hair. He and his father had their own hair salon.

    I had no idea you rode!? Boy...I bet polishing your boots was a HUGE undertaking, too. All that leather!

    Thanks for stopping by today, VK!

    And a beautiful week to you, too!

    X

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  11. Dear Venti,

    I laughed so hard when you compared shining your shoes as getting an impacted wisdom tooth pulled using a monkey wrench and a crowbar.

    Loved the story, my favorite was your little hiding place for your evil sisters tampons.

    Its so nice when we think back to what our parents taught us. At least your father taught you how to shine shoes, mine made me neurotic. LOL

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  12. Great post, Ron, especially as I've felt this way since first entering the work force. Not only do I consider polishing my shoes as tedious as charging my cell phone (don't even ask), but I never once made use of the shinebox guys in Manhattan.

    It's particularly embarrassing when they actually call you out in a crowd. Believe me, it's happened.

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  13. how about wearing canvas!? ;)

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  14. Dear Ronnie,
    I hear it's BOGO time again @ Payless!!!! Woooooooooooooooooooo!

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  15. Hello Domestic Diva!

    OMG...you wouldn't BELIEVE the stuff I use to do to my sister!!!

    Honestly though...she was truly a BEAST when we were kids. She got me in trouble so many times with her BIG mouth, so any chance I got for revenge...I TOOK it!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    I really should a write a post about her. I mentioned her a few times in some of my previous posts, but never a full story about her.

    Thanks for dropping by Diva!!

    Hope you're having a MARVI Monday!

    It's been raining here all day and VERY cold. It almost feels like Fall is coming rather than Spring/Summer.

    X

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  16. Hola Dianne!

    Hey listen....that's not a bad idea!!!

    Remember back in the 80's when canvas shoes were the fashion?? I think I had one pair in brown and the other black.

    And the great thing about canvas...is that you just throw them in the washer machine!

    VIOLA!

    Great seeing ya, sweet lady!

    Hope all is going well with Mia!

    Giver her my love!

    X

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  17. Howdy MVD!

    HOLY SHIT...can you believe I don't even own a cell phone!!?? But you're right...when I had one it was tedious as all hell recharging the damn thing!

    And hey listen....the shoe shining guys have called me too. And it's totally embarrassing because I had just finished polishing my shoe at home!!!

    Great seeing ya, bud!

    Hope you had super Monday!

    X

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  18. Leave it to my bargain shopper Debi to let me know about BOGO!!

    I'll definitely check out Payless tomorrow on my way to the grocery store.

    Actually, I really do need to get another pair of dress shoes! I've found the BEST all-leather dress shoes there.

    X

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  19. hi ronnie....you know i have no time but wanted to pop in and say hi in the brief interlude between gkids coming and going....they went to the beach so actually have an hour or so...anyway, love all these posts you have written, your pooping habits are very like mine, i should say your fears are very like mine, complete with missing meals if things do not "go" quite right...ahem

    love the shoes, and trust that you actually polish yours every time you put them on!!! i think you are very suave and just trying to not be quite so much !
    xoxo

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  20. Hellooooooo Linda!

    You WILD woman you!!!

    How are ya????

    OMG...I read your last post on my reader that said you were taking a break to spend some time with the family. Hope you're having fun and enjoying yourself!!!

    Thanks SOOOOOO much for taking a moment to stop by and say Hi - I really appreciate that, dear lady!

    Yes...I really DO polish my shoes and they don't turn out this bad....but CLOSE!

    Bwhahahahahahaha!

    Great seeing ya, Linda!

    Peace and Love Baby!

    XOXOXOXO

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  21. Hahahaha. :)

    hahahahaha....heheheh. You make me laugh so much. I couldn't believe myself...the shoes at the end...oh babe, I loved this post.

    i don't know anyone who shines their shoes everyday...not even army solders do that. hehehe
    i like when a guy wipes his shoes on the back of his trousers and it's black or blown swipes...ha.

    ronnie...sssshhhh on the shower curtain. I don't like that job but it's due...boo hoo.

    It's on my list of things to avoid. hehe.

    Anyway...ronnie, you might want to try a different polish for those snazzy shoes or rub less. hehehe.

    have a fabulous day honey. xxx

    Ciao honey.

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  22. Hi Ronnie,

    You did spif them up:)
    My goodness; if them shoes could talk... you are a walker ( handshake, pardner; me too).

    I remember our Dad had his shoe shine box too, with the lid that stored all the gear ( you naughty boy, stashing your sisters tampons inside he he)
    Our Dad's were already from another generation and this was an important thing for them. Remember the shoeshine men ?? I don't think that there are too many left.

    Our generation is just not into that ritual rubbing of leather!

    Hugs all the way down to Philly to you
    XXX

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  23. Dear Miss Jones.....

    You're not going to believe this, but I TOO am getting ready to change my shower curtain liner!!! The damn thing has ripped off the hooks on each end.

    GRRRRRRR!!!!

    I've been putting it off all weekend, but I truly need to just do it and get it over with.

    And don't laugh...but when I was a kid, I actually DID rub my shoes on the backs of my trousers! I remember doing it before school sometimes. You know those NUNS!! Cleanliness is next to Godliness!!!

    *included SHOES!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!

    Thanks for stopping by, Miss J!

    Wishing you a WILD Tuesday!!!!

    *and I'll think of you when I change the shower curtain!

    ciao bella
    X

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  24. Bonjour Barbara!

    These shoes look like I was walking through a field of landmines!!!!

    Hey...they have a guy on Broad Street (right infront of one of the banks) who still shines shoes!! He's got all his shoe shine stuff layed out and yells...."SHOE SHINE! GET YOUR SHOES SHINE!"

    There's also a guy in the Marriott Hotel that does it in the lobby!!

    Your right though, because it's becoming a lost art that was very popular during our generation.

    GREAT seeing ya, Barb!

    Thanks for stopping by today!

    Love to you and Didier!

    X

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  25. Either your father actually had two families (one in Los Angeles), and taught ME how to shine shoes, or Tom Brokaw's Greatest Generation had a shoe-shining fetish that we have never fully explored. Love the post...I'm in!

    EFH

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  26. So....Captain Caveman, what did you find at payless?? :)

    And speaking of Sharpie, I was royally pissed yesterday at work I wore my new T shirt (bought on clearance, of course!) and was SO careful about not getting stains or snagged at work. Well, I had to use a sharpie to write on a plastic bag. It didn't write on the bag, so I assumed it was out of ink, dropped the pen and that's when it landed, TIP FIRST, on my new shirt and left a black line an inch long. FCUK. Got home hours later and said I'm gonna TRY to wash it off, took some liquid soap and a nail brush to it and let it dry. I don't know how, but there's no line there anymore.
    Unless this was all a dream. Yes, that's it. All just an Insomniatic dream. 4.5 hours last night.

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  27. Hey Expat!

    Welcome!

    OMG...your comment was HYSTERICAL!!!

    I'm tell you...that's EXACTLY what it was like too...

    ...my father had this shoe shine fetish!

    I was talking to my mother last night on the phone, telling her about this post....and she was laughing her ass off, because it brought back such a funny memory of my dad!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, bud!

    You're always welcomed here!

    Enjoy your day!

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  28. Aloha Sleepless in Hawaii!

    I didn't have time to get to Payless today, cause I needed to get to the library first, to order a book I want them to put on hold for me. But tomorrow I'll stop by the Payless in the Gallery on my way to look for a new digital camera. My other "cheapie one" just broke and I want so much to take some photos for my blog posts.

    Hey...that's freaking AMAZING that you were able to get the Sharpie mark out of your shirt - I mean isn't a Sharpie permanent?

    You GO, girl!

    Hope you sleep better tonight, Deb.

    Try some Chamomile Tea...it really works for me!!

    X

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  29. What a fabulous post! My Dad is a master shoe polisher, too. Whenever I go over to my parents house with scuffed shoes, he makes me take them off so he can polish them.

    But I'm like you, I'll dip a Kleenex in a can of black polish and swipe, swipe. I'm done. I don't think I even buff them. The horrors!

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  30. Hola Chrissy!

    I knew it...

    ..I knew it all along.

    You and I are fraternal TWINS!

    There's just TOO-TOO many things we have in common.

    Black jelly beans, scary movies, hot weather,...and now SHOE POLISHING CRAZIED FATHERS!!

    Was your father's name Frank?

    And you KILL me with your Kleenex!

    I need to try that one someday!!

    Always great seeing ya, Chrissy!

    Thanks for stopping by!
    X

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  31. Nope. Dad's name is George. :)

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  32. What a great name Chrissy!

    Like me....

    ..George Jetson!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    X

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  33. You done good, Ron!

    I definitely can see myself in those shoes. Well, maybe not my reflection. But yes, I could wear them.

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  34. Hiya San!

    OMG...that was FUNNY!!!

    They look disgusting, but kinda comfortable don't they???

    I think the only thing that could see it's reflection in those shoes, would be Wart Hog!!!

    Great seeing ya, San!
    X

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  35. Ron, just buy a couple of those sponge polish things. Waaaay easy!

    My B-I-L had one of those box kits you pictured. He used to try to get me to polish his GOLF shoes! Jeez! The nerve!

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  36. No way, Nitebyrd...

    ...He actually tried to get you to polish his GOLF SHOES?????

    OH DEAR GOD...I'll say, "What nerve!"

    MEN!

    Thanks for the tip on the sponge polish things. I'll look for them in Rite Aide!

    Thanks for stopping by, Sis!
    X

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