This morning I arrived early for my spin class as usual. I sat on a bench and pulled out my phone to check up on the world and realized a lot of morning commuters were having a very bad day with the thin sheen of ice on everything. I looked up from my screen and my eyes landed on the row of winter boots lining the foyer. Boots and coats are left by the door since street shoes are not allowed beyond that point. I typically put my coat on a hook right over my boots to avoid confusion. These things belong together. The entryway an open, exposed area ruled by the honor system. The thought crossed my mind. Has anyone ever taken anyone else’s boots? I pushed the thought from my mind.

I headed upstairs to stretch and warm up. I had a seriously off day in class. I felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest like an alien. This is why I don’t run. I pedaled a little longer after class end to cool down and then changed out of my sweaty clothes after class for the first time ever. Sorry, if that’s gross, but I usually rock that shit until I get home and shower. Today I just felt like not being cold, so I brought extra clothes. Another older couple was taking their time changing and moseying downstairs. I’m right on their heels. I set my backpack down and start bundling up. I look over and realized the older woman is pulling on my boots. She had one already on with her pants pulled over it. These are knee high suede boots I’m talking about and she’s putting her foot in the second one.

“Excuse me, but those are mine!” I exclaim. I hope I didn’t sound too aggressive, but what the hell am I supposed to do without boots in winter…in Minnesota!

She finally takes a good look at my boots.

“Oh gosh, they’re just like mine. You know how your mind gets addled after all that sweating,” she says and starts removing the boots. “They’re the same size too!”

I understand about the brain addling effects of a workout, but her boots were closer to her coat as well. They were also black suede, but had a gray knit inset along the side and no heel, so not really the same. I’m sure she wasn’t intentionally trying to take another’s boots. Like I said, I hope I wasn’t too aggressive. I don’t want to be known as that woman with the hateful eyes and never speaks.

If I had dawdled around more upstairs, I would be shoeless. If I had decided not to change it would have never occurred. How can it be possible that on the same day I wonder about people walking off with different shoes that it nearly happens to me?



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