This morning was another wet one in New York City. Unlike last week I came prepared with a jacket and an umbrella. Yes, I own an umbrella now. Unfortunately, jackets and umbrellas do not at all protect your feet. Granted I did not wear the best shoes to battle the elements today, but it was honestly the last thing on my mind after being drenched head to toe last week.
Side bar for a moment, if you don’t mind. Getting caught in the rain in New York City is a real bonding experience. For one thing, I felt like I was initiated into the NYC lifestyle. Between being asked for money at almost every corner, to nearly getting run over by bicyclists daily (it’s bikes you gotta look out for, not taxis), I feel pretty much at one with the concrete jungle. Second point, other people are caught in the rain too. You’re not in it alone. Most people, much wiser than I, had jackets and umbrellas and looked arrogantly dry. But there were others sprinting from awning to awning, hopping puddles, using newspapers as hats. At one point me and this other guy were literally flat against a building sliding along, backs scraping the bricks, to try to stay dry. We didn’t say one word to each other, but when we locked eyes, we became friends, brothers even, fighting Mother Nature together as one.
Back to today. Long story short I showed up to work with wet feet. The right foot in particular was really wet, but the left was just wet enough to make it uncomfortable and inconvenient. Like I work hard every day of the week, I don’t need or deserve wet socks. Thankfully I got to work before anyone on my team so the first thing I did was take both shoes and both socks off and ring out my wet socks to rid them of the excessive moisture. This essentially was pointless as I put them back on my wet feet and then back into my wet shoes. I tried not to think about it, and I tried not to get up. But after a few hours when your feet are still very much wet and now very cold, changes have to be made. There’s no blow dryer in the bathroom; it was time to get creative.
First attempt: I tried stacking a few layers of TP (street term for “toilet paper”) between my socks and shoes to separate the two. Twenty minutes had passed before I realized I was basically standing on wet dissolving sponges.
Attempt 2: back to the bathroom, but the solo bathroom. I needed some time and some privacy. Looking back now, this was a pivotal decision because I could not have done what I was about to do in a big bathroom without turning a few heads and potentially being asked to leave the building/escorted out by security. I decided the wet socks were not going to dry at any point, so I took them off (step 1: identify the problem). Now I had wet feet and wet shoes, so I dried my feet off with those paper-towel/bathroom napkin things (step 2: limit the damage of said problem). How was I going to keep my feet dry but also wear wet shoes without smelling like absolute shit? I took those paper towels and wrapped them around my feet like a mummy on Halloween, then shoved them in my still wet shoes, then loosened my belt one slot so my pants would hang lower, thus hiding the paper towels peeking out of my shoes. (Step 3: resolve the problem).
A few hours later I had to re-apply since the moisture from the shoes had soaked into the towels. And I made sure this time was the last time, giving myself a DOUBLE WRAP (final step: prevent problem from happening again). So I’ve been walking around all day with paper towels as socks. It’s not ideal, nor is it comfortable or recommended. But desperate times calls for desperate measures.
In summary, just keep an extra pair of socks in your desk drawer for emergencies like this.