Experience 2015! Number One: Shoe Shine

Superior Shine Sign

Women report that menopause emboldens them, making them brave, brave enough to try new things. So, I thought this year, we’d experiment on me (and hopefully you’ll join in with some experiences of your own).  I’m going to call this blog project “Experience 2015.”

Here we go with Experience Number One:

I was at the airport, enroute to visit my mom. I looked down. Yuck! My klunky winter walking shoes looked awful. Airports have shoe shine guys! I’d seen them all my life. I turned a corner and there he was. Would I feel shy sitting up in that big high chair?

I stepped closer.

“I don’t do ladies,” the shoe shine man said.


He grinned. “Just kidding, ma’am.” He offered his hand and I climbed up.


“Why are you taking photos?” he asked, noticing the click of my phone a minute later.

“I’m going to blog about this. It’s my first shoe shine. May I take your picture?”

“No, ma’am. I don’t mess with the Internet.”

In Process

I turned the conversation away from blogging and asked shoe shine questions. We talked about shoe shining techniques and the fancy shoes that business people wear. I glanced at the sign. “So you do tennis shoes?”

“Nah,” said the guy. “That’s not our real sign. Best to put your tennis shoes in the washer.”

I didn’t quite get how it wasn’t their real sign but decided not to ask.

Shoe shine Kit

I loved peering into his shoe shine box. It reminded me of my dad’s, who did his shoes at home.

“Beautiful,” I announced, poking out a finished foot. Then the shoe shine man offered me his hand to climb down.

Shiny Shoe

That week, when I told friends and family that I’d gotten my first shoe shine, most seemed underwhelmed to learn of my new experience. ” *

But not me!


I spent four days in Baltimore admiring that superior shine.

Lesson Number One: A lot of problems (like yucky shoes) can be solved quickly.

Lesson Number Two: Treat yourself! Let others help you. Thank them with enthusiastic words and a good tip.

(In all truth, I had the shoe shine at the very end of 2014, but since it sparked this blog idea, I’m counting it for 2015).

*Shout out to my friend David, who told me he loves shoe shines, and that sadly, it’s hard to find shoe shine guys anymore. Must be like maps. On our recent trip to Charleston, Cliff and I learned that you can’t bop into a gas station and buy a map anymore. Gone are those days…