c451181_lMost of the backstory for this column is recorded on special paper, sealed in a tamper-proof metal container and buried deep in the vaults of the Library of Congress. A gentleman never talks about ladies he has known in the past, even if they were instrumental in his life education and enlightened him on some of their inner secrets, like why they love shoes.

I used to see men sitting in the shoe store, sullen and quiet, looking like they were about to be executed. Most were in fear that their partners might ask if something went with a particular dress or outfit, knowing full well they couldn’t remember the outfit if their very lives depended on it. And sometimes it did. But guys, here’s another secret – women know that we can’t remember squat about their clothing. They just use all that to keep an upper hand with us.

Still, a lot of men are missing out on a fun experience. It’s like getting a private fashion show and there is something very disarming when a woman gives a man that kind of ┬ápouty little look they do when they want approval. It really doesn’t matter whether you approve or not, but it’s charming that they let us think our opinion counts for something. Sadly, men don’t seem to reciprocate on that sort of thing.

Guys, if your wife or girlfriend only wears sensible lace shoes and can recite from memory mathematical formulas necessary to design suspension bridge trusses, you are probably missing out on all this shoe stuff. But even engineers can have a feminine side and if you are the one to bring that out in her you are in for a really pleasant surprise. If your wife or girlfriend is a militant feminist, it might be time to find another wife or girlfriend.

Probably the best thing about shoes however, is that they are attached to a woman’s feet, which are attached to ankles, which are attached to legs which – you get the idea. And all these years you probably thought the song “Dem Bones” was just about skeletons. Married guys need to be single now and then. Not so they can run around, but so they can take care of themselves for a while and learn to appreciate what they have at home. Single guys, well, we’re just crap out of luck.

So men, the next time you go past a shoe store, or get dragged into one, instead of staring at the ceiling try to indulge your lady and show some interest. She probably still won’t want to watch football with you, but even money says she will just smile and not say anything the next time you put a game on.

Quid pro quo fellas, quid pro quo. Oh, and a very Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!