Life in the slow lane…

I confess a few times in Eclipsed that I have never been cool, trendy nor fashionable. I see hip youngsters nowadays covered in tattoos and piercings and I shudder. Surely, being fashionable these days has never required such complete and total commitment to the cause – not to mention pain.

My need to be fashionable has always been fatally undermined by my need to be comfortable and let’s be frank; there is no kudos in comfort. When it comes to looking good, it seems to me that pain is where it is at; tattoos and piercings being an obvious place to start.

When I do black tie dinners I am often struck by how uncomfortable people appear; men in waist coats so tight that breathing must be a conscious effort but especially women, tottering about in shoes that might well elongate a calf but obviously are painful and explains why when the organisers enter a green room or any place out of sight, the first thing they do is kick off their shoes.

I admire their stoicism here. As a man who would greatly benefit from some extra inches, I wouldn’t endure any pain for this at all.

Same too with the tendency for the new look which requires men to forfeit socks – not something I would ever countenance. The dubious look aside, too damn uncomfortable altogether for me I am afraid.

Speaking of comfort and to hell with how I look, I have always been very partial to pyjamas; clothing which any self-respecting cool man has no understanding of – and in the colder months (about 10 months of the year in the UK) I am even known to tuck my top in to my bottoms.

Dressing gown too.

And similarly my complete reliance on slippers – which might be a fashion crime to some – but these people have no idea what they are missing.

Not that I take a pride in being uncool. Over my life I would have enjoyed being more with-it but it never felt right and so I have erred from grunge and ever more toward velour.

But something happened to me this week which caught me out;  a life milestone that I hadn’t seen coming and was not particularly welcome.

Regular readers will know that we have a dog – and dog owners understand that having a single pair of slippers is a folly because we share our slippers with our dogs. Our dog – Tessa – is seemingly particularly fond of my slippers and will take them everywhere with her; which explains why I need to have at least three pairs of slipper on the go at any one time. It is the only way that I can guarantee slippers for both feet albeit they are often different styles and even two rights or two lefts.

One pair I currently have on the go are fabric slippers from the shop, Shuh. I was in there recently and a natty pair caught my eye but the only pair available were a little on the small side. But I bought them anyway and six months later, they haven’t stretched as I had hoped and as such, they are not my go-to slippers – and more of a last resort.

In Marks & Spencer recently, (the shop of the British high street) – a shop I used to work for in my youth and remain very fond of – my eye was drawn to a batch of shoe horns – not something I have ever bought before or used. But a man of a certain age, it struck me what a good idea they are.

And in particular, these shoe horns were of a certain length. By which I mean – long; enabling the man (or woman?) to pull on their shoe without having to bend down.

The smarter readers amongst you will be ahead of me now and won’t need to read on…

But for the slower readers then (I am nothing if not inclusive)…

…in our hallway this week, Nikki – my wife of 25 years suffered the indignity of having to watch her husband put on his slippers using his long (geriatric) shoe horn.

Not grounds for a divorce I hope – but worthy of a heavy sigh and private questions of her life choices I am sure.



27 thoughts on “Life in the slow lane…

  1. Erin Hayward says:

    Do love a good pair of comfy slippers, but currently don’t have any as finding a size that will fit me is a nightmare! Most places only sell up to size 7/8 for women but my feet are a size 9! At least my mum and I share a shoe size so we can swap between us for various events.
    As for pyjamas, if anyone doesn’t like them then they must be spawns of Satan!

  2. Alessandra says:

    Dom, so much looking forward to reading your blogs. Always leaving with a smile, thank you. Comfort is important for sure, I don’t like dressing up and don’t follow fashion but there are times where you should dress up and I have a hard time finding something that suits as well as comfortable. Those horns are hiding at M&S huh? Might need to get one… And Tessa… Trying to find comfort and missing her human… If only she would stick to one shoe for a while, right?

  3. Haidy says:

    I do like what you say I do not follow fashion I follow something that is comfortable and appropriate to me…

    Later you should buy a full shoe for Tessa that she deserves to play with. ♥ Your wife seems to understand a lot of things that. she is beautiful. I really enjoy when I reading something for you. My greetings to you from Egypt

  4. Milena says:

    Every time you talk about your wife it’s with respect and admiration. It is really precious. You’re giving beautiful example for your lads.

  5. Vicki G says:

    Reading this, whilst in my pyjamas, dressing gown, and slipper socks! Cannot beat snuggling down on the sofa in warm clothes! Being 25, fashion should be one of my priorities, but being comfy is more to my liking!

  6. Charlotte R says:

    Great post, always manage to bring a smile to my face!

    Will you be releasing any more Brothers Trust dog collars? I missed them the first time around due to a technology holiday!

  7. Ellen L says:

    What a great post Dom. Fashion is the very enemy of comfort. I’m sat at University waiting for my Film lecture wishing I could be at home in my pyjamas and dressing gown now. Your fashion sense is great Dom! Everybody loves a good pair of slippers. I always find that I wear my slippers out in the winter, by February they’re not as nice to wear. I love wearing fluffy socks with slippers now, makes them last longer I find!
    I loved the picture of Tess with your slipper that you put on Instagram, at least it wasn’t chewed by foxes this time!
    Love from,
    Ellen xxxx

  8. Vicki A says:

    You’ve contoured up a colourful mental image Dom – you armed with a shoe horn, too tight slippers and sporting pjs with the top tucked into the bottoms – Nikki’s a lucky woman. I meanwhile will be keeping my hubby away from your blog for fear he feels he’s discovered a fellow member of his ‘tribe’ and invests in a long shoe horn!!

  9. Vicki A says:

    You’ve conjoured up a colourful mental image Dom – you armed with a shoe horn, too tight slippers and sporting pjs with the top tucked into the bottoms – Nikki’s a lucky woman. I meanwhile will be keeping my hubby away from your blog for fear he feels he’s discovered a fellow member of his ‘tribe’ and invests in a long shoe horn!! So I’ll be keeping your blog all to myself – love it!

  10. Lorraine says:

    I can identify with you completely DomI like to look nice but crave comfort. Can’t wait to get home to slippers which I too share with an enthusiastic cocker spaniel. Love your blogs and you always look very well. Must be the Nikki effect. Have a great weekend.

  11. Pamela says:

    I have never been big into fashion. Comfort always out weighs being fancy. This week in the states is National Bully Prevention Week so yesterday it was pajama day! My fellow teachers and I have devised a plan that we are going to come up with at least once a month to have pajama day at school. Thanksgiving and Christmas break are easy to justify. Now to get our principal on board! Wearing jeans to school is a hard sell to him. Thankfully we get Fridays to be comfortable!! Love the picture of Tessa with your slipper!

  12. Paul says:

    Being male, I’ll forgo commenting on your sleeping attire, but wholeheartedly agree with slippers and bath robes (dressing gowns to you Brits) – these are essentials in any mans’ closet. And as for men who forfeit socks, it appears your one offspring is leading that revolt. Thousands (or millions) of photos of him are sans socks – though there may be no-show socks below the shoes ankle collar . Is this the new fashion trend? If so, I’ll remain old school – never leave the house without wearing clean underwear and clean socks – you may get hit by a bus and want to make a good impression in the emergency room 🙂

  13. Aviya Avrahami says:

    Dom just like always you made me laugh really hard reading about your fight with Tessa about your slippers… your the best!

    • Diana H says:

      Totalmente de acuerdo,la comodidad es una característica fundamental para sentirse pleno,en mi caso no es necesario sacrificar mi estado anímico y físico por la moda, siempre puedes buscar la manera para verte bien y estar cómodo ,eso facilita las cosas y podrás disfrutar más,según mi pensamiento.

  14. Claudia Amezquita says:

    Mr. Holland, you are so cool.
    It’s amazing to be yourself, despite so many fashions and trends.
    I am 23 and I do not look very fashionable, I wear what I like and it makes me feel that it is me, and that sometimes coincides with what is fashionable but not all the time. And it’s ok.
    I’m from Mexico, by the way, and I love reading your blog. I am also a writer but I don’t have a blog, maybe I should create one. Anyway, I’m dying to read your books, I’ll be able to buy them soon, I’ve been saving for that.

  15. Toni says:

    Poor Nikki! Although I dropped my kids off at school this morning in my pj’s (pAjamas here in the states) and slippers. Even hopped of the car to walk them up to school thank you very much. As long as I avoid everyone’s judgmental gaze I return home pride intact(ish).
    Here’s to comfort!

  16. Kristen says:

    Have you ever tried getting Tess her own pair of slippers? Though it probably won’t work, because I’m sure she would prefer the scent of a pair already used. Especially your scent it seems?

    As for the shoe horn, I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I don’t even know what that is.

  17. Christina says:

    I fully understand the struggle between a dog and my slippers. Thank goodness my sweet Cali no longer eats my slippers, but she will sleep on them. I to choose comfort over fashion, nothing like true comfort, reading a good book ( Eclipsed) on a cold Indiana day.

  18. Valeria says:

    Slippers? What are slippers?
    I love your blogs, they are certainly quite funny. I do love your slipper stories.
    I am an owner of 8 Belgian Malinois dogs, I am Mexican and slippers ain’t a thing here, sandals (huaraches) are but I am not allowed to have a pair without any if my dogs completely destroying them.
    Fashion is not a thing for me so barefoot I go around my yard trying to find my huraches. After a few years I have given up and have learned to walk with bare feet all the time.

  19. Betzibeth says:

    Hi Dominic!
    I love your blog, I usually read it when the university gives me a break, I must admit that your British humor is incredible, I am from Mexico, here we usually call your shoes differently but still every story is fun with you, thanks for that!

  20. Theresa says:

    Another amusing post Dom. My dad always wears his Jim jams and slippers too. It makes for easy present buying on occasion!

  21. Sara says:

    I too always have several pairs of slippers on the go …. but mine are stolen by my children rather than a dog. Maybe I should check out the M & S range rather than going for the novelty penguin variety …..

  22. Audrey says:

    Buy Tess her own slippers, explain to her that she can do whatever she wants to with them, but leave your slippers alone!
    I can recommend some flexibility exercises.
    Thanks for the story.

  23. Nana says:

    Hi Dom! I’m a seventeen years old greek girl and I think that for the past good 5 years of my life, that I’m capable of “taking care of myself” and put on my shoes on my own, I have never not used our looooong shoe horn! To be honest I think we’ve never had a short shoe horn around the house! Seemed weird to me that it isn’t, or maybe it wasn’t, a part of your everyday life. You are not alone sir! (Love your writing, it makes me feel relaxed )
    Greetings to the Holland family!

  24. Esther says:

    This is awesome. The photo of Tessa on Instagram must be the inspiration for this blog. I also tuck in my top when it gets extra chilly. I even double my pants. I go to state school in the us and wit for my bus at six am EST. It is really cold and dark then.

  25. Jenn says:

    I would rather be comfortable than fashionable. Lucky for me when I ask my husband for his opinion on shoes (heels versus flats) he will say “The ones that are comfortable.” He also uses a long shoe horn and we have been married for almost 22 years, but we are not geriatric in our mid-40’s. I think he just does it for my entertainment and the face I make is probably similar to Nikki’s…

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