As my sisters and I grow older, we've made an effort to talk to each other on the phone at least once a week. Last night, I have no idea how the conversation made it to this topic, but my sister learned that I like to wear shoes in the shower, and she thinks it's super weird...


Let me begin with the backstory...

In 1990-something, my family had just moved back to Oklahoma and my mom thought sending me to summer camp would be fun, so I went. The extended family is from Southwest Oklahoma and they always attended summer camp at a little place between here and Faxon called Camp Lujo. (pronounced Lew-Joe) It was fun and eye-opening.

That week in June was the first time I had ever been away from home for more than a single night at a friend's house, so it was a completely new experience. My dad worked for the oil company so we moved around quite a bit in my youth, and it wasn't anything I had been able to do as of then.

Mom bought be a locking trunk, we packed it full of clothes and necessities and went down the checklist for required items I had to bring. One odd thing I remember questioning was "Shower Shoes." I asked my mom what they were, and turns out, shower shoes are flip flops... we just wore them everywhere except the shower up til that point in time. Still, I thought it was weird that they would suggest bringing shower shoes.

I got dropped off on a Sunday morning just in time to learn the boys dormitory didn't have air conditioning. It was broken or anything, it just never had it. Didn't matter, we spent all day outside in the heat anyway, so none of us cared by night two.

If I haven't mentioned this before, I grew up with two sisters. I say this only to be able to point out the now obvious, young men are pretty disgusting. It was on the first day of camp that I realized why every camper needed a dedicated set of shower shoes.

I can only assume most camps are like the one I went to, built somewhat like a prison. There were five or six stalls in the communal men's dormitory shower at Camp Lujo. When the councilors would walk through the dorm waking everyone up, we'd get up and slowly gather our stuff to go take a rinse. We'd stand there like cattle awaiting our turn to wash off the nights' sweat due to the lack of air conditioning, and when you got your turn, it was honestly the best fresh feeling in the world until IT happened...

I remember standing there, soaping up my (probably) smelly adolescent body with an all-in-one bar of soap/shampoo/conditioner when the smell wafted on the floating beads of steam in the room... One of these young men peed in the shower.

Now, I'll be honest with you, this is a pretty common trait of most men. I want to say it's a trait of all humans, but I've never met a woman that'll admit to it... so it's just the men. Even the guys that say "Gross, I'd never pee in the shower" probably pee in the shower when the need arises. It's a universal lie we all deny, however, in a setting where you are sharing that shower with sixty other people, it's not cool at all.

Just the thought of what transpired a stall or two away from me was enough to make me appreciate those shower shoes my mother made me purchase. Here we are some twenty-five years later and I still wear my shower shoes when I shower.

Is it really that weird? I don't think so. Even Nike makes a dedicated shoe to be worn in the shower... so it's at least mainstream if anything. I've traveled so much in my adult life, always crashing on someone's couch or staying a weekend somewhere other than home, I still keep a pair in my suitcase that goes with me everywhere.

Personally, I don't think it's weird or normal, it's just something I've always done. What say you?

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