My mom used to say “Put your shoes on Lucy, don’t you know you’re in the city?” It seems she said this often throughout my childhood whenever we needed to get our shoes on to go somewhere. I have no idea what the origins are of this saying. I suppose with modern technology I could look it up on the internet, or I could even ask her, but the thought of asking never crossed my mind until just now. When my children were younger, I would say the same thing to them, and my oldest (Virginia) would always reply in her cute toddler voice, “I’m not Lucy, I’m Gin!” To think of it today still makes me smile.
I haven’t said that statement in a few years, but it popped back up in my head today when I picked my daughter Klara up from daycare. I had an eye doctor appointment at 5:00 pm. As soon as Virginia arrived at my office, we left so that I could swing by the daycare to pick Klara up and get to my appointment by 5:00. The commute went smoothly. I arrived at the daycare by about 4:40. The eye doctor was just around the corner. I ran in the door, picked up my weekly daycare bill then turned to find my child in the room full of school-age children. As I was searching the room, the teacher mentioned to me that Klara must have thought she was at home, because she kicked her shoes off and made herself comfortable on the sofa. This is nothing new. The child constantly takes her shoes off. The moment we get in the car to go someplace, the shoes come off. If we are at the grocery store and I let her sit in the cart, the shoes come off. It’s rather inconvenient, and she has been told numerous time to not take her shoes off outside of the house.
I walked over to the sofa and found her scrambling to put her shoes on. One shoe quickly went on. The other…well the other was nowhere to be found. Two teachers, three kids and I lifted furniture, crawled around on the floor on our hands and knees, felt deep into sofa cushions, but none of us found a shoe. I quickly toured the entire gymnasium-size room. The only shoes I saw were on the kids’ feet – where they belong. Why is that that whenever you are in a hurry, something like this takes place and forces you to be late? After searching for a good ten minutes I had enough. I wasn’t about to miss the appointment I left work early for. So I did what any normal parent would do, I made my child walk outside, in the rain, in 40 degree temperatures, with only one shoe on. Ok, so maybe that may not be what any normal parent would do. But it is what I did. Sure I could have carried her, but in reality she is getting too big to be carried. I figured, what the heck, she may learn a lesson about taking her shoes off in public places. I guess only time will tell. For now, we have a sad, lonely shoe without a mate. It’s a rather nice shoe, so I hope the mate is found soon.
Update: I found the source – it was a song from 1949.
PUT YOUR SHOES ON, LUCY
Nellie Lutcher – 1949
Russ Morgan & His Orch. (vocal: Rhythmaires) – 1949
Petula Clark – 1949
Also recorded by:
Gracie Fields; Horace Heidt & His Musical Knights.
Got an invitation to visit Manhattan
With my highfalutin’ kin
Sent off to the catalog to get some clothes
Felt so stylish from my head to my toes
Seen all the sights and I even did some flirtin’
I was doin’ alright till my feet started hurtin’
So I kicked off my shoes when I thought they couldn’t see
But they must have, ‘cos this is what they all said to me
Put your shoes on, Lucy, don’t you know you’re in the city
Put your shoes on, Lucy, it’s really such a pity
That Lucy can’t go barefoot wherever she goes
‘Cause she loves to feel the wiggle of her toes
Put your shoes on Lucy ’cause you’re here in old New York
You’ll get by alrighty if you let ‘em hear you talk
All the city slickers love that southern drawl
So give ‘em that “Honey chile” and “Hi, y’all”
Lucy, let the good things happen
Lucy, won’t you stop that gapin’
How you act will be the death of me
Don’t they have skyscrapers down in Tennessee
Put your shoes on, Lucy, even though they kinda pinch
Stop baulkin’, you gotta do some walkin’, it’s a cinch
Use your party manners, you’ll need them and how
Put your shoes on Lucy, you’re a big girl now