Saturday, June 20, 2015

Drop the other shoe already

Things are going so well lately that it scares me. It's like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. So I started thinking about that phrase "Waiting for the other shoe to drop." Where did it come from?  Was there a time when people sat and dropped one shoe and then waited for the other one to fall?

Imagine walking into a room where two people are sitting. One shoe is on the floor and the other is being held by one person while both are staring at the shoe in hand. You ask, "What are you doing?"

And the answer is "Well, we let one shoe fall and now we're waiting for the other shoe to drop."

So many sarcastic retorts come to mind. Okay, don't let me stop you. Let me know how that turns out. And, Are you high or stupid? Or both? 

I did some checking and according to Wiktionary this phrase means: To wait for the inevitable next step. To await an inevitable event. To wait for something bad to happen.

Seems there's a lot of waiting involved in this saying. But I still didn't see what all this waiting had to do with shoes. I searched some more and found the origin on a couple of sites that put this saying to the late 19th/early 20th century in NYC when apartments were all built the same and you could hear your neighbors through the walls and floors.

The story goes that late one night a drunk man came home and while sitting on his bed he took off one shoe and dropped it on the floor. Realizing how noisy he was being he removed the other shoe and quietly placed it on the floor. Then he crawled into bed to sleep. A few minutes later the man in the apartment below him yelled, "Well, drop the other one! I can't sleep, waiting for you to drop the other shoe."

I imagine that if this saying were born in this day and age there would be some colorful language added. In fact I think the phrase would be entirely different because the neighbor would yell, "You better knock that shit off!" So with that in mind, things are going so well lately that it scares me. It's like I'm waiting to knock that shit off.


  1. Oh man, I am exactly like that. It's like when you suddenly get something awesome going, like... I don't know, juggling a bunch of balls at the same time, and the moment you realize what you are doing, you start to freak out. I want to tell you to just enjoy the moment, but I know that's easier said than done. What's easier is to shout at everyone who can hear you: "OMG look, I'm doing it! I don't know how, but I'm doing it!" But then people might think you're crazy... So I guess you can't win here :p

    1. People think I'm crazy even without me shouting that I'm juggling everything so well for once. I think this is the cynical realist in me that won't let me relax. But thanks!