What’s to Love About Zero?

The other day, I came to a realization that completely changed the way I think about footwear. It caught me off guard, but there is no denying the truth any longer.

Loafers are my new best friends.

Once upon a time I was a tennis shoe guy, and my allegiance belonged to Nike. I wore nothing but, throughout my 20s and 30s. And then Tara came along and introduced me to the wonderful world of Chuck Taylor All Stars®. I adapted quickly after realizing I was the only one in music clubs wearing tennis shoes. Not cool, man. Once I bought a pair of the aforementioned Chucks, I never looked back. I wore the crap out of that pair of shoes, to the point that they are literally falling apart at the seams. Every time it rains, I get soaked. Fortunately, it hardly ever rains here.


Hey, at least I'm comfortable!
Hey, at least I’m comfortable!

Knowing that my beloved Chucks were nearing the end of their lifespan, when I stumbled upon a pair of orange Converse one day in January – my favorite shoe, in my favorite color! – I quickly grabbed a pair. They look great and they’re comfortable. BUT…they’re high-tops, a fact I didn’t realize when I made the purchase. I’ve never owned high-tops before. Truth is, they are a pain in the ass to put on. First off, I’ve gotta find a place to sit down. Then, I’ve gotta maneuver my foot into the shoe. Even though I bought the right size, this seems to take a Herculean amount of effort. Finally, I have to tie them. Quite frankly, who’s got time for all that?! I’m a busy man, a guy on the go. Life is short and I don’t want to spend my time putting on shoes. Luckily, I have a pair of Vans knockoffs I bought a couple of years ago but hardly ever wear. They’re a bit, umm…plaid if you will. But comfortable as hell. And they have no laces! So this week, I started wearing them to work. Ever since, my mornings have been gloriously stress-free. I no longer have to struggle with “regular” shoes, and my temperament has improved greatly. All hail loafers!

On the downside, aren’t loafers associated with old people? Does this mean I’ve officially crossed the line and left my youth behind? Are sweater vests the next logical step in my devolution? Shoot me if that ever happens, please.

No offense to Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Way to rock the sweater vest, JGL!
Way to rock the sweater vest, JGL!

Speaking of tennis shoes, one of our apartment complex’s amenities is a tennis court. Audrey expressed a desire to learn how to play, so earlier this week I bought us rackets and balls, and we hit the court after work. I used to play tennis very informally (translation: I sucked) a long time ago, but it had been years. So when we headed out there Wednesday evening, I had no expectations whatsoever. And was pleasantly surprised to find we weren’t totally incompetent in swatting a ball back and forth. True, a few times the ball cleared the very tall fence surrounding the court. It might have even hit a car or two during its travels. But all in all I was pleased that I had some semblance of skills, probably due to my obsession with Wii Sports some five years ago. Online, I’m an ace at tennis, bowling, and golf. In real life? Well, like I said, I can hit the ball back and forth okay. I’ll take it! We intend to return to the court often this summer. Maybe we’ll even get halfway decent! If nothing else it’s a lot of fun, and a hell of a workout.

The one thing I don’t understand about tennis is the scoring. Who made these rules up?! It takes four points to win a game, six games to win a set, and two sets to win a match. Further complicating matters is the fact that the first point is worth 15, the second point is worth 15, and the third point is worth 10. Zero points = love. Which is ironic, because what is there to “love” about the fact that you can’t score a damn point to save your life?? I don’t know about you, but if I’ve put up a big fat 0, I’m more inclined to call that “hate.” And why aren’t the points all just worth one? It’s about as random as touchdowns equalling six points – but at least all touchdowns are worth 6. Not all points are worth 15. That third is worth 10, and the fourth is worth some unknown amount, I suppose, because if you score that 4th point you win the game. Unless your opponent has scored 3 points, because you must win by 2 points. Which translates to…umm…25 points? Holy crap, I’ve got a headache now. Here’s a chart, if you’re half as confused as I am.

Tennis scoring system

Right now we’re not keeping track of score. Hell, there isn’t even a net up at the moment! Details, details. We’re just happy if we can keep the ball going back and forth more than three times in a row.

I’m sure we’ll get better with practice.

Headed to Seattle for the weekend. Tara’s nephew just turned 2! (Or in tennis years, 30). Have a great weekend!



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Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

13 thoughts on “What’s to Love About Zero?

  1. I love loafers, too! And let me just say, all three of my kids found a way to put various forms of tennis shoes on without tying and untying. I never understood it!


  2. “I’ve never owned high-tops before. Truth is, they are a pain in the ass to put on.”

    Thank you, Mark, and I so agree! I don’t like any type shoe that requires a lot lacing. Plus, I feel like high-tops are suffocating my feet. The only high-top shoe I wear are my snow boots in the winter, yet even those feel so cumbersome.

    Have a faaaaabulous time in Seattle this weekend!

    Btw, Bijoux wanted me to let you know that she’s tried to leave a comment on your last posts, but when she hit the post comment button, her comments didn’t appear. I thought maybe they might be in your spam box? Anyway, she wanted me to let you know.


    1. Yes…I feel like they suffocate my feet, too. Great minds think alike (and wear comfortable shoes).

      I’ll check my Spam folder and see if Bijoux’s comments are ending up in there for some reason. I know you had an issue with leaving comments here once or twice. Maybe WordPress is just finicky at times. Thanks for letting me know.


  3. Great kicks. You’ll fit in perfectly here in my 55+ condo community. It is very exciting to watch the old lady next door telling off everyone in the place, waiting for Ralph(the mailman) to come and the sprinklers are fun to see too.


  4. Just catching up with reading, love the Vans. Loafers? Old folks, nah. My sons wore vans from the time they were in their 20’s, still wear them. Makes you hip!

    It is truly a good thing you were born a man.


  5. Sweet kicks! I dig the plaid, those are awesome.

    As to tennis, tennis can go suck a fatty. I am beyond uncoordinated at that game and I hate it. Best of luck to you and Tara.


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