Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dear Rumpelstiltskin

I don't know if you know this, but before Sam & I were officially together, you almost tore us apart. And believe you me, that stud was not an easy catch. It had nothing to do with your scary Nazi pronunciation: Rumpelstilzchen. It had nothing to do with the miller's lies nor his daughter's gold-spinning abilities. Come to think of it, the miller's daughter was probably the furthest thing on our minds at the time. No, Rumpelstiltskin, 'twas your shoes that nearly drove Sam from me.

There's a moment in any evening when tongues loosen & memories escape. A time when our bodies relax & minds are allowed to wander. A time when Sam & I reveal secrets or fears or dirty little thoughts. This is the time we call Bedtime Banter (or easily renamed Bartime Banter when the feelin's right).

My boyfriend is pretty straight, but the gayest thing about him is his love of shoes. A deep & plentiful love I wish I processed. During a Bedtime Banter a month ago, we vividly remembered our first encounter. I remember how nervous, yet taken, I was. I remember thinking he was shorter than expected. He remembers my jeans.

And that's when your hideous name popped up.

What he remembers is his repulsion to my Rumpelstiltskin shoes.

Rumpelstiltskin shoes?

Apparently the shoes I wore at the time, a pair of square-toed brown slip-ons, reminded him of childhood illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky bearing your wicked likeness. A fact that nearly drove him from me. To have him think I had bad taste in shoes all these months haunts me even now. Luckily, he was able to look past my Grimm footwear, no thanks to you.

Fuck off,


Michelle said...


I would have run, too.

(Also, I have that version, with those illustrations.)

Also, I had a dream last night that you and I were dressed up in weird costumes and running away from our mothers. I don't know what this means.

Paul Zelinsky said...

Well, Rumpelstiltskin would take offense at this disparagement of his elegant footwear.

On the other hand, all publicity is good publicity. Thanks for the notice! Did you know that websites provide stats telling the webmaster about every link to a website, once such a link gets clicked on? That's how I found your blog. I hope this shoe issue doesn't rise up again. Or at least only in a good way.

William said...

Oh dear, Mr. Zelinsky, I'm so embarrassed. Well, honored AND embarrassed. Thanks for being a good sport about this. I apologize about defiling your illustrations with such phrases like "shoes of despair." Yet as the entry states, all is well. Thanks for taking the time to comment.