Woman Carries Man Across Flood to Protect his Shoes

We’ve all heard the tale of the Victorian gentleman who laid his coat over a puddle of mud to allow a lady to cross without getting mud on her skirts and shoes, but during recent flooding in Hubei Province in China, the tables were turned. According to a story in The Daily Mail, a woman was photographed not just laying down her coat, but actually carrying a man across a flooded street to protect his fancy leather shoes from getting wet.

According to the story, the woman told a reporter that she was wearing sandals and it didn’t matter if they got wet, while her boyfriend was wearing leather dress shoes that would have been ruined by the ankle-deep water. Of course, taking the shoes off while he crossed under his own power would have accomplished the same thing.

While it’s certainly time to break traditional gender roles, and in today’s world it can be hard to keep track of just who is supposed to carry whom across the threshold, creating extra so much extra work when a much easier and simpler solution is so self-evident certainly seems counter-productive. In he, on the other hand, is being portrayed as a perfect example of selflessness burdened, both figuratively and quite literally with an overly demanding and selfish boyfriend.

Make your own character judgments, but one thing that translates to both cultures is the importance and value of protecting and preserving a good pair of shoes. Once leather shoes get wet, the leather stretches and weakens, then shrinks and gets brittle as it dries. If your leather shoes do get wet, it’s important to dry them off as quickly as possible at room temperature. Using heat can actually cause further damage to leather so avoid placing them near a fire, space heater of other heat source. Using a fan or a hair dryer on the cool setting to blow a high volume of air over the shoes can help them dry quickly without causing further damage.

Another good idea is to protect your leather dress shoes proactively by replacing leather soles with rubber soles. The rubber soles prevent the shoes from absorbing water from sidewalks and other wet surfaces without deeper standing water. Using a water-resistant oil or wax treatment for the upper leathers of the shoes can prevent or slow the absorption of water into the upper leathers of your shoes.

In the case of street-flooding, even these protective measures aren’t likely to be enough. If you can’t find a good Samaritan to carry you, wear waterproof foot gear and carry your shoes until you arrive at your destination where you can slip them on discretely in the entry.