The other evening, I was sitting in my P.J.’s in my chair and I happened to glance down at my feet and noticed my bedroom slippers. That got me to thinking about bedroom slippers. Who invented them? How many people in the world wear them? And why? This reflection grew out of those questions.
First, what is a bedroom slipper or just plain slipper? It is a light shoe, often heelless and backless, easy to put on and take off, and intended for indoor use. The first recorded reference to slippers comes from 12th Century Vietnam. In the East, the slipper was often a symbol of captivity. Concubines were forced to wear them to prevent them from escaping their bondage. The slippers were so thin, they would impede a captive’s attempt to run over the rocky terrain.
A few other facts about slippers:
* Many Eastern countries have the tradition of removing your shoes when entering a house—out of respect for the house. The host and hostess usually provide slippers for their guests to wear.
* Slippers can be stylish. Prince Albert slippers (named after Queen Victoria’s husband) were worn for formal affairs. Up until the mid-20th Century, the Pope wore red slippers. Over time those red slippers evolved into red shoes. But Pope Francis did away with those red shoes, preferring to wear ordinary shoes instead.
* Slippers can be fun and fanciful too. My current pair are colorfully striped: pink, white, orange, and green. (I got them at the Dollar Store for a couple of bucks. They are not pictured here.) But some slippers are far more fanciful than mine. They are made in the shape of animals, animal paws, or even cartoon characters.
* We all know the story of Cinderella and her glass slipper. But some fairy tale experts say the word glass is an incorrect translation. Her slipper was really made of gold or even fur. Cinderella’s slippers were not bedroom slippers, of course, but high-heeled slippers made for dancing with a prince.
* Judy Garland had at least four pairs of ruby slippers for the movie The Wizard of Oz. One pair is on display in the Smithsonian. I know. I saw them! Another pair sold for over 2 million dollars in 2012.
* Did you know we now have heat-able bedroom slippers? Some are powered by lithium batteries. Others you just pop into the microwave.
* The most expensive bedroom slippers I saw on-line were made by Gucci for $695.
An Ode to My Bedroom Slippers:
Bedroom slippers… you were once a symbol of captivity, but now you are a symbol of freedom, comfort, and relaxation.
Bedroom slippers… you are the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I take off before crawling into bed. You begin and end my day with me.
Bedroom slippers… you aren’t much to look at, but you’re extremely comfortable to wear.
Bedroom slippers… you’ve adapted yourselves to the shape of my feet… you accommodate my bunion… you are gentle with a bruised toe… you soothe a calloused heel. You accept me for who I am and don’t try to mold me to some rigid form.
Do you wear bedroom slippers? Why or why not?
What are some of your thoughts about bedroom slippers or your experiences with them?
(I didn’t find a religious song about bedroom slippers. Sorry. But I did find a song that is simple and relaxing. It is based on Psalm 41 and is called “As a Deer.” I find this song very comforting. I hope you do too.)
What did you think of the song? Do you have any thoughts to share today? I’d love to hear from you!
PS: I’m on retreat this week and I’m remembering you all in special prayer. Thanks again for reading my blog!