[There was a video here]
“Sometimes I feel like I’m going to die alone with 13 cats and a room full of shoes,” said RJ, a 23-year-old resident of Salt Lake City who is “obsessed with the look, taste, smell, and feel of men’s sneakers.” His extreme frustration with finding a suitable mate was chronicled in last night’s True Life: My Fetish Is Ruining My Life. There were also multiple scenes of sneaker play, which is not something you see on TV everyday (or ever for that matter). Progress.
Nor do you generally get a sense of the existential crisis that a highly specific fetish can ignite. Here’s RJ on his life dilemma:
I have a fetish. I can’t help it. I’ve had it since I can remember. It’s never going to change. I like what I like. Do I just lie about it and hope that they’re OK with it later? Do I tell them upfront and they get scared away? Or do I sit here and be single and just twiddle my thumbs and be like, “I like shoes, I hope I can die alone happy”?
That’s deep, but you gotta persevere and go for what you love. So RJ did—one highlight of the episode was a scene of him cruising the mall for sneakers, though that ended in frustration too (“A rough day at the mall for shoes,” sighed RJ). Speaking of malls, RJ works in one at a sunglass stand. I really, really, really wish he was made to explain why he didn’t get a job at Footaction.
After a date with a guy whose shoes turned him right the fuck off because they were “gay” (“I do lean more towards, like, the straight, like, jock type of shoes—which I mean basketball, skate, stuff like that,” explained RJ), he seemed to have found his potential other half in Spencer, a tall, pansexual boy that RJ licked the sneakers of and made out with onstage during a club night he was hosting. On their first date, RJ licked Spencer’s sneakers at the table of the restaurant where they were dining. “I feel like he’s the guy I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” said RJ after.
But unfortunately, this union was not meant to be:
Stomp all over my heart with your broken-in but relatively clean Adidas, why don’t you, True Life?