Nothing is more uncomfortable in my life right now than shoes and being inside a store where I need to buy things and other people are present. Combine the two and and you’ve reached the pinnacle of my own personal Stephen King horror clip. In an attempt to avoid all things shoppy and shoe related, I purchase all my holiday gifts online and found some shitty work shoes at the thrift store. A thrift store is a place where you can buy nasty, already broken in shoes without having a salesperson follow you around and ask you if you need your foot measured. Do I look 4? Then you won’t be measuring my foot and please get away from me before I pull out my can wasp spray. Sadly, my thrift store shoes aren’t cutting it. I have fallen three times since starting my new job and not just baby slips; full body slams on hard tile usually while holding a hot coffee and always while 67 people are watching. The shoes also cause my right big toe to go numb and the left side of my foot to feel like it’s on fire.
After my last fall, the hubs started pitching me on getting new shoes and spending whatever it took to ensure I wouldn’t end up with a broken hip or permanent bruises on my ass.
“Will you please just go to a shoe store on your way to work and get something that is non-skid. I don’t even care how much it costs. This many falls is ridiculous.”
Because childish banter is the only way I know how to communicate when people want me to do hard things. Like spend money in a real store.
This shoe conversation happened three weeks ago. Since that time I have tried wearing two other pairs of shoes and one pair of snow boots in an attempt to keep myself from having to smile at a stranger and say “No thanks, I’m just looking for some really wide, very comfortable work shoes with the traction of a snow tire and the comfort of walking on a pillow.” You may be surprised to know that I fell while wearing snow boots. I literally fell flat on my ass while walking on a flat surface in boots that are made for slippery, rugged terrain. I had to admit defeat. Plus I had a giant bruise on my left boob and a 6 inch long scratch from tackling a metal counter top during my snow boot fall.
After work one day I parked my car in a giant lot, hopped out, and the shoe excursion started sucking right about then. I walked inside and it smelled like leather and overpriced sweat shop sadness and the people working, who I’m sure are lovely people (bless their sweet spirits), immediately yelled in unison, “How are you? What can we help you with?” And because I do really well in social situations I responded with “Thanks” and sprinted like a giraffe being chased by a rabid lion.
The trying on of the shoes just hurts my feelings. My feet are thick and wide and my left foot has some bone on the top of it that was probably left over from my caveman ancestors who didn’t need shoes to feed their family. My toenails are as solid as steel and I have perpetual dead skin growing off my heels that looks like a cracked desert in the middle of August. Fifteen pairs of shoes I tried on, some with memory foam and some that guaranteed my endless comfort yet I couldn’t take two steps without sobbing. I watched a woman try on one pair of pointy toed, high heeled boots and head straight to the checkout and I thought to myself “She’s the kind of person I wish would drown in a vat of meringue. Her and her perfect feet.”
A long and torturous hour later, I decided i had to pick something. In my long running attempt to always be at least one decade behind any fashion trend, I purchased a pair of Doc Marten looking shoes that were worn by every character in 90210 and haven’t been seriously purchased since 1998. If only I could combine them with some Girbaud jeans and a geometrically patterned button up. If only.
This is where the story should end but it doesn’t because while the shoes were deemed work appropriate and non slippy, they were still painful for the bricks on the end of my legs that most people call feet. What I needed was what most 98-year-old women need…inserts. I haven’t bought a pair of shoes in the last three years that didn’t include a side purchase of inserts. Memory foam, gel, guaranteed for an 8-hour work day…I own them all. When I told my 13-year-old about my sad shoe store experience, her response made me feel like jumping naked into the frozen lake behind our house while wearing my Doc Marten knockoffs.
“So when do you think you will start wearing those nursing shoes that great-grandma wears with the lift on one side?”
So now I really hate my work shoes and I want to burn them, but I already threw away the receipt and walked around on cement with them on. And if I don’t wear them, what else will I pair with my hippie dress and yin/yang choker? #1990sareback