Sunday, February 11, 2018

Shoe Dread

I don’t like to talk about it, but I have Problems with My Feet. In addition to the fact that they are huge and blocky, I have weirdly deformed bones on the side of each of foot which are inching out further and further each year, making it very hard to find shoes that fit comfortably. As such, shoe shopping incites in me a deep and existential dread. I’m the opposite of that always-in-vogue stereotype of the woman who owns an entire walk-in closet filled with gleaming, lavishly overpriced stilettoes. I have completely missed out on the cute shoe obsession that is my birthright as woman in a capitalist society. I’m lucky if I can wedge my dogs into a pair of size-11 trainers, and as a result, I’ve probably saved enough money from not buying shoes to afford me one of them fancy Bitcoins. Pathetically, I have exactly two pairs of work shoes: a pair of tan Danskos and a pair of black Danskos, both of which I bought five years ago and neither of which “work” anymore—but I’m afraid to try and replace them because what if they are the only shoes in the known universe that I’ll be able to wrangle onto my feet ever again? The steep decline in the quality and quantity of consumer goods has been well-documented on this blog over the years (see my Drippy Blouse rant, The Case of the Stinky Dresser, and the Great Duvet Debacle of ’15,) so once I find a product that even sort of works, I cling to it like a buoy until it disintegrates.

But as much as I would like to, I can no longer deny that shoe shopping is imminent. I have resorted to sneaking on my tennis shoes at around 3:00 in the afternoon if I don’t have any more meetings, and Mr. Typist believes that I’m getting dangerously close to giving up entirely and wearing pink fluffy bedroom slippers to work. (If only!) So something must be done. In the meantime, I find myself gazing enviously upon the tootsies of those lucky, dainty-footed ladies who click around all day in their breezy, candy-colored shoes. Some of them wear a different pair each day of the week! I run around a fair bit during the day, my office floor has a thin carpet with no padding over concrete, and by mid-afternoon, my feet feel like they’ve been squeezed into a vise. I’m thinking of resorting to Crocs. While I’m at it, I might see if I can get away with wearing scrubs, too. That would be heavenly—no more wardrobe choices to make ever again!

All of that having been said, it may surprise you to learn that I used to sell shoes, and I was actually pretty good at it. This was during the time when it was trendy  at weddings to have matchy-matchy everything, so my manager spent most of his time in the back dyeing white satin pumps and arguing with high-strung brides about which exact shade of teal matched their nineteen identical bridesmaid dresses. This left me on my own to sink or swim as a saleslady, so I had to up my game fast. Being an introvert, I was good at listening, and I felt a sense of satisfaction when a customer left the store happy with their shoe haul—even if I could never hope to wear a pair of red, patent-leather sling-back five-inch heels myself. C’est la vie.

Here’s a clip. and a song that is roughly about shoes. A word of advice: Don’t enter “shoe song” into Youtube and randomly watch whatever pops up. It’s not pretty.

--Kristen McHenry

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