I love shoes about as much as I love chocolate. Ever since ever the hunt for the darling shoe in the perfect color that coordinates with my outfit de’jour rates high in my top ten agenda.
Once my peds took heel, this soleful passion kicked off when my grandmother said, “You need red tennis shoes for your new jeans and red shirt.” Red cowboy boots followed, along with black patent leather Mary Janes , white patent leather flats, orange sandals, rainbow-hued flip-flops for summer, blue rain boots, pink 1” heels, green and brown 2” heels, snake-skin 3” heels, purple spiked heels, glittered platforms, red leather heeled boots, and so on.
Reflection tells me that the higher my career rose, so did the height of my heels.
Somewhere in my fourth-decade, the heels of my shoes lowered. By decade five, I had to foot the bill for pricier shoes to blend my need for good looks and lousy feeling feet. See http://amothersperspective.blogspot.com/2006/10/karl-rove-thinks-im-stupid-but.html
Decade number six is here, and in order to keep both feet on the ground, my shoe search now starts with an O. That’s O for Orthotics.
I take to the internet for answers to this foot-long issue of feet gone wrong. I study the pages of www.vibrantNation.com and peruse the thoughts on plantar fasciitis. Then I find other pieces that explain, “Unlike sturdy shoes, flip-flops aren’t good for extensive walking because they offer no arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Wearers can suffer foot pain due to lack of arch support, tendonitis, and even sprained ankles if they trip.
Many vacationers find out the hard way. They can’t wait to toss aside their wingtips or pumps to lounge in flip-flops all day long.” http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/flip-flops-fun-but-not-great-for-feet.
So, when we packed to visit the kids and grandkids for a day at Disneyland, I panicked. I packed three pairs of shoes: one pair of very tired, but semi-comfortable wedgies for dinner out; one pair of less-than charming MBTs because the cushioning helps me stay on my feet; one pair of recently purchased orthotics—the newest shoe to keep me afoot.
All the lovely young women, steeped in their professions and pushing babies and toddlers across the Disneyland pavement glowed stylish and dressed for vacation in—God forbid! Flip- flops!
When I should have shoved chocolate in my mouth, I wedged my unfashionable shoe-wrapped foot into my mouth instead. “I hope you brought some other shoes with you for walking around Disneyland all day,” I stated while suggesting that flips flops are fun, but I, as a former lovely with lovely shoes, career and babies, am now a clumping, ugly shoe-wearer without options. My thoughts were akin to the ones I spew when I see young women smoke cigarettes with no thought as to their future of likely cancer or heart disease.
And if, just maybe, one person, who I respected and trusted, suggested that a wiser shoe choice would save me from the curse of no-choice-but-ugly-shoe-choice in the future, I might be able to wear something a little bit more to my liking today.
Instead, the response from the lovelies was unlovely. My from-the-heart concern, based on real-life experience, exhibited by the clod-hoppers on my feet, was an irritant that put our Disney time on the wrong foot.
There’s something about being an aging feminist that fuels my need to warn my younger sisters of unexpected stumbling blocks along the road to feminine fulfillment. I tripped over every pot hole on the unmapped route I walked. Now I wonder if a wise woman shares what she has learned, or does she just hobble over to her bowl of chocolate and feast on inanimate delights?