Not so long ago, I did an essay on FEET. Yes. I did. Written on an envelope in a moment of complete creativity, and remembrance of…wait. My feet. I can’t remember my feet!
I haven’t much recollection of them, but here’s a stab at it.
I don’t remember much, but I do remember cotton Carter pajamas with feet in them, and the little dots to keep me from slipping. I’m not so sure they actually worked, but I do remember with sadness my mother cutting them off because they were the first part that wore out on the pajama. (that’s me, the little one, with the pajama feet missing).
The next instant I distinctly remember is the saddle shoe. Oh, there were buckle shoes for church and special occasions, but your every day was the saddle shoe.
Third grade I had the greatest pair of shoes, I can barely remember them, they were tan, but they collapsed midway through and we bought a cheap substitute and they hurt my feet, I do remember that. They had ridges on the soles. My poor choice.
More modern buckle shoes, and then in 7th grade came the chunky heel. And a classmate had the same shoe. I thought “hey, neat!” but she thought otherwise and dark polished hers, so as not to be on the same level as me. I didn’t quite understand, but kids can be like that.
Between my junior and senior year of high school, I remember a pair of sandals that were very comfortable, and my boyfriend at that time told me I had bony feet. I was a little embarrassed. (And his feet were probably not the greatest.) I had a bike accident though, and those sandals were destroyed (which will make a great new story at some point, the bike accident, not the sandal destruction). We both bought water buffalo sandals. His broke in nicely, while mine fell apart. Mom wouldn’t pay for another pair (can you blame her? No).
When one is criticized, they carry that criticism, no matter who else comes to bat and rescues them from that bad dream. It took me many years to get over the bony feet comment.
In 1975 the world turned to the platform shoe. I remember buying a pair that were extremely comfortable. This was the day and age that we still had the old fashioned shoe store and you were waited on. I loved these stores. They were bright and you were always measured. There were large store front windows, this was a day and age where the mall was still too far away from your doorstep and downtown still prosperous and active. Anyway, I bought these great platform shoes for work. They had ties and a nice tight fit. My mother had a fit, “you’ll break your neck!” she exclaimed. I took them back the next day.
The earth shoe. They were the replacement for another pair of platforms that I’d worn all throughout work, and then I changed jobs and became the mail girl. The earth shoes were now a replacement, based on bruised toes from walking the halls all day. They lasted awhile, but had to be replaced eventually, and then I got a pair that were in the bruised and dented collection at the shoe outlet. Yes, shoes were now gaining in price and as a young 20 year old, I had to watch my budget. They were still ties, but they had a nudge on the suede, which became a tear, and they fell apart rather quickly.
Then I had a black pair of wedge shoes. They lasted quite awhile. Days of wedge shoes and Converse sneakers, which lasted quite awhile.
I got married and wore white high heeled sandals, which went over into work, and I wore them to my job interview at St. Joseph’s College (before it became a university) at the AFROTC. I got the job, with my hair in a cute perm and a lace collared dress, and those white sandals!
I remember wanting to wear a pair of wooden shoes with bright colored leather that had been my mother-in-law’s when she and her husband went to Cuba, in the 50’s I believe. Just a little too big, but they were beauties! And then I had a pair of green suede sandals that I loved. But there was a bunch in the shoe I did not realize, and by the time I’d walked to work (3 blocks to my office), I had damaged the padding of my left foot badly, and it lingers to this day, causing me to only be able to buy any shoe that I have to practice and the slightest discomfort (which quickly turns to crippling) return, limiting me to Adidas in sneakers and now the Merrill’s for shoes.
Life goes in a fuzz and I cannot remember the shoes in between. Let us fast forward to today, when I rely on my Merrill’s to keep my feet safe. I fell several years ago now, and injured my right foot, wearing a pair of sandals that were supposed to be good support, but stepping on the curb in a hurry, twisted it. Ever since then, any shoe that hasn’t the support I cannot wear.
Oh. An autoimmune disorder exists now, too. Suddenly I couldn’t wear shoes and was reduced to spa shoes, that stuck to my soles. That was difficult. Stelara to the rescue, and my feet are back “in business.”
I do have a pair of sandals that hug my feet tight, but they are falling apart and the glue from the cobbler’s is only a temporary fix.
Anyway, I’ve come a long way from footie pajamas and saddle shoes. And I do like my feet. The farmer tells me they are beautiful, as he massages them.
Life is good. Hug and kiss your children’s (and grandchildren’s) feet. They are precious. And tell them their feet are beautiful. They carry us great distances, and we need to pay attention to them!