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Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

The human foot contains a quarter of the bones in the human body. Twenty-six bones in each, linked together by a complex structure of tendons and ligaments and muscles, all designed to carry our weight.

The feet are the body’s workhorses.

I’ve always believed that.

For much of my adult life, I’ve spared no expense to pamper my feet. Massages. Regular pedicures. Foot baths. Fancy creams. I may forget to wash my face before I conk out every night, but my feet are always soft and clean.

Maybe that’s why how I justify shoes. More than a quarter of my wardrobe is comprised of footwear. Stilts and flats. Sandals and boots. I’d buy at least one pair of shoes a day if I could.

In spite of my excess, I only have one pair of urban street shoes that are comfortable enough to walk in for extended periods of time. Unstructured Clark’s mary janes. I picked them up seven or eight years ago on clearance. Until last fall, I almost never wore them.

Because I wore the rest of my comfort shoes to death.

So, imagine MTM’s frustration last Wednesday, as we walked a random sidewalk together.

“I need a new pair of shoes, MTM.”

“What for? You have at least fifty pairs of shoes.”

“But, these are my only comfortable travel pair.”

Swears under breath.Β “What is it with you women? The only POINT of a shoe is to get you from point a to point b in comfort.”

“No, the point of a shoe is to express one’s personality, and–”

“That’s idiotic, Andra.”

“Do you like seeing me in my sky-high Jimmy Choo’s?”

Silence.

“Or what about those yellow patent platform ones you insisted I buy?”

More silence.

“You know what the chiropractor said yesterday………what could happen if I don’t take care of my feet? Remember?”Β Winces and limps a little. Displays swollen foot on public street. People stare.Β 

“Here’s a Camper store, Andra. I’m going to duck in here and hide.”

To be continued……………..

79 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aahhh, so true. Shoes are an expression of oneself and I am like Picasso. Mind you, like you I have a couple of pairs I wear often and I keep the rest waiting patiently for the day (or night) when it’s their turn. I’d sing them lullabies if I knew any. So what kind of shoes are you using for the Great Trek? Something really scientific, I’ll bet. Socks that wick away moisture and soles that practically do the walking for you? Must see before and after pictures of the shoes. They tell their own story, shoes, don’t they?

    January 20, 2014
    • I have a plan for the shoes. We shall see how it turns out.

      January 20, 2014
  2. Doc Martin’s are the shoes (boots) you need the yellow ones with black dots to express your freaky (but always cheerful)
    personality Andra!

    January 20, 2014
  3. aqilaqamar #

    This is one of the best articles I have ever read in my life. I mean I loved how you began it and I loved how you ended it. Each detail beautifully flowing like the workhorse tendons, bones and muscles. I’ll be waiting for your chronicles and memoirs in the future.

    January 20, 2014
  4. That blister looks PAINFUL. I have a lifetime of callouses built on my feet. Seriously. I have finally started doing something about them. Sort of. My ADHD makes it hard to remember to smear foot cream on every night, and I’ve given up remembering to rub that stone thingie over the callouses in the shower.

    And my attitude on footwear is much closer to MTMs. I hate shoe shopping for my 7 1/2 wides, and I won’t buy anything that might pinch or shift my balance too far forward. I have deliberately grown from the one pair of Birkenstocks I owned when I went to grad school into two pairs of “I love comfort” Dutch barges that look nice and fancy and old lady comfy, two pairs of sneakers (for when my ten year old daughter daughter, whose FEET SOMEHOW ARE THE SAME FUCKING SIZE AS MINE? steals one pair), two pairs of slippers (see comment about daughter feet), THREE pairs of Birkenstocks (moving up in the world), a pair of hiking-ish boots that would be practical except that they are blue fake-suede, and a pair of Land’s End loafers so uncomfortable that I had to buy them insoles.

    January 20, 2014
    • Blister has moved beyond the painful stage. Birkenstocks are always a winner in the comfort category.

      January 20, 2014
  5. I love shoes, too. Though my real weakness involves purses–bags of any kind. It’s sickness. It may even be a curse.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    January 20, 2014
  6. There is a wardrobe very like yours in our bedroom, and it’s not mine…..once again I’m vicariously living MTM’s sighs and groans

    January 20, 2014
  7. What do my arthritic crocs say about me? Hmmmm. πŸ™‚ Since I can’t wear fun/sexy shoes, I live vicariously through other women’s shoe obsessions. You go Andra!

    January 20, 2014
  8. hihohiho #

    Can’t wait to see the new ones.
    Poor Michael.

    January 20, 2014
    • I threw a pair away…….

      January 20, 2014
      • Debbie #

        Then by all means you can buy another pair!

        January 20, 2014
      • πŸ™‚

        January 20, 2014
  9. There is no rhyme or reason to the desire of a new pair of shoes other than a girl can never never never ever have too many of them. Case closed.

    January 20, 2014
  10. I hate shoe shopping. Hate, hate, hate. So I tried to do it online once. Well, that didn’t work out either as the shoes didn’t fit correctly and nearly killed me.

    Shoes should be comfortable, utilitarian, and cheap. That is all I ask. Well, all I ask of my shoes anyway.

    I have no objection to you ladies having a nice pair of heals. Or boots. Or boots with heals! Well, um, not to get carried away, but I am all in favor of women and their shoes. As long as I don’t have to shop for them.

    January 20, 2014
  11. yes, i’ve always been a big accessory and shoe person, even more than the clothes themselves. i found what happened though, when i wore my most comfortable tevas, with no support though, when walking many miles. yikes!

    January 20, 2014
    • I have a high instep, so support is taken care of. Ouch is right.

      January 20, 2014
  12. Currently I have two pairs of shoes, my walking shoes and my motorcycle boots. My wife on the other hand has more shoes than I can count from memory. For me personally, I love the various shoes women wear (on women, no desire of my own to wear them). Shoes are one of the first things I notice. The shoe choice says quite a bit about the wearer. Confidence, bearing, and even if the wearer simply follows fashion to follow fashion can be seen in the style of shoes someone wears.

    January 20, 2014
    • Glad to meet a man who feels that way. πŸ™‚ (I also have a pair of motorcycle boots.)

      January 20, 2014
  13. Every time I’ve moved, I’ve weeded out another pair, or three, yet my closet still contains more shoes than I need or am likely to wear in my remaining lifetime. My fetish for shoes is surpassed only by my fetish for books — more than I’ll probably get read in my remaining lifetime, too! πŸ™‚ Look what I just found, only a couple of hours away, too: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CDsQFjAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FShoefetish4me&ei=sCfdUsyeG6G_sQSF3YHwDA&usg=AFQjCNEr7PqtxdLKnzZF_pgmfj9q4IdrMQ&bvm=bv.59568121,d.cWc

    January 20, 2014
  14. Men….bah. My house runs the same as yours on the subject of shoes. I would say, “get some Doc Martins and let it go.” Then again I have been accused of being a pack animal so don’t listen to me.

    January 20, 2014
    • I have never owned a pair of Docs. MTM wore out a pair.

      January 20, 2014
  15. I would be barefoot all the time, if I could. Yes, a wilderness trail needs useful shoes. Sturdy shoes are useful in the city. To me, the mark of a great pair of shoes is that I don’t notice them. My daughter would buy a pair of shoes every day. When she was little, we called her “Imelda” (as in Imelda Marcos, who’s shoe collection amazed the world). The shoe thing is one of the fundamental difference between men and women. Vive la diffΓ©rence!

    January 20, 2014
    • I would get along with your daughter, Jim. I have also been called Imelda.

      January 20, 2014
  16. Ah, dem bones, dem bones! Actually broke a few in my foot a few years ago – you already know how clumsy I am. Even in the heyday of spiked heels, I’ve never been one to teeter on the edge of shoe-dom, but, did have my share of boxes and boxes. Recently weeded out what I now longer wear, and found the best pair of Clark’s red slipon snowshoes, which I’ve been wearing all this long, vortex winter.

    Though I’ve grown into a six wide, most of my adult life found me in size 5 1/2. Buying shoes was a challenge for most stores didn’t have my size. A shoe store in town took pity on me and would call me up whenever they were getting rid of their sample/window shoes. They would sell them to me for a few dollars (as in $2) and I’d come home with boxes of shoes.

    Can’t wait to see what you bought. Take care of that blister.

    January 20, 2014
    • I have always been jealous of women with your foot size, Penny. I am a common size, and the best ones are always gone when sales hit.

      January 20, 2014
  17. Ouch!!!! That looks like it hurts.
    MTM should know better. You never question a woman about shoes!
    I love my Keens!!! Love them!!! But I’d love a pair of Doc Martens too.

    January 20, 2014
  18. Heh. I used to have an indeterminate number of shoes in a closet here that my older brother or late dad used to drop off at random intervals in addition to ones I’d picked up over the years. I’d not worn most of them in a while and on that one day when I finally decided to go through that closet, of curse, most of those shoes didn’t fit. Wah.

    The good thing is, that closet got a lot cleaner and I ended up with a few better replacements. I did have a nice pair of black leather Earth shoes that were pretty stylish, but as they had a recycled rubber sole and trim, they actually started falling apart as I was walking home one evening (eek). It was sad to see them go (but crazy to see them go while I was rushing home before the rubber fully split apart), but I decided to replace them with some PF Flyers just because of pure nostalgia (and yeah, they were also on sale):

    Those blisters. Ouch. I did a post about a pair of bad shoes last year and that reminded me on that awful experience. I was quickly searching for a “hot foot” cartoon clip to run here, but found out there’s an entire fetish revolving around women with matches between their toes giving themselves ACTUAL hot feet. Eeep. Sometimes, the internet just makes your eyeballs need a bath…

    January 20, 2014
    • The Internet does require an eyeball wash from time to time. Very true.

      Shame about all those shoes not fitting.

      January 20, 2014
  19. Ever since I heard this the first time I have never objected to the shoe fetish you woman have.

    January 20, 2014
  20. hahaha-we need lots of shoes, for sure!

    January 20, 2014
  21. Athletic shoes for all endeavours of the athletic variety = no brainer. (I know you have the right shoes /hiking boots for the Natchez Trace job.)

    Fun, flirty, awesome, personality-filled shoes for everything of the non-athletic variety. Also a no-brainer. Example: A day of shopping at the mall = wedges or cute flat sandals in the summer; boots in the winter.

    The challenge is footwear for when you visit Europe. Lots of walking, typically on cobblestone lined streets, means that most high heels are out. Athletic shoes on the streets of Europe? NEVER. Let me repeat that. NEVER. Your Clarks black mary janes sound like an excellent choice. Born does some good ones too. So, so hard to find shoes that are cute enough for Europe and also comfortable. I hope you picked well!!

    January 20, 2014
    • MTM actually suggested I take my Natchez Trace sneakers, and I almost fainted. I am so with you, Nancy.

      January 20, 2014
      • Mr. Enthusiasm used to tell me the same thing. He’s since been reprogrammed and knows better.

        January 20, 2014
  22. tarakianwarrior #

    I feel your pain. I can never tell whether a shoe is going to be comfortable, or uncomfortable, and inevitably I misjudge. 😦 I just purchased a pair of hiking boots…wish me luck in having them comfortable enough to hike in and to walk along the side of the road picking up trash, and climbing up and down the roadside….

    Good luck to you in find that “perfect” pair of shoes (which is why we’re constantly on the lookout for that perfect pair of shoes, as it is very elusive).

    I’m excited for your travels.

    January 20, 2014
    • What kind of boots did you get, Lori?

      January 20, 2014
      • tarakianwarrior #

        I got a pair of Keen light hiking boots. I love them so far, but again, the proof will be when I actually do some intense hiking with them. I took a pair of Keen sandals/shoes with me when I went to Ireland and I just loved them – so far Keen shoes seem to fit my normally unfittable feet. Wide feet, skinny heel, high arch…

        January 21, 2014
  23. I have the worst shoe addiction as well. I think if I stopped buying shoes, I’d be a millionaire in no time. A millionaire with no shoes. Now that doesn’t sound like fun.

    January 20, 2014
  24. May you buy an enjoyable pair, Andra.

    January 20, 2014
  25. Well done shutting MTM right down! I have many similar discussions with Country Boy. Whenever I ask him to help me choose between two shoe choices for an outfit, his first question is “Which is more comfortable?” even though he knows the answer is “Neither. Just tell me which one looks better.” There is a time and place for comfort, and that is why you just need one or two shoes to fill that void while the rest are pretty.

    My current go-to touristing shoes are a pair of light grey puma sneakers and a pair of Cole Haan Nike Air ballet flats (worth every overpriced penny).

    January 20, 2014
    • Grey sneakers are a good idea. Country Boy and MTM would get along well.

      January 20, 2014
  26. May your feet find the comfort they deserve, darling. I remember Penny complaining something fierce when she foolishly decided to wear her Chuck Taylors to a concert with me one time — I told her that if she was going to be standing for three hours she might want to go with something with more cushion and support. She learned her lesson.

    January 20, 2014
    • Ouch. Been there. I too have been guilty of some dastardly shoe choices.

      January 20, 2014
  27. Shoes, you have to love them and hate them. Red High Heels on city Pavements…ouch… and wow do those blisters look like they hurt!!!

    January 20, 2014
  28. It was a very sad day when I had to finally say goodbye to my brown leather Camper boots. They served me well. And if I did a cost to wear ratio they were true budget shoes. I have a black pair now, but they’re just not the same. Oh, and don’t get me started on my Prada flats that I literally wore until they fell off my feet in shreds…

    January 20, 2014
    • Campers are the best, aren’t they? I’ve worn out several pairs. You definitely got your money’s worth from Prada. πŸ™‚

      January 20, 2014
  29. I was a barefoot girl much of my life. Shoes being a necessity for things like going inside stores it didn’t really matter what they looked like. Boots for winter to keep feet warm and dry, not fashion. I literally had to keep a pair of flip-flops in the car because I’d run off and forget to put on shoes. Imagine my surprise when weight and age combined to demand support for my poor neglected feet! It’s really hard for me to spend hundreds of dollars on one pair of shoes, but when they’re the right ones it’s worth it! My daughter on the other hand has been a shoe horse since she can remember. They are pretty to look at, even if I know I’ll never be able to wear them. Get the shoes.

    January 20, 2014
    • What’s perverse is how much I love to go barefoot, Lisa. Just like you were for so long.

      January 20, 2014
  30. Poor baby, how did you get that blister? Of course you need more shoes! I always must have a pair of airport friendly walking shoes. I mean 2. For each season.

    January 20, 2014
    • Training for my 444 mile walk. They’re necessary right now.

      January 20, 2014
      • Yes, until your feet acclimate to the punishment. Still, poor baby.

        January 20, 2014
  31. I think that is’t critical we take care of our feet. Once they begin to give us trouble, everything in our alignment is at risk. Now I sound like your chiropractor don’t I? I don’t think you probably need more Jimmy Choo’s, as wonderful as they are, but good walking shoes? Yes! And for 444 miles, you’d better be breaking in more than one pair. And I hope you have a standing pedicure appointment waiting for you at the end of the line. You’re probably going to need a little repair work! ox

    January 21, 2014
    • I want a whole spa day at the end of the line. Ha.

      I have 2 pairs, one sneakers and one hiking boots for wet days.

      January 21, 2014
  32. Skin and blister is Cockney rhyming slang for sister!

    January 21, 2014
  33. You must have set a blistering pace!
    I have a pair of shoes for all occasions when I am not wearing slipslops or barefooted. It is the same pair!

    January 21, 2014
  34. Clarks’ aren’t what they used to be.

    January 21, 2014
    • I think several makers aren’t what they used to be, Clark’s included.

      January 21, 2014
      • You know what they say about Hollywood?
        It’s not what it used to be…..And it never was.

        January 21, 2014
  35. Ah Andra.! I see we share a love for shoes πŸ™‚ I was very sad in Mexico b/c it was so hard to find decent shoes there for some reason. I just recently went and bought a brand new pair of mary janes with a nice 2 inch heel. I can relate πŸ™‚

    January 22, 2014
    • Really good walking shoes are hard to find. I can’t understand why.

      January 23, 2014
  36. Ha ha, my wife got me on shoes soon after I moved here. Girl and shoes ain’t nothing but trouble.

    January 23, 2014

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