Story 9/24: Every woman I know is a masochist when it comes to shoes—or they used to be until, under doctor’s orders, they couldn’t be anymore. It’s the new women’s suffer-age! I admit I am one of the still practicing masochists.
Last Saturday, my husband and I took my son, Nate, Christmas shopping. I decided to wear thigh-high, three-inch, suede boots because, well, after that description do I need to continue justifying?
At the first mall, my feet were okay, though I stumbled over a hole in the asphalt outside and started to fall. I recovered, but then gravity took hold of me and slammed me into the ground.
Immediately, I sprang to my feet and looked around to see who had seen me. The parking lot was void of humans—there was probably a family of four sitting in a minivan that witnessed a woman having the most extended spill of her life and then leaping back up and continuing as if nothing happened–but that wasn’t the worst part of my day.
As the day wore on, the balls of my feet began to rub against the thin soles of my shoes. I tried to ignore it and adjusted how I walked; stomach in and shoulders back to redistribute my weight and relieve the torture going on in my boots. It didn’t work.
I thought about hurrying inside Aldo, the shoe store, and buying insoles—not replacement shoes, because, remember the description of my boots? Anyway, if I went to Aldo, I’d have to add an extra fifty steps detouring into a store I was unsure sold inserts. So I walked on, even as my pace slowed.
Brian and Nate were patient with me, offering to sit down once in a while—though neither of them allowed me to jump on their backs for an hour or two, which I found just plain rude.
Hour four came, and I was now like Frankenstein’s monster; arms out, knees locked, and groaning. I wondered out loud if I should just take off the damn boots and walk in my socks.
“No,” Nate said, “people don’t like it when other people take off their shoes in public.”
He was right. It’d gross me out, too. So I persevered, limping through H&M. At this point, a great force began to press on my bladder, but the thought of adding any extra mileage wasn’t worth it, no matter how necessary.
At hour five I couldn’t walk anymore. If anyone were to pass me by and accidentally brush against me, I’d wet myself and crumble to the ground never to stand again.
My boys offered to hike the mile to our parking place outside the mall, retrieve the car, and pick me up at the curb. I accepted, holding back tears of gratitude.
I made it to the car and ripped those torture devices off my legs as soon as the passenger side door closed. I looked at the bottom of my feet. It was bad—red, swollen, bumpy and bruised.
For the following two days, I had translucent liquid-filled blisters the size of silver dollars and at least an eighth-of-an-inch thick on each foot. I soaked them a lot and cursed at them a lot more.
Nate thought I was crazy for wearing the boots in the first place.
“But didn’t you hear all the compliments I got wearing them?” I asked.
He had. He’d also heard me offer to trade shoes with anyone who thought my boots were cute and no one took me up on it.
The lesson I gave my son that day wasn’t that his mother was vain—Nate learned that his mother was no quitter! And I made sure to point that out to him.
Today, Brian and I returned to the mall. Again I wore high heels. Though this time, I brought with me a pair of tennis shoes, cute ones, and left them in the car just in case.