Archive for the 'Daughters' Category

Foot Fault


August 8th, 2007

I tortured my poor feet for a very long time. Ten years ago they refused to take me where I wanted to go in the shoes I wanted to wear. Since then I haven’t worn heels measuring even one measly inch. Moreover, I can only wear shoes deep enough to accommodate orthotics-plastic molds that match the bottoms of your-that is to say my-feet to correct their imbalances. Such shoes do not win awards for pizzazz.

Details of what I did to torture my feet were seized by the CIA to use against terrorist operatives Here are a few from memory:

I wore high-heeled shoes.

I wore high heels shoes with pointy toes.

I didn’t take off my shoes when they were killing me.

I never soaked them or gave them the time of day.

I just took them bloody well for granted as perhaps you are
now doing yourself.

My mother hated her feet. “They’re ugly,” she’d wail, holding them one at a time and giving them the full force of her most disapproving look before pulling on her panty hose.

“It’s all those years on my feet,” she’d say as if most people had an alternate way of standing and walking about.

“It’s all those years on my hands,” perhaps some woman gymnast is now complaining to a palm-reader looking at the calluses on her mounds of Apollo and Saturn.

“Look at these toes!” my mother would command as if I hadn’t already observed them a few hundred times.

The toe next to her big toe on each foot crossed all the way over its two sister toes and snuggled up to the littlest one. In order to put her foot into a narrow high-heeled shoe she had to force the rambling toe back to where it belonged while moaning and looking up at me for sympathy.

Finding shoes that both feel and look reasonably good to me and pass muster in the eyes of my mother, as well as my two daughters is daunting; my mother does not approve of anything clunky or flat. On my last visit to see her I noted she was in a bad mood the moment I arrived from the airport exhausted from carrying luggage and grateful that my feet were still willing to support me–never mind that I was wearing clunky black running shoes.

“Are you going to wear those?” she asked before I could sit down.

I changed into other shoes somehow more acceptable even though they held my travel-swollen feet as if in a vise.

“Now that’s better, isn’t it?” my mother sighed, flashing, for the first time, a loving smile. “I’ve been worried sick about you.”

My daughters have pretty feet that do not hurt-at least not yet.

Both often wear sling-back, high-heeled numbers destined, were it not for my daily prayers to the Almighty, to catch on something and throw them flat on their lovely faces. Whenever I’m with them something disparaging comes up about my appendages or, rather, what I have elected to put on them.

“Oh my Goddd!” one or the other will say. “Don’t you have any nice shoes?”

I reassure them that as soon as a good percentage of boomers require orthotics, attractive, even stylish, flats will appear in stores and I will be able to look fashionable and move about comfortably at the same time.

A frown crosses each face. What did I say? Oh dear, I completely forgot. They’re on the cusp—call it a foothold—yes, borderline boomers—and if they end up wearing orthotics—it will be, like so much else, all my fault.

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