If you know me at all, you know that I am not a “shoe person.” In fact, I loathe them. I don’t have a single pair of “cute” or even classy shoes. Cute shoes are simply not made for feet that are long, wide, and arthritic. The best I can hope for is “practical” and maybe even “not agonizingly painful to wear.”
I avoid wearing shoes whenever possible. For the last 15 years or so, I have worn flip-flops for most of the year and my brown leather (men’s) clogs for the days when socks and shoes are actually necessary to avoid frostbite. The clogs have gotten me through countless renaissance faires and writers’ conferences. They are plain and serviceable, and also irresistibly delicious to one of Mary’s cats, which is why I have to stash them in a closet when I visit Mary and Jordan!
Today, though, the inevitable happened. I had an autoharp lesson this afternoon, and on the way home I stopped to pick up a few groceries that I had been unable to get at Aldi this morning. As I trekked from the car to the store, my left shoe felt unaccountably loose. I looked down and saw that the seam holding the shoe to the sole had come loose for a short section.
Deep sorrow filled my soul. Those clogs wore like iron and I wanted them to last forever. It is so, so hard for me to find shoes. I tried buying a second pair of clogs several years ago but never wore them because they were so uncomfortable. I remember being horrified at how much I had to pay for these plain brown leather clogs–60 dollars! Since I know they are at least 15 years old, that works out to $4 a year for comfortable shoes on those days when shoes must be worn.
By the time I finished shopping in Walmart and headed back to the car, it was rather difficult to keep the shoe on my foot because the gap was growing ever longer. I had to walk funny because I was wearing hand-knit socks and hand-knit socks must be preserved and protected! Otherwise I would have just taken off shoes and walked to the car in socks. The soles, by the way, are still in great shape!
Now I have no real shoes. I have flip-flops, a pair of rubber sandals, fuzzy slippers, and neoprene slippers that I pretend are my “dressy” shoes. Oh, and I have sneakers that hurt my feet. I foresee great discouragement and tears in my future as I try to locate another pair of shoes that are comfortable enough for me to actually walk in.
RIP, brown clogs.