Saturday, April 12, 2014


There are some women who have entire walk-in closets set up and organized with their shoes. I've seen them on the TV.

Me? I have
  • a pair of New Balance sneakers, 
  • a pair of snow/rain boots, with zippers up the side, in black. I think they are made by Totes. 
  • a pair of Merrill hiking shoes, 
  • a pair of Columbia Sportswear hiking boots, 
  • a pair of cheap black flats, 
  • a pair of purple Teva hiking sandals, 
  • a pair of Teva dressy nice looking sandals, 
  • a pair of 80s retro throw-back green elf boots,
  • a pair of black leather boots with a chunky heel, which I never wear because even though it is literally a one-inch heel, I fall over,
  • a pair of Nike flip flops in brown and pink
For me, that seems like a LOT of footwear. I did this little inventory recently when thinking about job interviews and what I'll need to wear as the weather gets closer. Lucky for me the Teva dress nice looking sandals fit the bill, but ... not until after Memorial Day really.

I'm going to a funeral today, so I put my black flats on. The bottom of the shoe has come apart, and so I threw them away. I started looking at the other shoes. The green elf boots would work... I picked them off, dusted them off (yes, they've been idle so long they are dusty) and went to slide them on.

They won't go on.

My feet are swollen,  by-product of the medical condition I find myself in. Crap on a cracker.

I start eyeballing the black boots with the short heel. They come up about 1/5th my calf. They look really cute, kind of a British Mod period look and feel, like I'd be dancing with Austin Powers if I could pull it off.... But I can't wear them when I'm in good health without falling down, how am I going to walk with them on my feet when my knee is killing me and when my feet are swollen?

The only thing left to do was just put on the sneakers. They are shiny and nice, I only ever wear them to the gym, which literally has been all of 10 times since I bought them. I don't wear them to take the dogs out (hiking shoes or winter boots) because I do not want to get them muddy. They are silver and grey and pink and white. I think they are Susan Komen foundation sneakers which initially went for $100 plus at Olympia Sportswear but I got them for $60 in the fall sale last year. I didn't buy them to wear pink in support of breast cancer, but because they were the only things that were not 80s Neon Glowing Horror colors, which seem to have made an unbelievable comeback for some unknown and/or demonic reason.

I had on a pink blouse, so ... okay.

Driving down the highway, I remembered the other time I wore sneakers to a funeral. My friend Ben's mom had passed away, and there were several of us from the office who decided to go to the funeral. It was a pouring, rainy day and I realized I was going to have to be the one who was the driver. I ran out to my car, in my sneakers and my dress, and tidied up the back seat of the car (at the time, I had small children so the back seat of the car was full of gear, car seats, a ton of kid related crap, and oh ... my dress shoes.

I transferred items into the trunk, grabbing literal armloads of stuff in the pouring rain, to make room for two co-workers to have a semi-clean place to sit.

In the process, I managed to drop one of my dress shoes. I realized this when we got to the funeral (2 hours away).

So there I was. In my sneakers, in my panty hose, in my dress and my long wool dress coat. My co-workers and I had a good laugh about it, one of them went the extra mile and went through all the stuff in my trunk to double check for me ... no dice.

It was more of a memorial service than a funeral. Ben's mom had been cremated weeks beforehand, and this was at some sort of yacht club or country club on the ocean near Mystic, CT. We all walked in, soaking wet, and someone took our coats. We went into the bathrooms to spruce up, and my boss and I were just laughing at how stupid my feet looked.

Walking out into the hall, I got the dirty up and down looks from some of Ben's high school female friends who must have been saying to themselves "who is that frumpy old bag in the sneakers? WTF?" Literally watched some of them eyeball me up and down and giggle with one another, in that Connecticut school girl kind of way, with the hands gently raised to the lips and the check-it-out-over-there eye movements.

It didn't matter.

Ben came around the corner and beamed, smiling at me broadly. He hugged me and kissed my cheek and hugged me some more, thanking me for coming down. He kind of hugged our boss. He held my hand and walked me over to a display of pictures of his mom and the family, and put his arm over my shoulder as he walked us through some of the memories.

I stuck my foot out to show Ben that I was wearing my stupid sneakers, and told them the story of how one of my priceless Payless black flats had slipped out of my arms in the rain, in the transfer. He laughed and laughed and shook his head. I laughed too as I wagged my foot and made an "I'm such a dope" facial expression. By then all 3 of our co-workers who made the trip were with us, and we all had a good laugh.

The looks from the girls that I got after that were even better than before. More hugs from Ben and he went to greet some other guests arriving.

No one cares what you wear to the funeral. They just care that you took the time to show up.

No one noticed my feet today. I was happy to have on the sneakers because my knee hurts from too much fun at the gym yesterday. The only thing that mattered were the hugs from my friends who were there.

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