The Saga of Grumpy Boots Linda Knight Seccaspina
For years I have not worn Winter boots. Not that I am trying to show off any daredevil feats or anything, but I can’t seem to find anything that fits my feet properly. I used to list shoe shopping under special skills on my resume as I was that proficient. But as the years have gone by my feet have grown their own way. My right foot wears a size 10, which is strange because years ago I slid into an 8 and wore them 12 hours a day on a retail concrete floor and then walked home. I remember squeezing my feet into every vinyl concoction of trendy shoes. My left foot is a strange one however and I don’t really know what size group it falls under anymore. Since I delivered a 10 pound male child decades ago the top of the left foot has been puffy much like a fine cheese souffle for the last 36 years. The nurse said not to worry at the time of my son’s birth because it was only postpartum fluid swelling– and it would go away. Well that fluid, brought its home furnishings and plants and has squatted on top of my foot since that day in 1985.
Having a normal right foot and a puffy left foot means buying footwear is an issue, and sometimes I feel so alone when the world turns grey and cold with my black Naturilzer flats. It’s not like I can hike anymore because of my mobility, but it would be nice for my feet to feel part of Winter. My son tried a few years ago and bought me lace up hiking boots. They fit perfectly and had ample room to get the foot in perfectly but I needed help lacing those suckers up. I needed a team to get those boots on. Oh had it been in the late 1800s I might have had able young men crowd around me for the chance to be chivalrous, but not anymore. My husband has a hard enough time getting his Converse sneakers on being an American from California. He views this Canadian snow as just something he has to deal with every year – and bending over for a period of time is becoming difficult. (Shh, I didn’t say that)
Alas, if it were only boots I had issues with I would not be writing about it. Last year I walked into Walmart on a quest for comfy shoes. Instead, I purchased two pairs of high heel shoes that cost only $5.00 each. I was thrilled when I tried them on and vowed to wear them everyday for one hour until I got used to them.The next day I donned the leopard 4 inch heels trimmed in red and walked from the car to the row of grocery carts. By aisle two I was hanging over the cart to support myself and my feet were now in excruciating pain.
A farmer in overalls was also checking out my shoes and followed me to aisle four pretending to buy peaches. He returned a few times still eyeing the shoes, and I don’t think I ever realized the power of heels in a rural area. I paid for the groceries and literally crawled back to the car in pain. As soon as I sat in the car I ripped them off, and the feeling of relief was much like being constipated and then having it all disappear.
I gave away my last pair of leopard stilettos to a friend of mine after keeping them in my closet for ten years. They had thin gold heels, and the suede was soft as silk, and they had only been worn once for about 8 minutes. Placing them on my feet as I sat on the couch at a monthly church lady meeting; I gingerly walked over for tea with a performance worthy of an Academy Award. The ladies marvelled at how I had walked in them all day and I never acknowledged anything different. What a shoe Oscar moment that was, and really, it wasn’t the place to fib at a church meeting.
So here’s a toast to 2023 and another year without winter boots– unable to find a practical boot for the right foot and a winterized cardboard shoe box for the left. Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz proved shoes on a gal’s feet can change your life, and Cinderella made a point that just one shoe can procure you a Prince Charming. Well, let’s just say I am a permanent fan of the Vivienne Black shoe size 10 from Naturalizer, and just one step closer to Velcro shoes. Cowboys die with their boots on and I am just going to die comfortably with my flats and no Winter boots. But, this week I found out I was not alone. Standing in the Royal Bank I saw two senior ladies in white running shoes. I asked one of them if they were good for Winter and she laughed and said,
“It’s all I can wear dear, but I have cut some bread bags to wear over my feet!”
I smiled and thought- life is always full of interruptions, complications and possible uses for empty bread bags isn’t it?
Here’s to Verna May Wilson Hadlock’s Shoes Linda Knight Seccaspina
Dueling Shoes and Fiddles and Step Dancing Contest July 15 1974
James Watson– Bigamy and Shoes