Monday, February 22, 2010

The Art of Putting One's Shoes On

I cannot remember the first time I dreamed I was at school while barefoot. Third grade, perhaps? Not only was I walking along the sidewalk without shoes and socks, but I usually sported a silky pair of pajamas. Never naked. Nope, too prudish for that. But my feet were naked.

Shoes are interesting things. No pair is truly comfortable, but without shoes, feet are often less comfortable, especially sensitive feet like mine. I remember how my little sister used to run flat out along our grandmother's gravel driveway, chucking huge white rocks behind her as she sped. I, the sensitive-footed, tiptoed along the driveway, in utter pain, amazed that she didn't seem to feel a thing. I adored shoes, for they allowed me the only means to run with impunity, no matter the terrain.

Kids and shoes are an odd combination. The little boy I watched all last year loved his green alligator galoshes, so he wore them pretty much every day. Shorts + galoshes. Snowsuit + galoshes. Church clothes + galoshes. Such a sweet boy, too, unless you tried to get him to wear something besides galoshes.

Kids go through the "Wrong Feet" stage with shoes, usually by the time they can put the shoes on. Both of my children placed their feet in the wrong shoes from 2 to 5 years of age, so that the toes poked awkwardly in strange directions. I could always tell, too. I'd fix the problem, only for the children to remove the shoes and place them back on the "right" feet.

"Aren't you uncomfortable?" I'd ask.

Their only answer? A weird, quizzical stare back. Of course they were comfortable.

But why am I talking all about shoes? Because my hectic Monday has given me a well-deserved treat. I tested my daughter on spelling, helped with several worksheets, nagged my way around the house, and rushed my kids to school this morning. Then, as I walked from my car into my own college building, I realized that one of my feet was making more noise than the other.

Why was I walking harder on one foot than the other? I tried to compensate. Nope, still louder. That foot felt weird, too. It didn't feel as comfortable. Was it swollen? Was the sock inside twisted?

I finally stopped and looked down. My foot was not the problem. It was my boots.

One black, with a square toe. One brown, with a rounded toe and a seam running down the middle. I'd put on one shoe each from two different pairs of boots.

All these years, and I still haven't learned to put my shoes on properly.


  1. That’s funny... I've done that before, only, I didn't make it that far out of the house before I noticed.

    I am one of those non-sensitive foot types. Also I love my shoes, my feet never hurt, and I could wear my shoes all day...
    Hope you find that pair of shoes that give you complete comfort…

  2. I've done it, blue and black moccasin, and then black and white flat. And I did it working console during flight so I had to stay there that way the whole shift.

    So, don't go thinking you're special ;)

  3. Shakes...that is some serious disconnect. Maybe your kids should start laying out your clothes for you? hahahahahahaha I never have that problem because I only own one pair of shoes. Life is so much easier that way.