Thursday, October 27, 2016

Shopping for shoes

Our little girl's daddy was rained out at work yesterday, so she stayed home with him.  I told Cliff it seemed like a good time to shop for shoes for the two of us.  Both of us are due for some walking shoes, not that we go on walks any more, but because that's what we find comfortable.

Clothes shopping has never been fun for either of us because we aren't that concerned with what we wear.  Shoes are a special thorn in my side, because I have feet so big that it's hard to find anything in my size.  My feet have been mistreated in so many ways, with toes that have been broken (a podiatrist asked, "When did you break that toe?"  "Could have been one of many times, " I said.  "I don't wear shoes much."), flat feet, and no toenails because I got tired of fighting fungus and had them permanently removed.  Oh, and did you know that feet can keep getting bigger throughout your life?  Cliff and I both find our feet are getting larger; either that, or the makers of shoes are shrinking the sizes.

All we want is to find a shoe that is as comfortable as the Nike Oceanas that we bought when we first began walking for exercise in the late 70's.  

We usually buy walking shoes for Cliff at Kohl's because their prices are the best if you catch the right sale.  Cliff dislikes Kohl's because there's nothing there he would normally be interested in, but we've bought a lot of his shoes there.  Unfortunately, they don't usually have my size. 

I suggested we start at Sears this time, since we don't usually shoe-shop there (it's only a tool-store to my husband).  Cliff tried several of their choices, but none were comfortable.  Same old story for me:  There wasn't much in my size.  Now in case you're wondering why I just don't buy a man's walking shoe for my big feet, it's because men's shoes don't feel right to me.  It's as if they have whole different proportions.  

"Well, let's go next door to Famous Footwear," I suggested.  "We'll walk out stunned by sticker shock, but we ought to find something there."  

There were some shoes in my size, but nothing felt comfortable.  I even tried some on in the men's section.  Cliff tried several on, and out of a whole store full of shoes, found one pair that felt good to him.  The price was outlandish, but comfort is important, so I told him, "If they're comfortable, buy them, I don't care how much they cost."

As we made our way to the checkout, he noticed the way the soles were made:  There were big indented holes and grooves in them, which makes them mud-catchers, down on the farm.  He wasn't going to have that!  I told him that shouldn't be a problem; we have sidewalks and a gravel driveway, and any time we are wearing our sneakers, we're going someplace in the car so there should be no problem with mud.  That didn't sway him.  Maybe he thought a calf would get out and he wouldn't have time to change shoes.

Finally we abandoned the search for shoes, did some grocery shopping, and came home.  That's how we roll.  We'll probably buy shoes at Walmart when necessity forces our hand.

Back in the nineties we had no insurance and Cliff had been off work a lot.  I was climbing up into the hay in the barn to see if a banty hen's eggs had hatched.  When I jumped down, I landed on a metal thing, barefoot, and did some real damage.  I ended up going to the hospital and getting stitches at various levels; during my recuperation I wrote a poem to my feet.  

I recall sending tiny amounts of money to the hospital, probably $10 or $15 monthly (all we could spare), against what we owed them.  After about three years, one December someone from the hospital called and said if I would send a certain amount of money by the first of the year, they'd write off the rest.  By then it was almost paid off anyway, though.  Here's my poem, which I really needed to read today.

I’ve taken walks for many years. I seldom miss a day;
It’s then I seem to hear from God, and find the time to pray.
I took for granted two good feet that carried me along,
And seldom thanked the Lord for them… till everything went wrong!
In fact, I griped about my feet, so hideous to me,
And several sizes larger than a lady’s feet should be.
Shoes were so confining that I didn’t wear them much,
Except when going shopping, or to Sunday school and such.
Now, when a person won’t wear shoes, her feet get stained from grass
And spread out even larger, and look unrefined and crass.
The calluses grow thicker, and unsightly scars appear
From all of the abuses heaped upon them, year to year.
One day my foot was injured as I went about the farm
(Keep tempting fate for long enough, and you will come to harm).
The doctor took some stitches, and it put me in such pain
That I could see there’d be no walks. That fact was very plain!
Well, now I can appreciate the things my feet can do…
So many years I’ve used them, and they always got me through.
Who cares if they’re not sexy feet, or delicate or small?
I’ve learned to thank my Maker that I have these feet at all.
Two weeks I couldn’t take my walks; my foot was slow to heal,
But I can count my blessings with a gratitude that’s real.
This whole experience is one I hope I don’t repeat,
But one thing I have gained from this: I’ve learned to love my feet! 


Calfkeeper said...

That's sure enough right on the money; your poem. I have always worn shoes because I have never liked the sight of my feet. But I certainly do appreciate them!

Really, I seriously dislike shoe shopping myself. I usually find what I need in thrift stores; shoes for farm work, that is. More formal shoes are found just by sheer accident.

Jean said...

I have bought many shoes in my life time and while I was working my job call for a lot of walking. I to had a hard time back then finding a comfortable shoe. I have been buying Clark shoes here lately and find that I don't have to wear them a month until they stop hurting my feet. To me they're the most comfortable shoe4 I have found yet. Take care. Jean