Shoes first. I love cute shoes! Mules with little bits of feathers, penny loafers, strappy sandals, suede pumps. Plastic jellies that look like summer sorbets. Shoes made of bamboo, little strips of velvet. Sneakers, deck shoes in clean, crisp colors. Kitten heels--I love the sound of kitten heels, although they look like no cat's paw I've ever seen. They are tiny and mean practically nothing, yet the transform a simple flat into a stylish, flirt of a shoe.
I love Birkenstocks, with cork soles, and ragg wool socks. They remind me of Jaap Hillenius, a Delft-eyed, blond-haired multi-talent who descended upon my high school like a young Dutch god. He wore Birks and fine, thick wool socks to keep out the Oregon damp. The last time I saw him (outside of my dreams) was standing in line at The Kiva. He was buying cardamom for a cake with the girl he later married. But I digress.
If I could, I would have ten pairs of cute shoes in every one of my favorite colors, and then a pair of perfect hiking boots that let me roam freely in the world whenever adorable footwear can't fill the bill.
But I am not allowed to have cute shoes. My feet are too wide in front, too narrow in the back. My delicate pinkie toes get crammed into shoes and in about a minute, they start to shriek. I have short toes, a high instep and a sliver of a heel. The shoes available in my size are uniformly black, chunky and hideous. The are ugly with a fierceness that speaks volumes--apparently, nine and a half wide is a reliable indicator of moral turpitude or some innate viciousness that demands retribution from the shoe factories of the world. What have I done to deserve such hateful footwear?
Some women give up and wear clogs. I just can't. I fantasize about learning to make shoes, and creating a line of shoes that start at eight and a half and go up. I'll have medium, sure, but I will also make them in equal numbers of narrow and wide. I will not discriminate on the basis of foot shape. I will become fabulously wealthy, of course, designing and creating shoes for the millions of women who are crying out for cute footwear and can't find it anywhere else. I know what they are feeling. Life is too short to wear ugly shoes.
(Oh yeah. I have returned to my blog thanks to the enthusiasm of Andrew at www.workingpodcast.com. Keep up the great work oh fellow writer and wearer of socks!)