Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to .....

I have been having foot problems my whole life. My feet are long, narrow and flat. Long, like size 13; Narrow like AAAA over AAAAA heel; and flat, well like a pancake. Even in high school, I can remember my mother dragging me to a shoe shop that had shoes "especially for you". Yeah, I didn't drink that Kool-Aid either. There is no way to disguise an orthopedic shoe store. It took me about 10 seconds to figure out I didn't like the place. ALL the shoes were ugly. I mean they all looked like shoes from 30 years ago and big soles and lots of shoe laces. Yuck. "We are not buying my prom shoes here, are we?" I could already hear my friends laughing at my old folks shoes. I wanted to crawl in a hole. I couldn't go to Baker Shoes or Thom McCann where my friends got their pretty pumps and cool sandals. Nope, I had to wear shoes that were good for my feet. My shoes cost more than shoes for my mother, brother and sister combined. That just added to my shame over having skies for feet. I got over it and took care of my feet, only because my feet were just too big for normal shoe stores.

Then when I joined the Navy. In the first week of boot camp, you get measured for your uniform and within days, we were all modeling our new uniforms. Ohhh La La. As I waited in line to pick up my uniform, I noticed that everybody had the same black oxford shoes. Wow, everybody has to wear ugly shoes. Woo Hoo. So how does that feel having to wear old folks shoes? Not so funny, now, huh? Then I got to the front of the line and got my seabag. Right on top was a box with my shoes. Now I would be dressed like everybody else.

I sat down with my new friends and opened the box of shoes. White sneakers? Huh? Has there been some mistake? In boot camp, you learn pretty fast not to make waves (no pun intended). But I couldn't wear white sneakers when everybody else was wearing black oxfords. So I got back in line and asked where my oxfords were.

It was like prom shoe day all over again. "We don't carry that size. We are ordering Girl Scout shoes for you". At first, it was just a giggle I heard behind me followed by a low buzz. Like wildfire, everybody in my boot camp company, all 73 of them, knew that I had big feet. They may have suspected it when they saw my feet but the white sneakers just confirmed it. Worse yet, I was the tallest person in the company so I always marched in the front right position. Yeah, no hiding in the back for me, everybody in the world could see me marching with white sneakers.

At first, I thought it was cool that I didn't have to shine my shoes every night like the other girls. But then I realized that I had to wash those white sneakers every night by hand. Some mornings they were not dry. December in Maryland in wet white sneakers. I was miserable. And one little smudge on those white sneakers and I would get gigged on an inspection. I finally got my oxfords in week 9 of boot camp.
So fast-forward 40 years and I am still having problems with my feet. I have an ulcer on my right foot that will not heal. It has been treated for months with various anti-biotics, salves, creams and bandages. So since the right one hurts, I have been favoring it. So my left foot is now having problems. I have gone to the podiatrist for cortisone shots in the left foot before. Not something that I look forward to but it takes care of the pain for a while. So I went to the podiatrist today for my shot and this is what I came home with. You're not laughing at me, are you?


SueR said...

My goodness, how difficult things have been for you over the years! I spent 23 years in the service, and I loved my oxfords. Hating shining them, but they were comfortable shoes. I think I would have liked the sneakers too. Too bad your mom couldn't have sent you one of those white markers! Hope the situation improves for you.

Allison said...

OH NOooooooooo! hehehe . . throat clearing ;o)

Anonymous said...

I can't tell from the picture, but is that a flip-flop on your other foot? Flip-flops are NOT for you girl if you have problem feet. Hope you heal quickly now.

Ramona-quilter said...

Allison (Pancho) is that you. Call me about your new mahcine.

Anonymous - yes, it is a flip-flop (or flops as my 2 yr old GD says). My feet were so swollen, I could not get shoes on, thus the flops. Why wasn't I born with Size 7 feet?

Mary Beth said...

Hey you, I have foot problems too, as you know. I remember as a kid, going skating, telling the rink dork that I wore a size 11 and him looking over the counter at my feet. Like looking at my feet were going to confirm that, or maybe he had never seen big feet on a teenage girl before. Whatever!! Or Thom McCann...they guy says, "no, we don't have shoes...that big!" Oh, that made a sale!!! I feel your pain...Hope your foot gets better very soon.

My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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