I have a love-hate relationship with shoes. I mostly hate them. This might be an odd sentiment for someone who spends a great deal of her time wading through excrement of one species or another. And who does it in a place where she must circumnavigate all sorts of abandoned rusty metal things and sharp things, and dodge the heavy hooves of various critters. However, if the weather is warm, you can most often find me barefoot or as close to it as I can possibly be. Barefoot or flip-flops. At least six months out of the year. More, weather permitting.
On my “I’ve been reading too much decluttering propaganda” purge of late, I discovered I own 27 pairs of shoes. TWENTY flipping SEVEN. That’s 54 shoes. I feel like this is ridiculous and excessive. I resolve to pare down my shoe hoard. To be fair, 5 of those pairs are flip flops or sandals, 2 are muck boots, 2 are work boots, 3 of them are tennis shoes, (1 set of steel toe) and two are Crocs. (Yes, I know that crocs are ugly, but they require no bending or tying, will slog through wet grass and not complain and have once defended my tootsies from a rat snake with a ‘tude whose tail I foolishly trod on, so they stay.) There are 5 pairs of other assorted boots. The remaining 8 pair are girly, frou-frou, mostly heeled (ranging from sensible church height to whattheblazeswereyouthinking 5 inchers).
Who the heck needs 27 pairs of shoes? Especially a person who is chastised on such a regular basis by her entire family for “improper footwear”? Well, the person who should have a podiatry specialist on call 24/7/365. Yep, that’s me. If I ever willingly went to a doctor type critter, anyway. Understand the chastising usually comes into play during, after or occasionally before the latest foot tragedy.
Over the past ten years, of the most notable “foot tragedies”, some have been fairly serious. I have had a foot run over by a VW Thing and broken. I have flipped a paving stone with such force that it came down perfectly on my heel and laid my heel open like a spatchcocked turkey. I have flipped a soaking wet kazillion pound pressboard table I was rolling to a dumpster over at just the perfect trajectory that it relieved me entirely of the nail on my big toe. Violently and immediately. Not in the smash it, nail turns black and eventually falls off at its leisure sort of removal, the instant and extraordinarily painful variety. I have twice burned all the skin off the top of a foot. (Once was waitressing related coffee pot drama, the other was pan frying while in nowhere near a sober enough condition to be within a mile of boiling oil.)
Couple of years ago, we came home from night fishing and while unloading the truck, I tripped over a piece of heavy gauge wire (like drycleaner coat-hanger gauge) some idiot (I’m likely the idiot) had dropped in the driveway. At least I thought I tripped. Somehow, I managed to trip / step / lurch onto it at the perfect angle that the wire went through the bottom of my flip flop, completely through my big toe, (neatly missing the bone) from the bottom and came poking out the top. This was followed my much drama and screeching. (none of which was mine, I was oddly calm at the time) My sweetie and his daughter were both beside themselves plotting ER visits and possible ambulances, all while I was repeating…
“Tony, just pull.it.out.”
“Oh My God, Ok, let me get the wire cutters, pliers, flashlight, holy crap, OhmyGod, Do you see now, this is why I told you stop wearing these ridiculous things! Improper footwear!! Take the shoe off!”
“Babe, STOP. I can’t take the shoe off. It’s pinned to my foot. Not the time for a lecture. Use the hands you have right there, grab the thing and just pull.it.out. Yep, right there, no, not slowly…Yank the stupid wire.”
“I can’t do this. This is crazy. You need a doctor, a surgeon, something.”
This is a man who can gut a deer blindfolded and eats organ meat for breakfast, for crying out loud. There is not even any blood yet. But it’s starting to smart more than a little now.
“Listen. TO. ME! Just grab the wire. At the bottom where it went in. Deep breaths all around. Now pullitoutPullitOUTPULLITOUT!”
This is the one I’m reminded of most frequently. There was peroxide pouring and bandaging, and hobbling about for a while, but no doctor visit. Thank the Lord for up to date Tetanus shots.
I put all the shoes but one pair of ridiculous “hooker height” heels I haven’t worn since 1999 back in the closet. Feet are kind of important. Maybe I should actually wear the real shoes more often.