shoes

Dear Internet,

It is nearly two years since my surgery and where I should be versus where I actually am are two wholly different things.

Whenever I get angry about the state of my feet, I seem to conveniently forget I was laid up for four months after surgery number one, on a wound vac for another two, then laid up again for another two months before finally being released from care nearly a year after the first surgery. Of course I’m not going to be where I think I should be at — nor would anyone else.

Logic and rational are not players in this game. When the world in my head is crashing, far easier to blame something you cannot control versus something you can.

In this case, the size of my feet.

This was much of my attitude this morning on my way to work. TheHusband had gifted me with a pair of fairly expensive ballet flats for the holidays, a pair similar to the brethren I purchased last summer. Instead of leather, however, the fabric was cloth so when I slid my feet into them the shoes had no stretch.

That is something I have to account for now post-surgery: my feet will be different sizes during the day and I need shoes to be flexible to fit that criteria. The company’s reputation for customer service was earned when a new pair in leather arrived on my doorstep, same size as the previously purchased pair, which I threw into my travel bag when I hopped a flight to San Francisco for a job interview in April.

During that trip, the new pair felt odd but I couldn’t put my finger on why the shoes felt weird. They went on easily enough but they didn’t fit right. I sized the new pair against their brethren and found the new pair was 1/2″ shorter than the pair I had been wearing for months. I contacted the company who sent me out another pair in the same size — maybe the first replacement was a mismatch? Nope. The now third pair of flats were matched up against my happily worn pair also had the same problem. Perhaps my original pair was the mismarked ones then? I sent the request in for another pair to exchange, this time for a size up which arrived the day of my birthday.

A size 12.

For some reason I’m recalling my first pair of adult shoes was purchased when I was 9 or 10, in a woman’s size 10. I have always not been tall, so size 10s at a young age made sense to me. I wore 10s for most of my early teenage years and into my 20s when the 10s stopped fitting — weight gain, arthritis, life — moved me into 11s. A few years ago when trying to size running shoes, the sales person tried to convince me I needed 12s not 11s and I laughed in her face. I don’t care WHAT your scale says, I wear 11s and then proceeded to stomp out the store in due form.

Because I apparently cannot have fat feet.

Feet change and they grow (and shrink!); they are not consistent no matter how much we want them to be. The part of our body that we abuse the most, we treat with so little respect. This is not a treatise to feet, but maybe it should be.

I tried on the 12s, which fit like a glove out of the box. I attempted to get over myself on the shoe size prejudice. A size meant nothing if they fit well and were comfortable and this was true of the new pair. My right foot, now an 11.5w thanks to the surgeries felt great. The left foot? 10.5b felt a little loose. I can make this work, I thought. I added on a pair of secret lady socks to keep my feet in place (leather!) and went about my merry little way.

Except yes, my feet do change. By the time I was leaving work nine hours later, my right foot had ballooned (as it tends to do after a day where I’m on my feet a lot) and was snug in its shoe. The left shoe, however, flapped off my foot like an evil clown smiling to children as I walked.

I angrily walked to my car, feeling as if my frustration of my life was based solely on this pair of ill-fitting shoes. Why couldn’t I own a nice pair of shoes that fit?  How was the first pair I purchased a perfect fit but its brethren were horrible matches? Why was everything so complicated? Why were people such assholes? Why can’t we have nice things?

Why am I so angry over a pair of shoes?

xoxo,
Lisa

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