Wednesday, September 19, 2007

new shoes

Unlike my husband, my daughter and Imelda Marcos, I never give footwear a second thought. I can go into a store, pick out a pair of shoes and leave in under 15 minutes. This is a fact. This is all the attention I figure shoes are worth. Nobody looks at my feet anyway.

At any given time I own 5 pairs-sandals, riding boots, dress flats, everyday walkers and slippers. All of them are black. Black goes with everything.

This morning I was stumbling around for about 45 minutes before I remembered I'd left my everyday shoes out on the porch the night before. I'd been gardening and at some point during the proceedings I'd stepped in some dog crap, so I figured I'd leave them out overnight, let them get rained on and then finish washing them off under the hose the next morning.

But it was still raining. Furthermore the shoes had been blown over and were both brimfull of water.
'Wear another pair' said the Biker sensibly.
"Where are they?" I asked.
The Biker dug out my riding Docs and my dress flats. Both were coated in dust. "I put them on the shelf in my closet so I'd remember where they were" he explained, which makes perfect sense if you're married to me.
The Docs and the dress flats wouldn't do.
" I think I saw another pair out in the truck," he said, and off he went. Thank God one of us has a functioning brain.

I keep a spare set of clothes in my truck at all times, bra, pants, shoes, hat, shirt, everything. Every truck we've ever owned, I've had to do this, because I tend to trash whatever I'm wearing if I'm out on a truckable errand. I seem to end up in the river a lot.

The biker came back in and dropped a pair of white tennis shoes on the floor. They were flattened and moldy. "They've got something on them," he said as I uncurled them and chunks of crud fell out. "What is that; paint?"
I looked.
"Oh, that's blood," I said. "Remember when I fell off the cliff at Larrabee park?"
The Biker sighed.
I had not told him about the time I'd fallen off the cliff at Larrabee park.
There's about a year there where a lot of things happened that I felt it best not to tell him about.

Back when I had first started taking Prozac I was prone to doing thoughtless, spur of the moment things because I no longer got that automatic jolt of dread that a change in brain chemistry used to cause me. See, formerly, that would happen and then I'd have to talk myself into or out of whatever 'X' idea happened to be. Once that jolt stopped happening, I just automatically assumed 'Well! must be a good idea then!" and off I went.

It usually wasn't a good idea.

The time I decided to climb the cliffs at Larrabee park is a case in point. I've never rock-climbed in my life. I'm not a climber. Hell; I'm not an athlete. By any stretch of the imagination whatsoever, am I athletic. No.
And yet, I decided on that afternoon that clambering up the filthy, pointy, muddy rocks surrounding the bay during slack tide was a fine idea. Why? Because I wanted to see what might be growing on them up around the spray line. I had my identification guide in my little backpack.
I had my plastic bags, cuttings knife and damp paper towels in there too.
I had the comically oversized tennis shoes with no tread left on the soles that the Bikers' cousin had given to me when I'd lost my shoes in her pigpen earlier that day.

Some three hours prior to this event, swine had eaten my shoes.

I was ready.

When I fell off the cliff and slid shins first down the green, scummy, barnacle- clad rocks, one of these shoes passed me and landed in a tidepool full of rotting dulse. The other shoe had deep furrows cut into it all the way through the sole.

I limped back to shore, took them off, took off my bloody socks, buried them in the sand- which for some reason seemed like a really good idea at the time- and carried the shoes back up to the truck, a distance of about a mile, by which time I'd almost stopped bleeding. I threw the shoes behind the seat and drove home barefoot.

This had happened in 1993.

I bought new shoes today. It took me 10 minutes. They are black.
As soon as I left the store I sat down, took the old scody ones off, put my new shoes on and threw the old ones in the trash.
Then I went home, rinsed the dog crap off my other shoes and set them in the sun to dry.
They still have tread.


  1. I'll go to the shoe shop and literally "visit" shoes that I covet.

    I'll go back regularly to visit them until they go on sale.

    I have been known to fondle them until a nosey salesperson comes along to interrupt my reverie.

    I was in the shoe shop less than an hour ago.

    It's cheaper than heroin.

  2. My boyfriend does that with his dogshit shoes, too. They usually never come back in the house. He forgets about them on the back porch and they get rained on (and in) and then moldy and then the spiders come and make homes out of them.

    I think i'd like to know why burying your socks was the way to go on that one, btw.

    Also - i loved that story... good stuff right there.

  3. Once you realized what was going on with the Prozac, you should have committed some violent acts on horrible people before you went off it. Beats the "Twinkie defense."

    BTW, you need brown shoes, too. Then, you're done.

  4. Anonymous11:58 PM

    while i wholeheartedly agree with tim, that shoes are indeed evil, i have to admit, i am a bit of a shoe whore. i will buy a cute pair of shoes, and wear them like once, and go barefoot or wear flip flops the rest of the time. comes from living in the south, i guess.

    i swear, the only reason i wear shoes when i'm outside now is because my four-wheeler has pointy grips on the foot guards, and they hurt when you get on it barefoot. but sometimes, you just don't have time to grab socks and sneakers when the cows are out and you're afraid they'll get in the road or eat the dogs or something.

  5. 1) Huh. Maybe I should try this Prozac stuff...

    2) Cows can eat dogs? Wow, I learn so much when I visit here!

  6. "I seem to end up in the river a lot."

    That's my kinda gurl :)

  7. Surely you should have shot a couple of squirrels, skinned them and made some fluffy slippers out of them? Isn't that what you do in the outback?

    Or, go to Asda (Wal Mart) find a pair of shoes off the rack, try them on - if they fit put your old manky ones on the shelf and walk out wearing the new ones.

    I am thinking of writing a book of money -saving tips

  8. Ending up in the river a lot is no bad thing ......millions of fish cant be wrong!.
    Shoes in general dont really do it for me , but i can get a bit over excited in a trainer store.The Nike outlet store is a little slice of beast heaven....... but why oh why oh why do they only make those trainers with lights that flash in the heel when you walk on them for children.
    Being an adult is so dissapionting sometimes :-(
    I now have shoe eating pigs and dog eating cows to worry about as well

  9. Anonymous4:41 AM

    I am much the same as you - except I have office shoes as well. What worries me is that you have kept a pair of blood stained shoes in your truck for 14 years.. Have you ever thought what the Police would think if you got searched???

  10. mj: i can shoe shop with the best of them. it's just the buying and wearing part that i don't seem to get.

    claire: don't expect it to make sense, ok? but the socks thing, as I recall, had to do with dogs on the beach not carrying them around. i was kinda shocky at the time. and thank you!

    danator: only fun things occurred to me, and going to jail never seemed like fun. i think this might prove that i am not by nature a dangerous psychotic. just that i have a strange idea of fun.

    tim: ...yet a necessary one in the slug-infested Northwestern U.S. The truly evil shoes are the pointy-toed high heeled ones. they look so good, yet do such fiendish things to ones poor feeties!

    pink: see, i can look at cute shoes all day long. it just never occurs to me to own them.

    alala: only mean cows eat dogs. once the pterodactyls have carried off the cows, though, it's all moot.
    get it?
    mooooooot? moot?


    sopwith: and therein lies another tale of reckless muk behavior....

    frobi: I've owned slippers made of sheep peelings; never squirrel. I'm a ladies size 8 1/2; squirrels only run up to a size 6 around here.//nothing like finding someones nasty tatty grey old stained bra in the box when you're shopping for foundation garments...!

    beast: i know! it's unfair! i want sparkly shoe lights TOOOOOOOOOO.

    muttley: this is farmin' and huntin' country. unless the police actually saw me gnawing on a human arm they wouldn't think twice. out here everyones' pickup truck is splattered with doubtful substances and filled with alarming things. bloodstained clothing is nothing. guns and ammo, nothing. dead calf in the passenger seat with it's front feet sticking out the window, nothing.

  11. "Some three hours prior to this event, swine had eaten my shoes"

    There's a song in there somewhere (or a children's book)

    Prozac..."better" living thru chemistry.

    Paxil...lethargic since 1996

  12. 'shot: hey, it really was BETTER, too. balance 'get out of bed-sick wave of overwhelming breakfast-sick wave of overwhelming dread....start car-sick wave of overwhelming dread....make phone call-sick wave of overwhelming dread....'

    (the onset of which might last another hour, might last a couple of MONTHS, with )

    'get up, eat breakfast, start car, make phone call, have shoes eaten by swine-NO sick wave of overwhelming dread' and, yeah.

    I see I'm going to have to do some more posts on this!

  13. I got sneakers with the sparkly lights in big people's sizes at Walm@rt for only $12 - been waiting for them a long time.
    Reminds me - I have to look behind the seat in our old truck and see what's been left back there. Luckily in our heat it dries into little rocks before it gets moldy.

  14. Well you certainly lead a full life! I normally keep to one brand of shoe, the reason being, why should i change styles or brands if the type I have wears well?

    As far as trainers are concerned, like the beast, I have a field day when in an outlet, tho must say I am the same in a Levi outlet too, with jeans!

  15. joinvegas: i was just there AND I DID NOT SEE THEM CRAP POOP SNOT PEE.//ever had things growing in the cab of your truck? like seed corn, or milo? i have. (there's also a bee nest in the passengers side door.)

    newforest: same here. me, i go slightly nuts in vintage clothing stores.

  16. norwexile10:56 AM

    Last time I was at Larrabee I was sitting up on a rock, enjoying the view, poking at crustaceans etc., a couple of clueless WWU kids came mincing along in plastic flip-flops (not th best for barnacle covered rocks) and asked me, "What lake is that?".

    I told them it was Lake Whatcom.

  17. i love the way you worked the cliff-falling story in by framing it in the shoe story. fabulous bit of narrative structure, that.

  18. Good grief! Don't let CyberPoo see this. He'll have an eppy at your flagrant disregard of Shoedom!

  19. norwexile: welcome welcome!
    i love larrabee park. have you ever gone down the tracks south, towards the oyster beds? some of the most beautiful coastline in the world down that way and completely empty of people most of the time!
    i remember telling my cousins wife that alabama hill was engineered so that when lake whatcom overflows every winter it could just run down into the bay.

    cb: um.....ok. *looks around* uh, yeah. I meant to do that. totally.

    Inexplicaboy: *puts head down and sighs* i just don't get it. they're just shoes. you put them on feet. they keep you from stepping on slugs. ak.

  20. Look at the time you've saved by not being a shoe whore. I like my steps - not crazily but I like em. Sometimes green ones (though I certainly have all the staples in black).

    The climbing story is excellent. Oh and hats off to the Biker! It's quite the other way around in my house (and I may not quite measure up to his level of efficiency).

  21. Do you think one can get Heelys in adult sizes? And do you think I would look stupid - a fat chick rolling along city sidewalks - in them?

  22. great post on shoes....I like my new nike shoes and they really make me more modern...