Thursday, September 29, 2011

Death by Clogs

One of my students commented on my cute clogs this morning and I responded,"Yes, they are cute, but I've almost died twice today!" This led to a series of embarrassing shoe-related stories. If you know me, you know that I am a shoe fanatic. If you don't... I am a shoe fanatic. As a kid, I remember watching my dad polish his shoes every night and somehow, I knew there was something special about them and even then, I felt a draw to fine shoes. I guess I should clarify that by fine, I mean what I find to be fine. I couldn't name more than a handful of shoe designers and own no designer shoes. Growing up in Malaysia didn't really fit in with my love for shoes. In school, you are required to wear white tennis shoes (then they were mostly canvas) and every weekend, kids would scrub their shoes and put them out to dry so that they would be clean on Monday morning. I don't think I ever had to be reminded to wash my shoes. I loved having clean shoes, even if there was nothing unique or appealing about them since everyone had them. The other shoe of choice for kids in Malaysia: flip flops... and no, not the sequined or patterned kind. Plain Japanese slippers. You could pick between green soles or blue soles. I don't remember owning any other shoes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I didn't... I do remember that every year I got a new, shiny pair of shoes for Christmas, and until I could have a say in it, they were mostly black patent shoes. I don't remember at what age I got to pick my own shoes, but I do remember hiding my shoes one year because I simply hated them and didn't want to to wear them out in public. Fast forward a number of years later: I would proudly sport black patent shoes... not the mary jane kind I was forced into as a kid, but give me a pair of black patent heels and I would wear them anywhere (can you see me in the garden with my black patent heels? I don't really go anywhere exciting...). Now, my love for shoes is both a hobby and a curse. Sometimes the price of fashion (both literally and figuratively) is high. Most of my shoes are expensive, but I convince myself that it is a lifetime investment. This didn't work so well once I had my first kid and my shoe size went up a 1/2 size. However, for the most part, I wear my shoes carefully, keep them clean, and have enough to rotate through that none of them will ever wear out in my lifetime. I plan to include them in my will. Dave, on the other hand, buys one pair and wears them until they self-ventilate through the holes in the soles. Rainy days are tough for him, and though he complains, it doesn't bother him enough to actually purchase a new pair. During my first year as a teacher, I got a pair of Danskos and absolutely loved them. I had a professor in college who used to wear clogs and carry a big stick. Kids used to joke about Professor Johnson, but I now know why clogs and long sticks go hand in hand. Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way that wearing clogs is sometimes a dangerous venture (though it should be noted that this discovery has not actually stopped me from wearing them... or buying more of them). When I was nine months pregnant with Hanna, I lost my balance stepping off of the curb and fell face first onto the street. I had pavement in my teeth and my face was completely bloody and scraped. To add insult to injury, my neighbor was on her way to her car and witnessed the whole thing. Quite embarrassing. Not quite the picture of grace I was going for. Fortunately, since my face broke my fall, the baby was fine. My shoes also came out unharmed. It is not even 10:30 am and my ankle has already turned twice this morning wearing my clogs... that doesn't bode well for the rest of the day. I can't tell you the number of times this happens when I wear clogs. It seems to happen almost randomly; my ankle buckles under me and my whole body almost collapses like one of those dolls you push on from the underneath and they fold over at the joints... Most of the time, I manage to recover quickly, and hope that no one notices, but there have been times I know that people have had to stifle their laughter (sometimes unsuccessfully) at my trips and falls. But what is a girl to do? The shoes are stylish, cute AND comfortable (albeit dangerous). When I am not walking, they seem to be the perfect shoe. So, perhaps the solution to my woes is to continue to invest in cute, pricey shoes, but not walk... or to walk and carry a big stick...

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