Category Archives: Shoes

I’ve Been Holding my Breath While I Type This Post, so Please Excuse Me While I Look Up How to Exhale Before I Black Out

I nearly had a full-on anxiety attack the other day while I was driving because I don’t know how to cobble shoes.

I was thinking about one of my shoes, which had broken.  Then I was thinking about how I can’t afford to keep buying new shoes every time one breaks.  Then I was thinking about how I can barely afford to repair them, either, because the last time I took one in for repair they charged me $1000 just to put a cap on one heel.  This reminded me of a newspaper article I read about a very trustworthy shoe repair shop in the area that I’m pretty sure has reasonable rates, but the owner had to close because he has pancreatic cancer.  This led to a brief regret that I haven’t learned how to cure cancer yet.  But then I realized that even if I knew how to cure cancer, I would still have broken shoes, and the number of master shoe craftsmen is dwindling every day.  Which led to the obvious conclusion that I better get on the internet and find a YouTube video about fixing shoes or I am going to be going barefoot for the rest of my life.

And then I started hyperventilating because there are so many things that I need to learn how to do, and there is not enough time.

It was all fine 20 years ago when there was no YouTube, and the only way you could learn how to cobble shoes was to fly your butt down to Italy, and find yourself some old man in a little village who would be willing to take you on as an apprentice.  I mean, it was obvious, then, that it was not my responsibility to become an amateur shoemaker.

But now that the skills are only a few keyboard strokes away, I feel that it is incumbent on me to become an expert so I will not cut my feet on shards of glass when the world ends.

The problem is, according to the internet, I also need to learn:

how to exhale

how to automate Windows with PowerShell (I have to confess, I thought we were talking about car windows, which mine are already automated, so this seemed superfluous until I realized this had nothing to do with cars or windows.)

how to make beer

how to be patient

how to preserve daguerrotypes

and

how to hit the prom looking like Lady Gaga

I mean, it just seems lazy to admit that I don’t know how to do something when there are so many free resources available.  You might argue that because they are on the internet I don’t need to learn them, just refer to them when the need arises.  But what if the internet DIES?  And then I need to learn how to be patient with the zombies who are attacking me and the only way to evade them is to dress like Lady Gaga and douse myself in homemade beer to mask my scent?  And I could have referred to daguerrotypes of the pop diva if I had ever bothered to learn how to preserve them.  I’m going to feel pretty stupid, then, that I didn’t make use of those lessons when I could.

It’s clear now what I need to do.

Quit work so I can learn these valuable skills before it’s too late.

OMG!  Why did you wait until now to tell me I could learn this?photo credit:  http://www.npr.org/2012/10/19/163242847/baratunde-thurston-explains-how-to-be-black

OMG! Why did you wait until now to tell me I could learn this?
photo credit: http://www.npr.org

Forget the Da Vinci Code; I Need Someone to Crack Wonderbutt

Despite all of my Googling expertise, the pile of things that I just don’t understand keeps getting higher.  I am pretty sure that I know less now than I did when I was 10.  I mean, back then, I actually had to hold on to information for lengthy periods for pop quizzes and exams.  Now, I discard any facts that are not vital to my present survival.

Today’s list of things I don’t understand:

  1. Why large things that protrude from your head are more appealing than small, unobtrusive things that can be covered by a fashionable hair style.  Every time she sees my husband, Cap’n Firepants, our elderly friend, MILlie,  complains to him that her stereo headphones will not work.  He explains that the end needs to actually be plugged into something that makes sound – instead of dangling down her back.  She says that she does not want to plug them into something; she just wants to walk around with them on, so they will help her hear better.  (I tried to get her fitted for a hearing aid last year, but she refuses to wear one.)
  2. Why my husband insists on being loyal to a car-maker (let’s just call them “Frod”) who keeps selling him cars with transmission problems.  After he got stranded, and they finally admitted there might be an issue (despite the fact that he brought it in 3 times before and there was “nothing wrong”), and then they proceeded to keep it for a week without offering him a rental car, I asked him if he still planned to go back there for his next car.  “Well, they did fix it,” he stated.
  3. Why Google cannot help me find someone to help me fix my husband.  Not that kind of fix.  Just fix his blind allegiance to an automobile manufacturer who has not once returned the favor.
  4. Why I keep shoes in my closet that are agonizingly painful to wear, then forget the damage they did to my foot the last time I wore them, then stupidly choose to wear them to work one day, not realizing until I am at work that I have made yet another dumb wardrobe decision, make my way through an excruciating day with blinding pain, then come home, take off the shoes, and put them back in my closet without even a sticky note to label them as “Shoes That Cannot Be Worn for More Than 5 Minutes without Completely Hobbling You for the Next Week”.
  5. Why Dimples takes 90 minute showers, and she does not even shave her legs, yet.
  6. Why Twitter sent me an e-mail inviting me to use it more often (I never use it; I just signed up for it so I could get a Pinterest account) and then proceeded to suggest that two people I would probably like to follow are Tyra Banks and Snooki.
  7. How I can explain to Twitter, in 140 characters or less, all of the reasons that I will never follow Tyra or Snooki.
  8. Why one of my students gave me a very nice gift today, then ran to me after school and said, “Oh, don’t throw out the gift bag because my mom wants it back.”

And, finally…

Why Wonderbutt decided to grab, out of all of the sections of the newspapers spread across the kitchen table, the Obituaries.  And dragged them, relatively intact, out to his Poop Pen.

I do not understand this dog.

I do not understand this dog.

 

What, exactly, is he trying to tell me here?

What, exactly, is he trying to tell me here?

 

Why I’ll Be Looking for a New Job Next Year

So, I got a new job this year.  Actually, it’s the same job – just at a different place.  I was teaching at my previous school for 13 years, and then got the opportunity to transfer to one closer to my home.  When I was swimming in a sea of boxes in the middle of August, and locked out of my room by a cockroach, it occurred to me that volunteering to change schools was not the most intelligent decision I had ever made.  In my previous school, cockroaches were usually polite enough to die before I encountered them, and I’m pretty sure that I had a lot fewer teaching materials stored in all of the cubbies and walk-in closet than the plethora that suddenly seemed to poised to swallow me and my new, zero-storage room.

But it was too late to go back.  And I adjusted, and made a few medication changes, and prominently displayed an ant farm in the middle of the classroom so the cockroach could make an informed decision about whether or not he wanted to risk another sudden appearance in front of a woman who was not above sticking insects in a transparent prison with fake plastic buildings.

It has taken me until now to realize the true advantage of my new position, and to kick myself for waiting 13 years to make this discovery.

“I love that dress!”

“Wow, you look so fashionable today!”

“You always look so chic!”

“You look beautiful!”

Okay, the last compliment was from a kindergartener who was probably trying to angle a sticker out of me.  But, still.  Suddenly, praise for my wardrobe is greeting me on a daily basis.

And I haven’t bought anything new.

I just plucked out my same ole winter rags that I’ve worn for the last several seasons, and people are acting like I just walked off the runway.  Modeling runway, I mean, of course.  Because if I just walked off a plane runway, I’d probably be tackled by Homeland Security and accused of terroristic acts.  And full body searched.  Which would not be pleasant.  And probably would not make me feel very good about myself or my clothes.

So, anyway, I now realize that, instead of spending money on clothing each season so I won’t blend into the wall because people are so used to me wearing the same 5 outfits, I just need to change jobs every year.  I need to employ my faculties finding a new faculty to employ me, instead of agonizing over new, risky fashion choices.  Consider it my little contribution to the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Movement.

And, maybe, if I can keep this ingenious plan going for the next 5 or 6 years, I’ll save up enough money to buy this sweet little pair of Jimmy Choos.

Maybe I can buy one half of the pair now, and put the other one on layaway? 

What?  You weren’t expecting me to donate the cash to charity or something, did you?

 

How Far I’ve Fallen

(Twenty-five years ago, in the midst of being “kidnapped” at 1 A.M. by sorority members during pledging)

Fellow “kidnapping victim”, looking at me:  Geez, how do you always look so perfect?  It’s the middle of the night, we just got dumped out of bed, and you’ve got every hair in place, and you look gorgeous.

(Yesterday, in the parking lot, after spending an hour getting ready to go to the hospital to visit my mother-in-law:)

Dimples, my daughter:  Mom, why do you have two different shoes on?

Not my feet. I am in desperate need of a pedicure, so I googled “different flip flops” – and found out from “Lana” that this is actually a trendy new fashion statement…

This is Lana, my new fashion consultant.
photo credits: http://posejuniorfashionexperts

When Bad Moms Wear Good Shoes

I decided not to duct tape my shoes.  Not because I didn’t think it would look good.  Primarily because of an incident that occurred several years ago around the 4th of July.  That was back during the time when Dimples somewhat let me select her outfits, and I was determined to have a cute Independence Day ensemble for her to wear, but Old Navy refused to cooperate.  (Because I was shopping in July.  If I had had the foresight to shop for the 4th of July  the day after Valentine’s Day, I would have had a huge inventory from which to choose, I am sure.)  By the time I realized June had ended, and the holiday was fast-approaching, the only footwear left at Old Navy was blue and red flip flops with yellow and purple paint splotches all over the soles.

So, I got out some red paint that I used for scrapbooking, covered up the unpatriotic colors, let the paint dry for 24-hours, and Dimples was perfectly accessorized for the Celebration of the Birth of Our Great Nation.

And then we went out in the real world of San Antonio, where the heat and humidity and the sweat on my daughter’s feet became the perfect chemical combination to bare her mother’s idiotic quest for perfection to the entire world in the form of red feet.  And somehow the coloring started to creep up the tops of her feet, which made her look like a piece of celery in a science experiment gone very wrong.

Anyway, so I learned my lesson about modifying footwear.  Which is, Don’t – Because Something Embarrassing Will Happen.  To Me.  Even if It’s Not My Footwear.

There is an addendum to that rule, however.  You can modify footwear when something embarrassing has already happened, and you are trying to Prevent it From Getting Worse.  This is best exemplified by the time that Dimples’ flip-flop broke at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – a place that has an overabundance of wizard wands and chocolate frogs, but no Payless Shoes kiosks.  In that instance, I took my cloth belt off my shorts, pulled one end through the hole in her flip flop, the other end through the other side, and wrapped it like a thong around her leg.

In retrospect, that was probably not less embarrassing than hopping around in one flip-flop, and I really wish I had taken a picture of my innovative solution for that problem.

So, regarding my great Shoe Dilemma in yesterday’s post (which was really written over a week ago), I’m afraid this is going to be very anti-climactic.  I feel compelled to finish up the shoe story, because some of you asked.  To be honest, though, the shoe story is one of those stories that should just remain incomplete because, really, it ended very undramatically.  In fact, I probably shouldn’t even have started the story in the first place.  Lesson learned.

So, I did not duct tape my shoes for Harvard, because I was afraid of the embarrassing consequences.  Instead, I wore one of my new pairs of sensible shoes on the first day.  Big mistake.  They cut the crap out of my big toes, leaving me with sizable chunks of flesh carved out right underneath each cuticle.

I wore black flip-flops the rest of the time.  And Harvard did not expel me.  For my comfortable shoes, my ugly toes, or my stupidity.

Insensibly Torturous Shoes

 

MacGyver Wouldn’t Have This Problem

I just returned from my Harvard trip, and realized I forgot to post this before I left…

I just bought two pairs of shoes that I didn’t really want.  I am very depressed.

I am going to Harvard next week, and I keep getting e-mails about the dress code.  Because we will be walking to most places on cobblestone streets, we are being told that “flats are great.”  We are also being told to dress professionally.  And there is my conundrum.  Because the only women who wear flats and are professionals are nuns, in my opinion.

The only “flats” I like are flip-flops.  According to many bosses I have worked for, flip-flops do not fall into the “professional” category.

Flats with closed toes make me look short.  None of the e-mails forbade me to look short.  But I still don’t want to look short.  Because that makes me feel squat.  And squat = fat.

I decided that I might be able to compromise by wearing wedges, which are flat on the bottom, but would not make my foot flat, and my legs short, and my stomach fat.

I was thinking about this very issue the other night when the Cap’n and I went out on a date.  A woman passed by who was wearing the perfect combination of professionally flat shoes that I had pictured in my brain.  They were black, peep-toe wedges with a bit of leopard print near the toes.

“She is wearing MY shoes,” I hissed to Cap’n Firepants.

Cap’n Firepants was not looking at her shoes.  She was a very attractive woman, who was very tall, and had many other attractive attributes besides her perfect flats.

I considered asking the woman where she had bought her shoes.  And if she had bought her other attractive attributes as well.  But I had not had a glass of wine yet, so I was not feeling very assertive.  After two glasses of wine, my self-confidence returned in such full force that I fully believed that I did not need those stupid shoes anyway because I am so wonderful that I can wear any pair of shoes – even the ones with the separate toes – and I will look professional and unsquat – and even, to some, attractive.

These are professional, right?
photo credit: JasonTank via photo pin cc

After I slept off my two glasses of wine, and awoke my normal, pusillanimous self, I panicked.  With one day left until my trip, I made a last-ditch effort to find some appropriate footwear by visiting two mega shoe stores in my neighborhood.  At each one, I broke my Cardinal Rule of Shoe Shopping (to spend money only on Shoes That Make Me Look Awesome), and bought a Pair That Makes Me Look Like A Woman Who Wears Pantsuits.

Even as I write this post, I am glaring at the shoe boxes holding my Sensible Shoes.  My eyes wander and light on a bin in the corner of the room.  A bin of duct tape.  The leopard print roll is right on top.

Maybe I can salvage these shoes after all…

What the Flip?

So, in my spare time, I like to cruise the CNN site for blog ideas.  Yesterday, I noticed an article on dog flipping.

Yes, you heard me right.

My first thought is a bit embarrassing.  When I was a kid, I so desperately wanted to be a teacher, I had a school for my stuffed animals.  Their report card included P.E.  To determine their grades, I would take each stuffed animal and flip it in the air. If I caught it, the “student” aced P.E.  If I dropped it, the poor animal failed.  I was ruthless (much the same as my own P.E. teacher at the time; you can probably do a complete psychological study on me using this one childhood story.)  One of these stuffed dogs was the bulldog from whom Wonderbutt got his real name (which is not “Wonderbutt”, as endearing as that is).  Wonderbutt’s namesake always got straight A’s.  Unlike Wonderbutt.

Of course, when I clicked on the link, it was immediately apparent that my dog flipping concept vastly differed from the type of dog flipping worthy of a headline on CNN.

Apparently, there are some not so heroic people out there, who will “adopt dogs”, and then sell them for more, making a profit off the dog.  This isn’t illegal, exactly, but can be devastating to the first owners who might have had legitimate reasons for giving their dog away and really hunted for someone who they thought would provide a good forever home for their dog.

I was really bummed when I read this.  Sad for the dogs.  And ashamed of myself for thinking CNN might actually post a story about stuffed animals that do gymnastics.

The obvious comparison to the CNN story is to house “flippers”, which made me wonder if this might be a possible idea for some Cesar Milan-ish person wanting to salvage “bad” dogs.  What if there were some heroes out there that would take in dogs that seemed hopeless, rehabilitate them, and then adopt them out to new, DESERVING, families?  Do I sniff a new reality show idea?

And, no, I am not considering giving them Wonderbutt.

Or you could just have a flip-flopping dog. Wonder if he's a Democrat or a Republican? photo credit: TimmyGUNZ via photopin cc

Dorothy Did Not Wear Crocs

photo by Calliope1 on Flickr

I’ve decided how to tell when you are living a life of luxury.  Shoes.  Not just the fact that you own some designer shoes.  Anyone can save up their Starbucks money and buy a pair of Manolo Blahniks.  It’s when you can go the shoe store and see a pair of shoes that you know would go perfectly with an outfit in your closet, and you actually go ahead and buy them.

Well, everyone does that, you think. In fact, isn’t that the point of actually going to the shoe store in the first place?  But look at that last sentence in the first paragraph carefully, and you will realize your mistake.  “An” is the key word.  Yes, a pair of shoes that will only go with one outfit.  That is true luxury.

I went to the shoe store yesterday, and found the absolute perfect pair of red shoes.  I’ve never bought a pair of red shoes in my life.  Because, let’s face it.  How many outfits will they actually go with?  There are 10 million shades of red, so you probably won’t wear them with a red skirt or blouse.  So you have to be a little more daring, and try to slide them in as the third color in a combo, like black and white, or gray. Or you can be a patriotic red, white, and blue.  Attractive.

So it was foolish of me to even try them on. But they beckoned as I traveled down every aisle.  I’ve been crushing on red shoes ever since I watched The Wizard of Oz movie the weekend I unknowingly had the chicken pox. (Long story.)

I reasoned that, once I slipped them on, they would look awful and I would be able to abandon them with a clear conscience. But that turned out to not be the case.  I could tell that heads were turning admiringly as I strutted toward the long mirror in my tank top, khaki shorts, and three inch red pumps.  I was certain that those shoes could transform me into the sexiest forty-two year old at next weekend’s soccer game.  Or a hooker.

But I could only think of one outfit that I owned that might even be a possible match for these lovely shoes.  And it was not the one I had on.  (Come on, people, I’m not a complete dufus in the fashion department.) I tried desperately to think of others. But nothing came to mind.  I’m pretty sure I couldn’t pull off the high heels with bobby socks look that Dorothy rocked.  And I am not at the point in my life where I can spend eighty dollars on a pair of shoes that can’t multitask.*

So I tearfully packed the shoes back up and forced myself back down the more utilitarian aisles of beige, black and brown shoes.  But I left with nothing.  It was too depressing.

*Some of you might feel obliged to recommend the ultimate multitasking shoes – Crocs.  Yes, I am aware that you can buy them in every color of the rainbow and that they are oh, so practical for any occasion.  At the risk of starting a blogging controversy, I would like to ask you to please refrain from suggesting Crocs.  I do fine on my own looking like a clown, and do not need any other fashion accessories to exaggerate this image.

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