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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…

Mixed Messages from My Wardrobe

The oldest piece of clothing that I own, and still wear occasionally, is a pair of shorts that I don whenever I am painting. Every once in awhile, I throw them on even if I’m not painting, because I might be a bit behind in laundry.  Yesterday was one of those days.  For some reason, I got the lame-brain idea that it might be fun to take the Dog Who Poops as he Walks out for a spin around the block, and those shorts were the only pair that were not in the hamper.  In retrospect, I’m not sure why I cared if I was wearing clean shorts or not, considering the fact that I spent 3/4 of the walk carrying a hefty bag of stinky dog poop.

Those shorts are a size 10.  I hadn’t worn them in a few months, and I was a more than a little discombobulated by the fact that they suddenly seemed to be tight around the waist.  I will be the first to admit that I’ve gained some weight.  But not enough to pop a button in size 10 shorts.  There was no denying, though, that I felt like there was a boa constrictor wrapped around my stomach when I was finally able to fasten them.  According to Painter Shorts, I need to be doing a lot more strolls with the Dog Who Poops as He Walks before I turn into the Girl Who Rolls Down the Street.

My size 2 skirt, purchased 2 days ago, begs to differ.  According to that hot little number, I have nothing to be concerned about.  I should be strutting my stuff more often just to give other people the opportunity to feast their eyes on my lean, slender physique.  The Dog Who Poops as He Walks should be grateful that he is accompanied by the Girl Who Struts Beside Him with Plastic Grocery Bags.

This is what we’ve come to, my friends, a 43-year old body that, ON THE SAME DAY, fits into 2 sizes that should be as far away from each other as Obama and Romney.  No wonder we all have distorted self-images.

Painter Shorts tells me, “This is what happens when you get too big for your britches.  Now, let’s do something before you burst.”

Hot Number Skirt flatters me, makes me feel like a cover model, and pooh-poohs the idea that I might need to cut back a little on the carbs.  It also tells me to ignore the fact that there are Size 00 and Size 000 skirts on the racks that raise their eyebrows in alarm if I even dare to take a peek at their tags.

I’m pretty sure I’m not fat.  And I’m very sure I’m not thin.  I suspect, despite the size 2’s in my closet, that I am somewhere in between.

What would happen, do you think, if we stopped putting sizes on clothing – just stuck them on the rack from smallest to biggest, and shopped for the size that looked like it would fit (instead of the size we hoped or thought would fit)?  Should we start a Size Revolution now, or just wait until the first day we spot a size -1 on the rack?

I’m Number One!

Sometimes, the toilet paper can be over and under at the same time. I'm just sayin'." photo credit: joanna8555 via photopin cc

So, J-Wo tagged me in one of those answer-these-ridiculous-questions posts, and I am slightly miffed.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love the attention.  And I love, love, that he gave me a pass on following the rules for this particular game of Tag.  And I love, love, love even more that my name was #1 on his list of Tag-alongs.  But there is one thing missing from this whole scene.  An award to add to my Award Shelf!  What’s the deal?  Now we’re giving each other assignments that have no accompanying awards?!!!  I doth protest!

However, I love J-Wo (so much that I’ve linked to him twice in this post!).  And I think he’s responsible for any Stumble Upon spike in hits I have ever received.  And, he made me #1.  So, just this once, I am going to participate with no reward.  This shall be my Random Act of Kindness for the Year.  But, of course, I am putting my own spin on things.

There are 10 questions.  I’m only answering 5.  And, because I don’t want you just skimming through my post and yawning, this is going to be a little interactive.  I’m not going to tell you which answers go with which questions.  You get to pick.  (See how I made that sound like a privilege?  That’s the teacher in me.  Works with my 7 year olds.  The 11 year olds – not so much.  You can pick the age group with which you most identify.  See, I did it again. )

I Think I Need a Bigger Closet

I wore a hat the other day.  It was cute.  Since I don’t post pictures of myself on this blog, I thought I could use the Google matching images tool to find the closest match.  Here is what I came  up with:

O.K.  Not really.

I mean, the hat was similar, but I totally don’t look like Sarah Jessica Parker.

Let’s just say that Google brought up a bunch of people with blond hair (mine is brown) who looked nothing like me, including Gwyneth Paltrow (on a side note – I just tried to type Gwyneth with two “n’s” and my Mac underlined it.  It was happy when I deleted one “n”.  Is my computer a closet fan of Gwyneth Paltrow?) and Jennifer Aniston.  And my friends who read this blog will totally back me up, much to my dismay, that I look like neither of these people.  Although I did have the “Rachel” haircut about 15 years ago.

But the failings of Google’s Image Search Tool are not what I am here to discuss today.

Back to my hat.  It was a bit of what is called a Fashion Risk.  Most people in my torso of the woods do not wear hats.  For one thing, it is usually not cold enough.  And for another, it’s usually too hot.

I love hats, though.  So, I daringly bought a couple last winter because they looked really good on the salespeople wearing them at Anthropologie.  I have a tendency to forget that I do not work there and, more importantly, that I am at least twenty years older than the people who do work there.  This can lead, and often does, to the Fashion Faux Pas.

However, I have learned, as SJP obviously knows, that without pain there is no glory.  When I dress “safe”,  I don’t stand out.  And when I don’t stand out, I don’t get complimented.  I also don’t get humiliated.  But I’ve been working on ignoring that part of the deal.

So, every once in awhile, because I am Addicted to Affirmations, I venture a Fashion Risk and keep my fingers crossed that it’s not a Fashion Faux Pas.  And I am successful often enough that I keep on doing it.

So, what do you think?  SJP’s hat?  Should I go for it?

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