Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Getting Old Is A State of Mind (and feet)

And the state of my mind is questionable.

There are things they don’t tell you about getting old, things that are painful, sometimes traumatic, things that we can’t possibly prepare for, and frankly, it sucks.

I can deal with certain aging issues. As an example, I’m becoming used to being rotund. Technically, this is not an aging issue, but it’s as good an excuse as any.

My memory hasn’t started going yet, though I have taken to writing copious notes just in case, which often read like this: After waking up, go to bathroom. Eat now and then. Remember to breathe. Just the basics, y’know?

Wrinkles I can live with because I don’t have any. Then again, my eyesight is so bad maybe I just can’t see them.

My looks haven’t gone yet because, well, there wasn’t that much to start with. At least now I have an excuse for not being hot – I’m not supposed to be at this age, am I?

But there’s one thing that really got me: my feet.

Why didn’t anyone tell me they’d grow? It’s not as if they weren’t big enough to start with, but a person of my height needs big feet. It’s what keeps me standing upright, on those occasions when I’m upright. Small feet would just not do the job very well, and I’d spend my days falling over. So here I am with my big feet, and suddenly . . . they’re bigger. Suddenly the size I’ve been wearing for years doesn’t fit anymore, and this is unfortunate since all my shoes are in that size.

So what do I do? Do I go out and buy new shoes? Of course not. This is called denial. I am certain that if I just continue stuffing my feet into the same shoes they’ve been accustomed to wearing, the shoes will stretch out. Or the feet will shrink, much as my oversize belly is shrinking just because I want it to.

I live in world of fantasy. I like it here very much, and I’m able to ignore the signs of impending middle age. All is good in my world. Except my feet hurt like hell.

I’ve never been a good shopper. I do it out of necessity. I like new things just fine, it’s just the obtaining of them that’s the problem. So there’s that – I’m not in any rush to run out and try on shoes.

Last year charming husband brought me several pairs of flats in various colors from our local . . . well, large store. He is so good to me. He knew I needed shoes, so he bought me some. I like to find something I like then buy it over and over again in different colors. It’s because I’m lazy. However, those fabulous shoes are now too small.
And my feet hurt.

I kept saying, “One of these days, I’m going to get some new shoes.” Then I’d put on the old ones and walk around in pain.

There are people roaming this earth who think I’m quite bright. Shows you how much they know. How hard is it to buy some shoes? Well, hard if you don’t have funds for shoes. That used to be me, back in the Stew years. I had no money for shoes, or clothes, or utilities, so I walked around barefoot covered in a blanket. That’s not technically true, but it makes for a better story. I’m still learning, all these years later, that sometimes it’s okay to spend money on me.

I’m not even fond of shoes all that much. Sometimes they’re fun, especially if the weather’s bad, but my feet really like to walk around naked. They only deign to wear socks when they become unnaturally cold, and they refuse to sleep with socks on. They like fresh air. But I can’t very well go out in public shoeless, can I? Besides, my feet, while being independent minded (if feet can be said to have minds) are still wimpy and likely to become upset should I so much as come close to a pebble, which are plentiful out in the world.

So  I’ve been avoiding going out just because my shoes would hurt. This is not a healthy way to live. How many times can I cancel appointments with the excuse that I’m “under the weather” when the truth is my shoes are just too small? There comes a time when people start becoming suspicious and wondering if I’m going to die soon, or if I’m just chronically ill forever. Then they start sending get well cards, and I have to come up with a good story . . . you can see how messy this can get.

My feet aren’t getting any smaller, and something had to give.

Today I made my way to a store, and I bought shoes. Two pairs actually. I tried them on and everything. I was so proud of myself, and they were on sale. Somehow, buying things on sale makes it seem much less decadent.

Then I happened upon another shoe store and I went in to check it out. And I bought three more pairs of shoes, two of which were on sale. It wasn’t an easy task. My feet were complaining loudly the entire time, but they were so happy to get the crappy too-small purple flats off for any reason at all that trying on new shoes made them a big more agreeable.

I have FIVE new pairs of shoes. FIVE. I couldn’t find anything in my super large size in any interesting colors so they’re all black and brown, which is sad since my feet like purple and taupe and red, but since I may be getting the hang of this shoe shopping thing, there’s still hope.  Anyway, it’s a start.

I’m still aging, but at least I have the proper shoes for it.

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