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Alas, Poor Sandals, I Knew Thee Well

Artist TaraFly rests her feet on car dashboard

Coming home from the park... as a passenger, of course.

 

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”
— Gibran Khalil Gibran

There are two things that put me in a different corner from most of the women I know. I loathe chatting on the phone and shopping for shoes. 

Summertime gives me an excuse to exercise my rights… to walk around town barefoot. 

I can’t put my finger on it, or my foot in it, but something about the endless aisles of white, gold, red, navy, silver, and cotton contraptions waiting to be slipped onto bare (or stocking) feet and “tested” by walking a few steps, ranks right up there with Dentist Appointments and Filing Taxes. 

One of the few times I can recall being punished as a child, was a temper tantrum I threw inside a shoe store, when I refused to try on yet another pair of shiny Mary-Janes. My grandfather publically spanked my butt… and yes, twenty-five years ago that was a perfectly acceptable thing to do. 

I have a pair of brown sandals that I’ve owned for six years, and absolutely love, except that my rough feet have worn them completely through – leaving a gaping hole in the bottom of each sole. I’ve been postponing the dreaded replacement shopping trip, but I fear that this summer it cannot be avoided any longer. 

I just want a pair of sandals, without a strap between the toes (ala flip-flops), because those are annoying. They could be denim or brown… I shy away from anything white, and I already own 5 pairs of black shoes that I’ve collected over the last decade. Thank God that our feet don’t fluctuate up and down a few sizes like clothing can! lol 

But there are simply too many choices in most shoe stores. Do I need a wide width? Something that slips on, or comes with straps? Extra padding? Those gel insoles that felt cushy during the practice test, suddenly aren’t so cushy when you wear them at home. 

Of course, I go barefoot at home (both indoors and outside)… as do my kids. Yes, I’m one of those negligent parents who allow their children to run in the backyard without protective footwear. Kids have tough feet.
When I was younger, I ran down gravel roads barefoot. Once I stepped on a thumb-tack, while rummaging through my supply closet, and didn’t even notice… until I crossed the kitchen floor and heard a “click, click, click” sound coming from my left heel. :P 

I do reluctantly force my beasts to wear shoes elsewhere, even at the grassy park, because they aren’t old enough to take responsibility for their barefooted injuries. 

When society dictates mandatory foot gear, I reach for my favorite sandals.
I have such fond memories of these old friends. I wore them throughout the wintertime (with socks!) and I’ve worn them in the rain. They’ve stepped in snowdrifts and puddles. I’ve even waded in streams while wearing them. 

Former co-workers once took pity upon me, and offered to donate to a “shoe fund”, and one gifted me her old snow boots. They apparently believed that my decision to wear sandals was due to poverty. Um…. last time I checked, I could buy a pair of sneakers for less than $20 at a discount store. I think I can manage that much, but I did feel a slight appreciation for their concern. At least they cared enough about me, right?
I was just stubbornly clinging onto the perfect pair of footwear, because they were broken in just right and felt completely weightless. Almost like being barefoot. 

Perhaps it is merely the feeling of be constricted.. I like my clothing in general to be as light and flowing as possible, although occasionally I’ll cave and try to suck myself into tight jeans. Only for appearance’s sake. If I could get away with working naked at home, I would. But PJs are the next best thing. :)
I swear, one day I will be the Crazy Cat Lady living in a mountain cabin, completely nude and utterly nuts. 

I hate sock seams, shoe tongues, and shirt tags, because they are constant irritating reminders that I am wearing something. I cut the tags, turn socks wrong-side-out, and avoid shoes with tongues (and toe bits). 

I only own a couple of pairs of socks, ever since weeding out the holey and mismatched ones… I wear socks less often than I wear shoes… 

I also dislike heavy coats, especially the hooded ones… and yes, my preference to wear light jackets in December led to a volunteer coat-giving event (aimed at me).
But that is a whole blog unto itself. :P

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