Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Bane of My Existence

What may that be you ask? My sink full of dishes? My dirty bathroom? My never ending piles of laundry?

Oh no, it's much worse than that. Those things can easily be fixed by most anyone.

The bane of my existence? Shoes.

Do I dare even admit that I still own a pair of shoes from 9th grade? Yikes! But the reason I still own these shoes? They fit! It's a miracle of magnitude that is only repeated once every 5 years, give or take 3 years.

Why is this such a miracle you may ask. Well, it's like this.

I wore my mother's shoes when I was in the 2nd grade. And my mother is pretty average. I wore men's size 6 shoes when I was in the 5th grade. By the 8th grade I was wearing men's size 10. Thankfully my feet stopped growing in length at that point (and have actually regressed some), but then they decided to grow sideways. In any high end shoe store I now wear a size 10 or 10 1/2 (womens) wide. Do you know how many department stores carry this size? One. The Nordstrom Rack. Do I live anywhere near a Nordstrom Rack? NO!

Unfortunately this means that most of the time I am resigned to either paying $100+ for a basic pair of shoes or shopping at Payless repeatedly until they have a style that fits me and is comfortable. Thank heavens for Payless!

Now, I'm not going to tell you what pair of shoes I still own from 9th grade. I'll let you guess. Since I live in the northwest I bet you have a pretty good idea already!

But I will tell you some other shoes I've found along the way that have managed to fit me decently.

First, I have only worn Asics men's size 9 running shoes since high school. These are the standard that every other tennis shoe must be measured against. And here again they can only be the Gel of a certain variety. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find that comfortable variety lately so I'm wearing shoes I had before I got married. And that was in 2005!

My summer standard is a pair of platform flip flops with a black strap and bright flowers on it that I bought at JC Penneys in 2003. If these shoes ever die on me I will be heart broken!
They were really comfy when I was pregnant and my feet were all swollen, too.

Finally, there are the black leather dancing shoes I found online for $25 (!). I had to order 2 pair because I had no way of knowing exactly which size would fit right. Does anyone else have this problem? You wear 1 or even 2 sizes different depending on the brand? Or sometimes even just depending on the shoe style by that same brand? It's almost like clothes shopping - oh wait, I'm getting off topic here...
Anyway, I ordered these shoes so that I could go country dancing while I was in grad school. They're 2 inch heals with a Mary Jane style ankle strap. I adore these shoes and wish I lived close enough to a big city that I could go dancing more than once every 2 years!

Most days I'm not dancing when I look in my shoe closet. I see worn out shoes from college that I wish I could replace. But just thinking about going to the shoe store is depressing. And don't even get me started on those little ballet flats. Yes, they are adorable, yes, I wish I could wear them. But guess what! I have this lovely 2 inch scar on my left big toe knuckle from a bunionectomy in the 8th grade which makes those shoes really really uncomfortable.

So I wear my old standards and pray that someday someone will take pity on me and design a shoe for my foot that isn't a stiletto heel or in some funky "in" color that will be "out" by fall!

This post is entered in May's Write-Away contest at Scribbit.


  1. have you tried marvelous simply marvelous, dansko puts out a great product (but yes they are expensive-though concidering you will keep them more than ten breaks down to be quite cheep!

  2. Anonymous7:15 PM

    I loved your post today. Not only do I have the exact same problem, but then my feet changed sizes and shapes each time I was pregnant, so now not even my previously comfy shoes fit anymore. I totally sympathize with you.

  3. Anonymous7:22 PM

    That stinks. We have a Nordstrom Rack right down the street. I will keep my eyes open for the perfect 10 1/2 Wide

  4. I would love stilettos but being so tall I feel freakish towering at 6'4" in them!

  5. Anonymous8:34 PM

    I am so curious to know what your shoes from the ninth grade are. I still have a pair from the seventh grade. I'll tell you what mine are if you tell me what yours are :)

  6. I'm sorry!! I wish for you fabulous shoes for $15 in your future!!

    I totally love LOVE flip flops. I have way too many pair. It drives my family crazy. I wear them in the winter in the snow. My flip flop heart is soaring right now because it's finally Spring around here!!

  7. Hahaha. You are from the Northwest, and you have shoes from 9th grade? Yeah... I'm pretty sure I can guess EXACTLY what kind of shoes they are. That's awesome. Hilarious post, by the way. I'm a shoe-freak, and I happen to be the most average size for shoes ever. If I were a size that I couldn't readily find shoes in, I'd DIE! Seriously. I think it would kill me. Hahaha.

  8. I love it. And I totally have shoe issues. BIG shoe issues (and not just because I wear a size ELEVEN!)

  9. Oh man, I had no idea it could be so hard to find shoes to fit.

    I suggest aerosoles. Oh yes, the itnernet can help you find the perfect shoe.

    Good luck.

  10. I still have a pair of black, doc-marten boots - also from 8th grade. I have tossed everything else from that era, but I love those docs. Do I wear them often? No. But I just can't seem to give them up.

  11. Anonymous8:58 PM

    I have a lot of really old shoes. Most of them are boots and dress shoes though. Living in Alabama now and not having a job means I don't really get much use out of them.

    This summer, for some reason, I've been buying shoes. Well, sandals. Maybe it is because my feet are the only part of my body which are anywhere near the size they should be.....

  12. My problem isn't size -- it's these darn orthotics that I have to wear in them all the time. But no one is perfect, and I feel fine in walking shoes, so I won't complain. Much.

  13. Anonymous3:28 AM

    Made me laugh.... it's funny. Nice story of shoes.


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