Shoe Memories

penny loafer
Monday, August 17, 2015
Today I am grateful for shoe memories. I am far from a shoe fanatic. I just want them to fit and be comfortable enough so that I don’t get cranky because they pinch. And be flat. No heels. Not even a little. Don’t like them now, never did. Love to look at them. LOVE the way they look on other people. But then I picture myself in double ankle, double wrist casts, trying to maneuver with crutches and I know they are not for me. I need suction cups on my feet, not heels.

When I was a teen it was all about penny loafers. I loved them. I thought they were the coolest thing ever. I loved the shiny penny tucked discretely into the band. It was like a piggy bank for toes. They came in wonderful shades of horsey brown. I was madly in love with penny loafers. But I never owned a pair.

Each year, my mom and I would shop for back-to-school clothes and I’d whine about how I wanted penny loafers. We’d sit in the shoe store next to the big x-ray machine that took toxic pictures of your feet and the shoe person (yes, there was a shoe person) would bring out the measuring thingy, make me stand and fiddle with it to get my exact size.

Then he/she would haul out box after box of penny loafers for me to try on. I’d jam my foot in and it wouldn’t go past the band that holds the penny. My instep was too high. My foot was too wide at the ball. But my determination was strong, so I’d squish and push and whine until I was accused of portraying a wicked step-sister trying to get into the glass slipper.

Once I got my foot all the way in. . .sort of. . . and stood. . .almost. “These are good, mom,” I said, trying to convince her as I wobbled around the store like I was on stilts, ignoring her shaking head and raised eyebrows. “Really! I think I could wear these.” I was persistent. She’d launch into her. . . “I’m not paying good money for shoes that you will never be able to wear for more than two minutes at a time! What are you going to do when they start hurting you. . .as soon as you get off the bus. . .go barefoot? NO!” The poor clerk would gather the remains, haul them away and bring out “others”.

I got different loafers. . .ones without that band for the penny over the instep. They were that same horsey/chestnut color, but that’s about all. I walked into school (walking being the important part of this statement because I could actually move in them) traumatized because my mutant feet had betrayed me. . .again. I tried to convince everyone else that their penny loafers were lame. But they knew better. . .and so did I.

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