Tuesday, October 13, 2020

8 days...

With 8 days to go before I turn 40, I thought maybe I'd share something frivolous for a change (ha). It was in my mid-30s that I finally learned to wear flat shoes.

Until 2016, I only ever wore heels except for when running. I had (ok, still have) loads of shoes, and exactly zero of them were flats. Even my flip-flops were wedges! I hated flat shoes, how they felt, how they looked, everything about them.

In 2013 I traipsed around Europe for three weeks beginning on my birthday. I took two pairs of shoes -- one black and one brown. Both had square chunky heels, about 2.5 inches. I walked through cities, I hiked up the hill through the forest to Wartburg Castle, I walked along the Philosophenweg in Heidelberg, I climbed church towers, visited castles, got on and off trains....all in heels. I had a fabulous time.

In 2016 I was planning a trip to London with my dad, and then a trip to Scotland afterwards, including running the Edinburgh half marathon. I decided that 2 weeks in London (including a day trip to Stonehenge), with my dad who was about 8 inches taller than me with very long legs, necessitated flat shoes for a change, and I began a quest. I went to shoe stores, I ordered online, I sent things back, on and on...for months I wore different shoes around the church every day trying to figure out what would be best for a lot of walking and standing and general tourist-ing. I finally settled on a pair of shoes that I love love loved, and which I wore practically nonstop for well over a year. Of course as soon as I wanted to replace them, they were discontinued and I have had no luck finding something as amazing, but now I find that flat shoes are my preference, which I never would have expected ten years ago, or even five!

I still wear heels for most Sundays and for occasions, and I love them. But my collection of everyday shoes (still lined up beside the door, as they always have been!) is now entirely flats! It's a fascinating change from my previous fashion sense. Who knows, maybe one day I'll find heels that can carry me on my constant walking (since I don't drive), or maybe I'll just keep expanding the selection until I find the next favourite like those ones I found ind 2016. 

Of course, in 2020 the reality is that since I hardly ever leave the house, I basically don't wear shoes anymore. But one day, shoes will be a thing again!

Therefore, who doesn't love a poem about shoes? this is the middle of the poem:

The point is, shoes are important and they are a vehicle for all sorts of messages 
about life and death and love and morality and symbolism
so tell me what it means when the shoe fits
or doesn’t
tell me what it means when parts have to be cut off 
and blood drips from a shoe — 
tattle-tale of the wrong one, the wrong girl,
more fraud than trickster we can’t always mix our metaphors on this;
tell me what it means to be sensible and worthy
to have shoes that bring you back home with three clicks — 
an American fairy tale,I know, I know, tell me what it means 
to follow the path through the woods, 
leaving a trail or covering tracks, 
tell me what it means 
to walk down the stairs and 
keep the shoes on this time
or to go barefoot — 
done with it all, uncivilized perhaps, or post-civilized by now; 
we have seen what footwear can do 

I still love and miss these shoes. If you or anyone know know works for Merrell, please bring them back ASAP.

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