Spanish Dancer Shoes

I might have a shoe problem.


It’s a problem especially now that I live alone and there is no one to stop me from my madness. 

As I write this, the one side of my king-sized bed is covered in new boxes.  The government called it an economic stimulus.  I called it New Shoes! 

I went overboard.

I have written many times about why I have a shoe addiction – those ugly black and white saddle shoes  — corrective shoes prescribed by a podiatrist.   I hated them.  A visceral strong pulse of hate.  Loathed them.  Stretch that word out –lLooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaathhhhhhhhhhhhhhed.

But I’ve never talked about my favorite shoes.


I’ve had many shoes that I’ve loved — worn to tatters.  Which ones are my favorite?  All of them..  It depends on the day, the outfit, my mood.  The depth of my nostalgia or temporality.

My first favorite shoes though were of course the Mary Janes that I wore that Easter Sunday in lieu of my daily hated corrective shoes.  But the second were my Spanish Dancer shoes.  I was 8 maybe 9.  The corrective shoes were a thing of the past.  These were black stylish lace-up oxfords with an oval toe and a heel. 

An actual heel.  My little girl heart fair swooned.  An inch.  maybe an inch and a half.  Enough that my large feet appeared daintier.  My arch an actual rainbow arc.  With my white ankle socks to define the  rim of them, they reminded me of the shoes that a flamenco dancer might wear as she stomped her way through passion and love.  That heel hitting the ground with a fevered tempo. 

I would dance my way down the hallway of our house – my bedroom the last door on the left.  My heels striking the floor – muffled on the carpet — but roaring in my mind.  I twirled.  I flamed. 

Those heels….

My Spanish Dancer shoes. 

I did not love a pair of footwear like I did those until the boots we bought on the mainland after moving back from Hawaii.  Boots.  I’d never had boots.  Nancy Sinatra’s song was only a few years old.  They had a dainty chain around the ankle.  And another heel.  Black leather or leatherette more likely. 

We moved in January and were freezing.  We bought them for me on the road in Albuquerque, I think.  Maybe Kansas City.  It was a bad winter.  A cold winter.  My mother shopped to keep us warm.  The winter clothes we’d bought in Hawaii proving ineffectual.

I loved those boots.  I became a pop singer every time I put them on.

After that, when I began exerting my will in the shoe procurement process, I made sure that I loved my shoes.  That they fired my imagination….

In the 80s I wore White Mountain clogs.  So comfortable.  Clogs change your stride.  You literally walk different in them.  Similar in process to swearing stilettos — when one wears stilettos or clogs, one learns that pivoting is great fun. You can become a runway model – 3-point pivot and turn, sashay and exit.

I love shoes.  I always have a favorite pair.

Except for now.  The last several years have not been kind to my feet.  Surgeries, breaks, orthopedic and surgical boots and now a worldwide pandemic that has kept me housebound but provided me with stimulus money to buy new shoes.  The very last thing I needed.  Honestly.  I need a roof, I need a plumber, I need a new fence.  I do not need shoes unless you call that spark of joy a favorite pair of shoes can provoke a necessity – the mood a pair of shoes creates.  Dancing down the hallway.  Striding through the first snow you’ve ever seen.  Only a few inches, but snow!  Pivoting….and who can forget the first pair of stilettos….


Stilettos.  The queen bee of shoes.

I was in college.  They had an impossibly high heel and I was already 6 feet tall.  Not true stilettos — they had a strap, but oh were they something.  I wore those shoes out.  Then there were the lace up granny ankle boots with the hooks and eyes.  Good grief!  I forgot the lace-up purple suede granny boots of junior high.  Now those were a spectacle.  Many of my shoes are.

Shoes make me happy.  I suppose in the greater scheme of things that makes me shallow, but I’ll take happiness where I can get it.  It’s an ugly world at times and if shoes bring a smile to my face, well, then, that makes it not a problem.  So, no, I don’t have a shoe problem.  I have a closet problem.

I love shoes.

COVID-19: Day 29: No Easter Outfit

Some time ago, I wrote the infamous Why I Blame My Mother For My Shoe Fixation post. 

Having an Easter outfit with new shoes was pretty routine.  I’ve carried it into my later years even though I don’t attend church.

There will be no Easter outfit or Easter shoes this year.  Or an Easter dinner though I am playing around with the idea of making scalloped potatoes on Sunday.

I did order my mom an Easter basket which they kindly delivered yesterday.  She was tickled, but still and all it just doesn’t feel like Easter.

I’m growing weary of this quarantine, but I am still suffering it happily.  The alternative is death and destruction and in this time of Easter, we are to focus on life.  So maybe I’ll plan the Out of Quarantine Outfit and new shoes

COVID-19: Day 8 When this is over. . .

COVID-19 is a kind of war, I suppose.  All I know is that I woke with this song stuck in my head.  I’ve been singing it all day.  Alexa, bless her robotic little heart, plays it for me anytime I ask.

In the spirit of hope, I purchased shoes today to wear when this war is over.  They’ve been in my Amazon cart for months and I HAD successfully resisted in buying them, but today was different.  I’ve been avoiding thinking too far into the future for fear of what my brain will conjure.  Yes, my anxiety — worry about the future — is in hyperdrive.   I’m not usually anxious.  This is new behavior for me.

I’m driving myself slowly crazy.  So in the interest of mental health, I let my brain fast forward to the time when this all over.  My life’s motto has long been “this too shall pass.” Hence the new shoes.  I decided that I will need new shoes when I foray into a crowded public again.

An Aside:  When I was a child, I was told (by a book?  a teacher?  my own imagination?  I don’t know) that, surprisingly, shoes are one of the first things people notice about a person.  I took that way too much to heart.

We should be well into sandal season by the time I get to wear them.  In the meantime, it appears I shall have time to do a great many things around the house that I haven’t had time or motivation (or time and motivation at the same time) to tackle.  When this war is over, I envision having a clean, well-organized home.  I’m also going to lose weight, write my first novel, and teach my dogs some manners.

My hopes may be a bit overblown, but this I know:  this too shall pass.

Happy Saturday, y’all.  What are you doing to take care of you?

This little piggie. . .

img_4698This has been a long time coming.  For the better part of three years, I’ve been battling a Plantars Wart that was successfully treated but then morphed into hyperplasia and the callus from hell.  No amount of intervention short of surgery by the Cutie Pie Foot Doc, aka Kevin Brown, DPM, helped. 

The real tragedy of this situation is that I have not been able to wear cute shoes for many of the days during those three years.  Or if I did wear cute shoes, I was only able to wear them for an hour or two before I had to take them off.  I have found myself barefoot in some strange situations:  my son’s wedding in Spain, waiting on an Uber after the Andrea Boccelli concert in the Columbus snow, and routinely at the office.  I have walked barefoot down city streets, through the Dollar General and all sorts of other places in the course of my daily living.  West Virginia girl or no, this got to be silly.

BrownThe Cutie Pie Doc did, about every three months, effect a debridement of the 4th toe of my left foot which is a fancy way of saying he dug out the callus while I gasped in pain.  For a few weeks afterward, I would be fine — wearing cute shoes, walking, dancing, and, generally, carrying on as I am wont to do, but then the callus would develop, constrict my toe, and cause pain significant enough to affect my walking ability.  When my mom and I went to see the Vietnam Memorial in D.C., I spent a lot of time sitting on a park bench and Uber-ing rather than walking and sightseeing.  It was about that time that I said, “Enough.”

I went to see the Cutie Pie Doc again where I repeated my “Enough” and he too said, “Enough.”  We agreed on surgical intervention.

So, yesterday at noon I made my way to the surgery center and had my 4th piggie, the one that had none, shortened, tendons moved, arthritis dug out, and a temporary pin inserted.  All of that took, according to Cutie Pie, ten minutes.  Now neverimg_4697mind, that I went hours and hours and yet even more hours without morning coffee, it was worth it.  Granted, I am on pain pills, but even with a heavily bandaged foot and a pin, mind you, a pin, I am experiencing less pain.  Plus I get to stay home from work for a few days.

The downside is the sexy surgical sandal I must wear for two weeks.  Oh.  And the pin sticking out of the top of my foot.  If you look at the photo of my foot at the beginning of this post closely enough you can see the pin.

But I can do this.  Yes, I can.  I can.  Like I said, already there is less pain.  And I get to wallow on my beloved sofa and eat junk food wee, wee, wee all the way home for a few days free of work responsibilities and housecleaning responsibilities.  It’s a mini-vacation!