Friends who know me might be surprised to discover that I’m a Double D. Not bra size, but shoe size. Well, not quite DD, but close. I have cubes for feet. They’re short and chubby.
My feet don’t slip into cute, strappy summer sandals. If I wear a shoe with straps, my foot resembles a tea bag when you wrap the string around the bag to squeeze extra water out of it. When I shop, 90 percent of the shoes out there don’t fit my feet.
I am a woman. And I hate shoe shopping. Go figure.
I dislike shoe shopping for myself, but I hate shoe shopping with my daughter Megan on a Richter magnitude scale, 10 times greater than my own personal dislike. This is because Megan inherited my fat feet, and she remembers this genetic curse every time we go shoe shopping for her.
Last night was no exception. Megan’s high school is having an induction ceremony for their new National Honor Society members tonight. They sent a note home telling the students to please wear dress clothes, and girls specifically needed to wear heels.
Megan doesn’t own a pair of heels since her feet are wide, and she fares better in flat shoes, tennis shoes and flip-flops. Flip flops make fat feet happy feet! But off to the store we went to find a pair of heels.
Nordstrom is known for their variety of shoes for every width and style and length. Twenty minutes into the exercise, the Nordstrom shoe man disappeared on us. He went back into the hallowed shoe area and never came back. He might have dived into a rabbit hole. Or he might still be curled up in a corner of the shoe room somewhere in despair…there was not a shoe among Nordstrom’s extensive racks to fit Megan’s feet.
Megan stepped over the 18 boxes of try-ons and followed me to Macy’s shoe department. Talk about Hurricane Sandy. Storm clouds were threatening on her face. Water was starting to spill from her eyes. Her brother Ryan came up to whisper to me that Megan was mad, in case I hadn’t noticed.
I found the shoe manager at Macy’s and begged him to assist us. I told him about our plight to find heels for wide feet, and he set off with an assistant to help him scour the shelves. They came back with several stacks of boxes and then disappeared to find more. Megan glared accusingly at my feet while shoving her own into shoe after shoe much like I imagine Cinderella’s step sisters fought to force the glass slipper onto their feet.
We went up a size so the width would work, then the length was too long. One 6-inch heel shoe almost fit, although Megan referred to them as “stripper heels” which soured me on the shoes.
“Are you absolutely sure you have to wear heels?” I asked her. “Can’t you wear ballet flats with a dress.”
No, Megan told me, the note specifically stated that girls needed to wear heels.
It’s an odd thing because her school’s dress code emphasizes modesty and styles that don’t draw attention. No cleavage showing. No sheer fabrics of any kind on any part of a top or blouse. Knee-length skirts, no high slits. I support all of that, but it’s odd to me that heels are requested/required for honor society attire.
Heels are bad for our feet, bad for our posture. Women wear them to make our legs look longer, maybe leaner. It’s all wrapped up in sex appeal to some degree, the way that sheer fabrics or low-cut tops or high slits communicate sexiness, I guess. So it’s weird to me that the very things Megan’s school doesn’t tolerate in their overall dress code is the thing they’re requesting for female students to wear to their honor society induction.
On a different, uh, footnote, it was equally odd for me to read her school’s policy on student pregnancies. If a student becomes pregnant, she is immediately suspended from attending school. The irony is that her school holds a staunchly pro-life stance; so if a female student quietly, secretively terminated an unwanted pregnancy, the student could remain in school. If a student saw the pregnancy through to term she’d be immediately expelled from school.
We are an odd society that way. We are inconsistent with what we say we want and believe versus what we do.
We complain about our lack of time and then log hours on the internet, Facebooking and pinning photos to Pinterest. We sigh over the shortage of substantive news reporting and then skip over world politics to keep up with Kim Kardashian. We want medical research to help us live longer while we ignore basic disciplines of eating less and exercising more.
By the end of the evening, Megan and I finally found and purchased a pair of black heels. Tonight, she’ll be wearing an appropriately non-sheer blouse and modest skirt that doesn’t show off too much of her high-heeled legs to join the Honor Society.
What, you expect humans to make sense? We are a writhing mass of hypocrisy and contradiction. That’s what makes life so entertaining! Oh, and for the record, I am a 13 E and I don’t enjoy shoe shopping either.