Well, my friends….today is it! I can hardly believe that I have reached this precipice, but I have. It seems to have come far too soon. Afterall, it feels like it was not all that long ago when I was criticizing others for what I am about to confess. Not in a mean way, of course, as it was simply my perspective as a twenty something year-old. Nonetheless, I am now on the flip side of the coin. I am the one that my former, much younger self would have made mention of in passing.
Yes, today is the day in which I have reluctantly, but officially crossed over into a new phase of having reached middle age. It’s been a work in progress for quite some time. I have seen and felt it coming. I knew that it would just be a short matter of time when I would have to break down and make a different choice, and now, I can no longer escape it. My feet just won’t let me continue on in my old ways (a bit of irony in that statement.) Try as I might, and trust me, I have tried relentlessly to change the inevitable outcome, there’s just no denying it. I CANNOT wear Stylish shoes any longer. I just can’t do it, unlike the Nike ad. My bunions simply won’t let me, and being on my feet up to twelve hours a day is/has taken its toll. I have a rack of shoes (enter exhibit A below) that I longingly gaze at each morning, but they haven’t moved in months–maybe even years?!? They ARE cute, but they are NOT practical! Every once in a while, I put a pair on and then…I take them off after a few steps, if any. Back on the rack they go.
I would say that I began making the transition to ‘Baba’ shoes (affectionately termed so, as I had a Baba–Ukrainian word for grandma–whom I loved dearly) when I hobbled to one of the local department stores one day after work a couple of years ago. It was the end of the day and I could barely move from Point A to Point B. It was sheerly ridiculous!! I knew I needed a shoe intervention, and so once I finally made it through the revolving doors, I immediately skipped past the hip shoe brands, which used to lure my pocketbook time and time again, and headed straight to the comfort section. I plunked myself down on the gaudy vinyl seat, waited patiently for the sole, young girl working that day to finish with her ‘older’ customer and then pathetically proceeded to plead my case for help. I recounted my days’ hurts (which I am sure she didn’t really care to hear as she was a version of my former twenty something year-old self) and told her that we HAD to find me some better shoes because my present pair was destined to hit the infamous black garbage bag. No ‘ifs, ands or buts’!! They were indeed history. I explained that I would be shoeless without some kind of purchase, and that there was no way that I was going home in sock feet. I had NEVER in my life made as desperate as plea as that, certainly not with respect to buying clothing/shoes, but I was done!!! Done. Done. Done. And, bless the young salesgirl’s heart in that she found me four different pairs of shoes/boots that would fit the bill. I bought ALL of them, which almost killed the frugal, sales hungry part of me that I have so identified with over the years. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS LATER, I had what I came for and thus, I left. The problem is that I left that day not feeling totally convinced that my new footwear would be stylish enough, even though I was thrilled to have finally ditched my cheap, discount pair and later at home, a few others that were ‘kicking’ around.
Since then, my desire to uphold my choice of outfits with ‘cute’ footwear has reared its ugly head and I have been known to wear only two of the four pairs that I bought at the store that day nearly two years ago, alternating with some in-between types of shoes–you know, passably comfortable, but more importantly somewhat decent-looking. Why that hold is so strong, I will never know?! But today, as I put on my ‘semi-comfy’ boots, I bagged up my ‘Baba’ shoes, just in case. Well, the just in case came at about 10AM this morning, and so from my coveted Dollar Store bag emerged a black, faux leather loafer-like slip-on shoe. As I looked down the bottom of my legs to the boat-like bundles that adorned my feet, I knew that I was literally ‘treading’ on new territory. (And no, I have NOT included a photo of them. I am sure that you can picture them just fine:-).
But, I must say, ‘God Bless the Baba shoe!’ They are comfortable! I shall learn to embrace my new look, BUT I will not don the knee-high stockings that usually go with…at least not at the moment, anyway…give or take a few years.