Try Walking a Mile in My Mary Janes

It’s fair to say I’ve spent a good deal of time thinking about how I’d answer: “If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you ask for?” (I used to watch and read a lot of Aladdin- and Arabian Nights-related material.) Lower alcohol tolerance and at least one mob connection have long served as my first two wishes. I’ve gone back and forth with #3, but now I’ve got it: I’ll take two same-sized feet.

My feet aren’t even a simple, solid half an inch apart. They’re probably more like two-fifths or three-sevenths of an inch apart, or different widths, or whatever it means when one shoe is too tight while the other is too big, or when both shoes are too tight or too big but in completely different places. It’s why I rarely walk long distances in anything other than sneakers or Nike flip-flops (which are sneakers with a thong, have excellent traction, and won’t get nasty or squeaky in the rain) – they don’t hurt or require any painful “breaking in” trials that hardly end well. Like many women, I own more than a dozen pairs of shoes. All because when I buy a new pair it’s hit or miss, even if they feel OK in the store. Since it’s mostly a miss, at any given time I only have one pair of non-athletic shoes I can briskly walk more than 20 minutes in without blistering or cutting up my feet. At the office, I have a drawer full of nice shoes. They’re for wearing around the office. At home, I have a closet floor lined with shoes. A third of them are for in-home use or special occasions, after commuting to the special occasion in sneakers or flip-flops.
I’ve seen a cobbler. I’ve ponied up for drugstore products designed to close gaps or ease chafing. Nothing helps for long. Shoes hate me, I hate shoes; the barer the feet, the closer to the glow of my nail polish I’ll be.

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