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Like an old shoe

   So I was waiting for UPS to deliver my plus-size paisley swimsuit for the third day in a row and I was completely deflated to find it didn’t arrive … again. If my mother taught me anything it was that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and my time is money, so I did what she would do and called the “company.” The girl on the other end of the phone was as sweet as Log Cabin syrup and couldn’t figure out what went wrong. We delved a little further into the mystery only to discover that I had given my new address in full, except I had used the old street name from Syracuse. Gee, those darn UPS guys can’t seem to find the same street in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. What a bunch of chowda heads. So I guess the rest of the beach-goers will have to wait a few more days before I make my entrance.
   You would think that after that little setback I’d maybe lay off the online shopping for a while. Right now I’m staring at my “Persistence prevails when all else fails” poster, which we lived by at my old job. I’m not a quitter.
   I decided a few weeks ago that I need to have the fashionable and sensible Dansko clogs. I need these because everyone else on the Island has them. I guess the rest of the women on the planet have finally found out what I knew 35 years ago; a clog is about the most comfortable shoe a girl can wear. Oh sure I’ve been ridiculed for wearing clunky footwear but I never let it get me down. And now they’re everywhere you look.
    There’s a little bit of a sticking point though. I believe they retail for just under $120. Now I love a good shoe, I’m wearing my Birkenstocks as I type this for God’s sake. The problem is that I can justify having only one pair of shoes over $100 at a time. I can’t possibly have another, even though my feet are shaped like Fred Flinstone’s and I pay my husband in cookies for a good foot rub.
   My mission now is to find a Dansko knock-off in my price range. This led me to another revelation about my current life: How did I get from grabbing some random loafers at K-mart to typing “comfortable shoes for women” in Amazon’s search box? Have I gotten that old?  I even said aloud the other day to my husband, “You know, my mom ended up wearing orthopedic shoes when she worked at the post office,” like it was a good idea and I might give it a whirl myself. I don’t know where this stuff comes from. It’s like I’ve thrown the towel in and I didn’t even know I was carrying one. Whew.
   Just when I began to think I should maybe Google “psychiatrists on Martha’s Vineyard,” it occurred to me that there’s a freedom to saying, “Oh to hell with it. I’m going to wear some ugly-assed shoes so my feet don’t hurt. I’m going to quit dying my hair because it feels like a wire brush from all the chemicals. I’m going to wear socks with my sandals in the fall because they are the only shoes that don’t hurt my feet. I’m going to wear shorts when it’s hot even if they do ride up my thighs when I walk. I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail every day even though I’m 51 because I can’t afford a haircut on this island. I’m going to wear huge clothes because I have never been able to tolerate anything too tight. Hey, I’m just going to give up and do what I want. Hell, yes.”
   Wasn’t it James Brown who said, “Mmmmm, I feel good”? I always liked him. I bet he had some crazy shoes. 

   These are my new shoes. They're good shoes. They won't make you rich like me, they won't make you rebound like me, they definitely won't make you handsome like me. They'll only make you have shoes like me. That's it. - Charles Barkley



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