Dawn Watson/CNBNews Contributor
I have a thing about shoes.
Somewhere between high school and adulthood, my left foot stopped growing while my right foot blossomed into a clown-sized replica of a chimp’s paw, complete with opposable “thumb”. While it’s true I can pick up a dime with it, it isn’t often necessary to do so.
I broke a few bones of my left foot at a St Patrick’s Day celebration and since then, it’s twice as fat as my right foot although not nearly as long. None of these facts really matter. Unless I buy shoes.
If I’m shopping on line I go for the cheapest shoes I can find, then buy two pairs, one wide and a size eleven, the other narrow and a size eleven and a half. But if I go to an actual shoe store, my oddities surface.
I’ve been told many times that it’s not possible to find two pairs of identical shoes that come in a both a wide and a narrow. If the clerk is adamant, I move on. If he wants to talk about it, I’ll tell him all my foot problems while unveiling Monkey and Whale.
They have names. Don’t judge me.
It was easy to purchase shoes incognito when Payless was around, but I suspect it closed because others with my unique problem weren’t as honest—Payless was probably left without matching pairs to sell.
Walmart is usually accommodating but their undercover security guards eye me with suspicion as I go back and forth, looking for exact matches in different sizes and widths.
Living on social security and the sporadic royalties from the novels I’ve written don’t allow for an expensive wardrobe. Or much of anything else, to be honest. While I’m tempted to buy second-hand, I’ve yet to find two identical pairs in the right sizes. I’ve heard of companies that will sell you one shoe, but then, how will I find its mate? Put an ad in Craig’s List?
“Woman with enormous, mis-matched feet desires same”? I know Craig’s List and it’s not worth the offers I’ll get from the foot-fetish crowd.
I’m thankful that my feet still work, unusual sizes notwithstanding. (Forgive the pun).
Warm weather will be here before you know it and I plan to hit up Dollar Tree for flip-flops as soon as they’re in stock. I’ll treat myself to two pairs and nobody will be the wiser.
Since fast get-aways are a thing of the past I don’t have to worry about a quick pace. I’ll just flop along happily and enjoy the walk.
The fact that I can usually get where I’m going without falling over is an accomplishment, all things considered. I’m thankful to still be able to put one foot in front of the other, even though they don’t match.