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Baby got new shoes

At last

Originally uploaded by freerangelibrarian.

We look for signs everywhere, seeking confirmation from simple things of our hopes and plans.

Late last November I ordered a pair of brown shoes, size 5M. Nothing fancy, just nice shoes for dress slacks, comfortably padded. I mail-order almost all my shoes, and that’s not just a Tallahassee thing. I can’t walk into a store and find piles of shoes in my size; in fact, most shoe stores just shrug me off. My experience with the “good shoe store” in Tally was that the clerk told me I was really a 6 and then stuffed things into the toe of a pair of ugly shoes to convince me to buy them, which did not go far with me.

The shoes promptly went back-order, with an estimated ship date of March. Since then, I have ordered three other pairs of brown shoes, and sent all of them back; they were all too big, size inflation having apparently hit the shoe market as well. I couldn’t exchange them because the shoes weren’t available in smaller sizes.

I pondered foot extension surgery, something to bring me up one full shoe size, to a 6. Women may constantly yearn to be a smaller dress size, but no one ever says, “I’m so happy my feet are size 5.” You can’t see the difference to have size 5 feet, and it just brings grief to your life.

My pretty new brown pantsuit, bought with such anticipation (and half-off, too), patiently hung in the closet, its tags dangling in the dark, its pants hems quietly awaiting chalk and ruler.

Time came, time went. Once in a while I wore a horribly outdated pair of brown shoes with another outfit (shoes that also clacked so loudly on the library floor that students would turn and frown), but I deigned not to despoil the perfect brown suit with the wrong shoes.

My “summer job” ended.

The email then arrived: “Your shoes are shipping.”

Sure, whatever. I’ve been through this.

I slip them on my feet.

I stand, I walk. They’re perfect.

New shoes, to take me new places.

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