You know Ronni Bennett. She’s the blogger who writes about elders and blogging and how the world out there in the ether applies to us. One day last week, she hit me in the familiar bone when she asked in her blog, “What have you stopped doing in your old age?”
I was reading along, nodding even though I still do some items on her list. I hurry for instance. I weigh myself. Morbidly obese folks like me do this when they think they are dieting. Some items I gave up long ago for a different reason than she lists….little music here because of my tintinitus. Ringing is ringing any way I hear it. Some things I’ve given up aren’t on her list….I don’t drive at night any more because I have multiple vision. Which one of those six sets of taillights do you want me to hit?
So I was smiling and skimming along until she mentioned shoes. My light bulb went on. I more than identified with giving up shoes. A few years ago, I bought a pair of black, patent leather, DKNY three inch high heels at Nordie’s Rack…on sale, mind you, and in size 11. At an astronomical price too. Even then I didn’t have much padding on my feet, and I knew when I bought these stunning shoes that they would be my last pair of 3 inch heels ever. I mourned as I paid for them.
I’ve never been a beauty. In fact, I always thought of myself as an ugly duckling. But my legs were good. Long too. I knew my hips were wide, my nose a ball on my face, and my stomach preceded me, but those long legs were my attention getter every time as a young and sexy woman. Add a pair of 3 inch heels, and I towered well over six feet in my vanity.
In 2000, after a year of surgery to remove plantar warts I finally became aware that heels of any sort didn’t make it for me any more. After bypass surgery, I found out that you have to have blood flow to keep the fat pad on the bottom of a foot. Soft squishy shoes were now number one on my list of life’s happiest purchases. Pain free feet were my main focus in life. As my feet grew less padded, their dimensions began to intrude on my reality. I used to wear a size 8 ½. Slowly over the years the size and widths expanded until one day I found myself buying a size 11. Shoes that fit my requirements weren’t just hard to find, they now were impossible to find.
As I began to search, I discovered that low cost size elevens do exist, but not comfortable ones. I even found size elevens at Target…….but they leave me not smiling. You gotta have happy feet. Mid priced size eleven shoes do exist. Some actually fit and are comfortable...if there are any left in the store. The search for a comfortable pair of shoes at a price that an old, obese security guard can afford is continuous. If you find a pair, you buy them. Your wardrobe is styled around your shoes.
Every one of us big-footed are always on the lookout for stylish black size elevens, and now, with brown being the new black, we look for brown shoes of any sort too. I’ve often discovered someone else grabbing the perfect pair just as I was rounding the isle into the size elevens at Nordie’s Rack. I own stripy tennies only because they fit. I’m also the new owner of purple, suede, pointy toed flats just because they were comfortable. I confess that I bought a fuzzy purple sweater to match just so I could wear those shoes. I buy sandals without backs so I can wear size ten, or even nine and a halfs with my heel hanging out the back. Start a new style with that.
Now here I am with my long pants hiding my pressure stockings and my sensible shoes on my growing feet. Have I become that little old lady who used to live next door? Not me. I’m the elder security officer who lost her voice yelling at drunks and food service workers at the last ball game while wearing her sensible shoes. I only swore once. It’s much more fun than sitting home and rocking in your porch swing, let me tell you.
So what have you given up lately?
Me: Vastly better. It’s amazing how a cold will dampen ones creativity. Yesterday I felt a spark was there again. Class. Ate brownies there. No lunch. Worked on photos, dinner, Duck, didn’t sleep well. Maybe it was the brownies. Maybe the new, really awful fiber.
G: Didn’t come home from work, but he wore a leather bomber jacket at work all day. They’ve moved his desk right under a cold air vent. He was very quiet and very silent when he got home. Bed early.
Duck: Wasn’t with the others at dinner when we got there. We went to his room and found him still watching TV. He said he thought he had plenty of time left. He didn’t eat half his dinner….which looked really good. No bread. He put the butter on his pasta. Didn’t eat the veggies, and he ate only half the pasta.
Alice, who has totally rotten teeth, had her dinner arrive unpureed. When she said she couldn’t eat this, and only after a lot of fuss would take a fruit plate, they brought her a plate with a can of fruit cocktail dumped on it with a little cottage cheese. It was appalling. A new tablemate, Richard, ate every bit of his dinner.
G would like to come earlier in the evening so he could “talk” with Duck. I like coming during the dinner hour so we can see many other’s and say hi to them too.