I was in search of a pair of sandals — preferably on sale. Even more preferably online so I wouldn’t have to walk outside, get into my van and drive anywhere in the heat and Canadian smoke to find these foot coverings.
I went deep into one of my favorite online spots and failed to specify sandals. Let me say this: apparently, all women are now wearing some pretty peculiar things on their feet. Or perhaps just women under the age of 13. The rest of us know better. We know that if
we showed up at church wearing bile green boots with fake fur cuffs nailed around the top, glitter covering the heels and plastic windows on the sides with husky fellows peeking out of them we might be asked to seek help. Maybe seek the exit until we found our stray senses.
There were canvas sneakers with soles 3 inches thick. Some of those had tire treads. The canvas portion of these might be imprinted with, by today’s standards, modest curses and tied with neon-colored ribbons.
In one section there were row upon row of shoes with 6-inch stiletto heels. I have the greatest admiration for anyone who can wear these without pitching forward and putting her face into a passing baby stroller thus tipping the infant out onto the sidewalk and incurring the wrath of a new parent.
These shoes also tend to have just two thin wires across the widest part of the foot behind the toes and a single one around the ankle. How does the wearer keep the shoes on her feet? I took a close look at those wires. A passing magnet could upend the woman and sail her upside down for several blocks until she could be rescued.
One pair had several coils of wires that covered the foot from toes up to the calf of the leg. This looked pretty complicated. How could you maneuver your foot down through all those coils? The last time I looked at one of my feet and tried to emulate such a move, I managed to break my smallest toe. It turned black and blue and was quite painful for the better part of two weeks.
Do insurance companies cover accidents that occur due to dangerous shoes? I wonder about this.
I continued to scroll through page after page of shoes. Some had soles so thin that going barefoot would save you a lot of money. I spotted a pair of sandals that appeared appropriate until I looked at the back of them. The back didn’t have heels as such. No. There were three strands of thick chains holding the sides of the shoes together. Wearing these would be pretty much like wearing castanets as you clicked your way down the aisle at a wedding.
I continued to look. One pair was made with yellow, blue and green plastic tubes that looked like large Life Savers.
Another pair was made with roadkill skin. Why would I want to wear anything on my feet that looked like I had hit it on the street, gotten out of the car, slaughtered the poor creature then removed its pelt, cut it up and wrapped my feet in it? Had I done that would I be outside at midnight beating my chest and baying at the moon?
The rows of shoes continued with more and more styles. Some of them bore severe warnings: “Nearly sold out!” Or, “Only two pairs left!” Those shoes? They were, in my feeble mind, so ugly I couldn’t imagine such rush of customers buying them that stock was low.
One pair was a malevolent plaid in burnt orange, magenta and chartreuse. The shoes had 5-inch clunky wooden heels pierced with bronze rods. On the back of each heel rested an aluminum bow. They were on sale for $189.99. Right.
Others were bubble gum pink; clear plastic; American flag red, white and blue for the patriotic person; quilted; and one pair was covered with giant eyelashes. Some were purple suede with black fur trim, some boots were thigh high, a lot of the sandals were either too overwhelmed with buckles or looked uncomfortable to wear.
I was stumped. All I wanted was just a pair of simple, summer sandals. Something to put on my feet that wouldn’t make strangers point and laugh at me.
I left the house and headed for a shoe store where I was sold a nice pair of leather sandals. They don’t glow in the dark, and I am not afraid to wear them out in public.
Susan Keezer lives in Adrian. Send your good news to her at [email protected].