This is a reflection on the past. The problem doesn’t bother me anymore and I can’t remember when it stopped being an issue. It’s one of those wounds that comes with the human experience that I need not have suffered. Childhood trauma of the trivial type.
Oh! That I could recoup the time I wasted wishing my feet were smaller. I forgive myself because it was truly difficult to be twelve years old sporting long, toothpick legs that rested in bulky, size 9 shoes. My friends would try on each others’ shoes at recess, but I could never fit into anyone else’s and if they slipped into mine, they’d inevitably say something like, “Ohmygosh! What size do you wear?” I’d lie and say “8” and they’d respond, “That’s what my mom wears.” Brutal.
There’s the disappointment and humility suffered in the shoe department of L.S. Ayres. A shoe can look truly darling in the size-6 display sample and look not so cute in a size 9. I always hated it when the shoe person would stick her head out of the back room and yell across the store, “Now, what size did you say again?”
And what was I to do about it? Let’s face it, feet are not exactly in the adjustable size category like boobs and noses. I was stuck with them and my small collection of blend-in, no-frill footwear.
If my mom were here she’d tell me to get over myself and consider people who don’t have any feet. Or she might say this is not the time to dither on about such nonsense. Heck, you may be thinking the same thing. And I would submit that this is not about my feet or shoes or size of anything. It’s about self-acceptance and self-love and the way we women compare ourselves and fall to the societal notion of preferences. It’s about being honest and brave enough to face our wounds. It’s about building up our daughters and granddaughters so they are not prone to feeling lesser over things that just don’t matter. It’s about focusing on the substance and goodness of ourselves as human beings. And to me, that’s a conversation worth having. Anytime.