Monday, April 25, 2011

Comfort Shoes

“Yeessss!” I shouted, excitedly at work last week, when the mail room clerk brought a package over to my desk. I immediately started ripping the box open.

All my coworkers and I like to purchase a bunch of stuff online and through catalogs, and then have it mailed to the office so we can show everybody our loot. And when I say, ‘all my coworkers and I’ I actually mean me, because I’m the only one that does it. The rest of my coworkers have things like kids and big mortgages to pay for, whereas I only have a husband and a tiny 550 sq. ft. condo. So my point is, there’s cash lying around, and I like to buy shit.

“What’d you get this time?” My older and less attractive coworker asked me tiredly, glancing up over her granny glasses. Like, seriously, she’s 40 and looks and acts 80. But I guess that what happens when you choose your three children over things like facials and shopping sprees at Nordstrom. Luckily, I have my priorities in order. And speaking of orders, my new shoes were in!

“Aren’t they sexy?!” I squealed, holding them up above my head like Moses parting the red sea. And these shoes were definitely red- bright red and shiny and vinyl and HOT. “I’m wearing them out to a gay club this weekend for my friend's birthday- we’re going to get wasted and dance all night!”
“Those look really painful,” my coworker said, glaring, probably jealous that she’ll be at home watching Finding Nemo for the one hundredth time while I’ll be staring at gorgeous homosexuals gyrating to techno music in sequined underwear. But hey, who am I to judge?
“Actually…..” I smiled a secret, all-knowing smile. “These are Clarks,” I whispered, referring to the shoe company known for comfort shoes.
My coworker’s jaw dropped. “Those are Clarks?” She said, shocked. “But comfort shoes are…so- so-“
“Ugly?” I asked, helpfully. “Not anymore. They all wised up and now have cute shoes, too- they still have that orthopedic crap, don’t get me wrong- but now they make new stuff too- these pumps-" I held them up again for her benefit. "-were recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association," I finished, bragging.
“Wow,” my coworker said, impressed.

When I was in my twenties, I got drunk and went to clubs in shoes from Steve Madden, Nine West, Unlisted, Chinese Laundry, etc. Now I’m in my thirties, and I’m still getting drunk and going to the clubs- but now I do it in comfort shoes- Clarks, Naturalizers, Aerosoles, Bass- if it involves cushioned soles, wick-away sweat protection, or gel footbeds- well, I’m sold. My shoes now resemble a mini van after a car accident- more air bags inflated inside than is probably needed, but you don’t mind having them there. I used to think that comfort shoes were only for old ladies with back problems- but then, I also used to think that using tampons meant you were no longer a virgin. Either way, I’ve wised up.

Now that comfort shoes are attractive, why WOULDN’T you wear them? Why even bother with regular shoes?

“Cute shoes!” My friend Tess cooed to my other friend, Molly. Molly was strutting up to our table during happy hour in her new Jimmy Choo shoes- probably purchased for the price of a small car.
“Thanks,” Molly said, fluffing her hair.
“They are cute,” I said, agreeably. “Do they have polyurethane foam cushioning?” I asked, innocently.
“Huh?” Molly said, confused.
“Well, I’m just a huge fan of foam cushioning,” I said, casually. “I also really prefer my feet in a stability cradle- it really disperses the pressure from the ball of your foot.”
“What in the fuck are you talking about?” Molly asked. “These are Jimmy Choo's- Jimmy wouldn’t put foam cushioning in his shoes- that’s fucking lame.”
I snorted. “Oh, so now it’s lame to prevent lower back pain?” I asked, arguing. “Well, excuse me for wanting the ligaments along my spine to line up. Enjoy those bunions that are forming on your feet, bitch.”
“I will enjoy them, Grandma,” Molly spat back. “Where exactly are you shopping for your shoes- some gift shop at a Retirement Community?”
“These pumps are red vinyl,” I said hotly, pointing to my new shoes. “RED VINYL.”
“Like putting lipstick on a pig,” Molly answered back, shortly.
“Stop it you two,” Tess snapped. “And Living Shallow, it’s rude to insult Molly’s new shoes.”
“You mean her new torture chamber? Can’t wait to go shopping with you next week in them, when you black out in Banana Republic from the pain.”
"Well, you'll have your oxygen tank on you, Betty White- so you can just resuscitate me," she answered back.
“That’s enough!” Tess said sternly.

I go everywhere in my comfort shoes- even the gym. I get some weird looks, especially when I’m on the StairMaster in them, but hey- they’re comfort shoes. I can jog in them, do laundry in them- hell, I could kick some major ass in them. I always wondered how Wonder Women and Supergirl chased down and beat up so many bad guys, and it's SO obvious- they're all in those comfort boots. Leather, knee-high, spike heel, and gel insoles- that's their secret, not the fucking super powers!

"Wow, honey- you have a LOT of comfort shoes," my husband said to me one afternoon, gazing into the closet. "You're like a billboard for preventing lower back pain."
"Thank you, honey," I cooed, lounging on the bed with my legs daintily crossed, wearing my new black peep toe pumps that also happened to have phenomenal arch support and a reinforced toe box. I liked to seduce my husband in my comfort shoes- can you imagine? Seducing in comfort? I need to tell all the strippers about these things. Dancing on those poles in those clear plastic ten inch heels are probably giving them all corns on their feet. Poor things.
"Well, I support this new obsession of yours," he said. "I want you to be comfortable."

"Oh, I'm definitely comfortable," I said. Me and Wonder Woman both.