Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shoes

There are no adjectives strong enough to describe my dislike of shoes, both shopping for them and wearing them. ("There is no emoticon for what I'm feeling!") I have feet that are larger and wider than most other women's (12W), so the selection is automatically much smaller. 

Being a teacher means that when I teach, I'm on my feet. Although I wear sneakers while teachng, I do have other shoes in rotation if the need arises (usually for interviews or the like). What shoes I wear while teaching has never been an issues; you'd be hard-pressed to find a school in which there aren't teachers wearing sneakers.

In the professional world, teaching is a whole other kettle of fish when it comes to clothing choices: One could be on one's feet for several consecutive hours, and not just standing - running around the building, pushing or pulling things, leaning and bending and lifting and carrying various piles of papers and stacks of books, and being otherwise active. It's not a formal profession; I'm not meeting clients, for example.

I tend to wear what we in the education world call "practical" or "comfortable" shoes - sneakers, mostly, but generally anything with either a low heel or no heel at all. It's just not sensible to do otherwise, given the active nature of the job. Nurses and doctors are in the same boat; telling a nurse that she should wear "something cute" while working is likely to get you a strange look under the best of circumstances.

This does not mean we're slumming it, of course; there are plenty of "cute" shoes that can be worn. I haven't seen any of those, but I keep telling myself that just because I'm not aware of their existence doesn't meant they don't exist.

The last time I bought a pair of sneakers was more than a year ago. I finally gave up trying to find a pair of sneakers in the women's section, and had found a pair of men's sneakers that have been doing a good job. But they're getting a bit raggedy, so I hied myself to the local Payless to check out their selection. I was immediately pounced upon and directed to the appropriate section, which was fine, except the sales lady kept pushing "cute" shoes. ("You have got to try these; aren't they cute?") When I explained I was looking for something with no heel, she directed me towards a pair of flats, in a style I don't especially like. (And they were for dressing up, which is something else I don't do much of.) I finally mentioned, in a more direct manner, that I was looking for sneakers. There was one pair, possibly two, in my size, which she didn't point out.

The helpful sales lady did, however, mention the accessories, jewelry, and makeup almost immediately.

Shoe shopping stresses me out. I just want to go in, find a pair of sneakers, and get the hell out.

 

 

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