It’s finally sandal season and I have what a comedian I saw the other night calls a “suicide toe.” That is, one toe that’s longer than all the others just waiting to jump off the edge of the sandal and end it all. I was born with it, and my mom has it too: My second toe is noticeably longer even than my big toe, which she told me was a sign of genius. I believed her. That’s how much of a genius I am.
The suicide toe is the least of my feet’s problems. I have a fungal nail, which is much better than it was thanks to multiple rounds of liver-destroying drugs (totally worth it! or so I thought in my 20s when pedicures were top-of-the-list important) and gnarled, nasty hammertoes that look like tree roots, which my mom thinks might be genetic (she has them too). But we all know how much credence to give my mom’s opinion on toe-related issues.
I think they’re from years of trying to fit my ginormous feet into too small shoes. Size 10 is an awful thing to be when you’re in the 6th grade, and no amount of “that means you’re going to grow up to be tall and lovely” makes up for it when your girlfriends are wearing sixes and you look like you’re on water skis. As I got older and admitted to wearing a 10, there were shoes that were small 10s, and many shoe companies don’t make 11s. There was no way I was forgoing a pair of cute shoes just because they maimed me. Please. I had my priorities. That’s what sedan chairs were for.
I didn’t figure on what would happen to my feet when I became a Formerly. Unlike my shock and confusion about the relatively sudden onset of wrinkles and saggy body parts–which I should have seen coming if nothing else from the fact that, oh, I don’t know, it happens to EVERYONE–this I truly cannot blame on my own blindness to the inevitability of aging.
My feet have grown at least a size, a size and a half. I am now somewhere between an 11 and an 11 and a half. I can only guess that this is due to having carried twins, walked a lot all these years and dutifully spread my toes out during yoga class as I was told so I would feel “rooted to the Earth.” Fat lot of good that did me.
It doesn’t matter why. It only matters that now I must begin to shop for shoes where transvestites shop for shoes, and none of the two transvestites I’ve ever known were interested in discrete cute black ballet flats, although perhaps I’ve not done enough research. Red patent leather platform stripper shoes are really not in this season, and I’m already wearing mens’ sneakers and sandals.
I went into Steve Madden down near my house the other day and tried on a pair of plain black flats, and when the 11 proved too small, the well-meaning sales dude recommended I go to this “special” store in the West 30s that serves women with teeny tiny feet, and those of us with gigantaur feet.
This is unacceptable. I may be a Formerly, but I will not have my shopping realm circumscribed thusly. How would you feel if you lived in the fashion capitol of the universe (sorry, Paris, but you can kiss my Mad-hattan ass!) and had to shop at a store for mutants in the West 30s, or wear stripper shoes?
I’m just happy it’s summer. I can wear open toed shoes–and let me apologize in advance to all of you who have to look at my feet–so my suicide toe can dangle off the front and threaten to jump. Maybe by fall there will be a trend in the transvestite community for pretty, low-key shoes and all my favorite shoe designers will hop on to cash in on that demographic. I’ll still have to go to a special store, but they’ll think I’m the most convincing male-to-female ever. I hope.
April 26, 2009 at 8:20 pm
Yes, we all have to live with our feet… I have the opposite problem. My feet are too small, Way too small for my body. I am a size 6 1/2 or 7. I used to be a size 5 1/2 when I was young. I think if I had size 10 feet I wouldn’t have had so many sprains and breaks. I have little prissy uninteresting feet. Now I am all about getting big stable long lasting shoes, preferably not in leather (but will subcumb if I must.) I’ve worn my old thick hippie leather sandals to the bone, had them since I lived in New Mexico or Arizona in the mid-90s. Somewhere I have a more femine black pair. Now I am in the market for some new durable sandals, since I do, after all, get a manicure, and want to show my prissy toes and feel the breeze (while not falling on my narrow feet or tripping since I’m a spaz.) Any ideas?
April 26, 2009 at 9:25 pm
Payless has saved my life! I used to be a 10 and am now an 11 after the three kids. I also ask if they carry tranny sizes when I enter a store.
I wear flip flops (very cute ones mind you) in the summer and uggs in the winter. I have officially stopped trying to wear any kind of heels. I feel there is enough suffering and pain which we have no control over.
In Brazil they have Havaiana stores, whole HUGE stores and they offer real Swarovsky crystals to attach (with a hole puncher-like thingy) to the strap of the flip flop. There crystals were designed especially for Havaianas and they are adorable!!
I will pick you up a couple of pairs next time I go.
April 26, 2009 at 9:30 pm
My current tibia fracture can be directly related to wearing a pair of running shoes which were too small! My feet also “go to eleven” to quote Spinal Tap.
Steph, I have to say you truly are the Judy Blume of the over 35 set! Maybe you can write the sequel, “Are you there Doc? It’s me, Margaret”
April 26, 2009 at 9:54 pm
That’s another thing we have in common, a longer second toe. I’m a size 14 and can’t find anything good in Quebec. The best place I found is Nordstrom Rack. They go up to size 20 for men and 13 for women. And the prices are great.
You should try to find the nearest store on Google. Oh, they also have great clothes. I found a Zegna suit there for $300!
April 27, 2009 at 9:05 am
Ah so I AM part of a club after all! After hating my size 10 feet for my entire life, but still finding cute size 10 shoes to cover them up, I was mortified when I became a size 11 after the birth of my second child. Seriously, nothing cute comes in a size 11. But to make matters worse, I started a new job this year at a corporate office thus necessitating a complete overhaul of my shoe wardrobe. When I saw all the women in my office accessorizing their tailored trousers with pointy, strappy, 3-inch heels, panic set in. I realized cloggs and crocs were simply not going to cut it. It took me weeks of searching, but then I found Aerosoles. And while you do have to spend some extra time looking through the shoes that your grandmother would wear, there are some definite gems in there, AND they come in a real, and really comfortable, size 11. And the best part is, they are mostly under $75! Choo on that my size 8 friends!
April 27, 2009 at 9:46 pm
Just be glad you’re not my father. He has size 15 shoes, and nobody carries them, except for specialty stores, which, needless to say, do not carry the brands that are featured in “Sex and the City.” Me, I got lucky. 13 is the largest size regular stores carry.