Bionic-Footed Mom

Mary Lou Edwards

The logic behind an obese woman torturing herself in a girdle to look five pounds thinner always escaped me, but my reasoning skills totally vanished when it came to shoes. At 5’1’’ I counted on platforms to give me that long, lean look.

As newlyweds, we traveled to Central and South America with my shoe wardrobe consisting solely of platform espadrilles and high-heeled sandals. Not a pragmatic choice, but, of course, looking good is ever so important when crawling through ruins, and crawl I did. Had it not been for an eighty-three year old Yale professor lending me a hand as we trudged to Machu Picchu, I’d have been limping on my own.

After delivering his umpteenth “I do not understand your insistence on wearing those freaking shoes…” lecture, my 6’2” sanctimonious and sensibly shod spouse time and again left me in the dust. His admonitions only stopped when he became weak from altitude sickness (a big problem for tall people) and I transformed into the little pack mule lugging our bags through Peru and Colombia.

By the time we returned to the States I was ready for orthopedic boots, but I am a slow learner. I continued prancing in bound-feet type shoes for many more years until surgery and titanium foot rods brought my platform fetish to a halt.

I was delighted that my daughter sprouted past me as an adolescent. When she carried flip-flops to her prom “just in case,” I knew I had raised a practical fashionista capable of standing on her own two feet and in comfort no less. She would define beauty on her own terms. Her feet would would probably never trigger airport security.

MLE 07/14/08

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