The Little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes...

Several years ago, when I first moved to Vancouver, I was riding on a city bus and I looked over at the woman sitting across from me.  She was old.  Very old.  At least 50.  And she was wearing sensible, old lady shoes.  I remember looking at her feet thinking how sad it was that she had to wear those ghastly things, and could no longer wear sexy shoes.  It occurred to me then that one day those feet and those shoes would be mine.  I would no longer sashay down Granville Street wearing six inch heels.  Sensible shoes with flat heels were in my future, and my blood ran cold at the thought of it.

How quickly time flies.

At last count -- this morning -- I have 27 pairs of shoes.  None of them have high heels.  And none of them are particularly comfortable.  At one time I could spend the whole day at work and then go for a two-hour stroll around the seawall, wearing high heel shoes.  No prob.  Comfortable?  Of course they were.  In fact, I walked around London and Paris wearing high heel shoes.  But I bought my very first pair of flat shoes in Paris.  They were beautiful, made of leather as soft as butter, with a white laticework thread through them and a little white bow just so. The moment I slipped them on, I felt like Audrey Hepburn.  However, the first thing I did when I stepped outside the shoe store was to step into a little pile of dog poop, which litters the sidewalks of Paris.  Just try to get that out of buttery leather latticework.  I did love those shoes, though, and I bought a purse to match them.

Well, thank goodness for sneakers, is all I can say.  Now I can be the little old lady in sensible shoes, and I look really, really cool just like everyone else.  There won't be a young lady sitting across from me thinking, 'Look at that little old lady in her sensible shoes ... how sad.'  Well, at least she won't be thinking that about my shoes.  I have discovered that my sneakers are the most comfortable and the lightest shoes for walking.  I can walk miles in them -- even around the sea wall.  Every once in a while I look at my other shoes, the little red ones, the little black patent ones with the bow, the little suede ones with the zipper, and I think, 'One day I will wear these, just not today.'  So, if one day you see a little old lady strolling along Broadway in a pair of battered Adidas shoes, please stop and say hello.  It's me.

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