(Prior posting from my old webspace)

I was born under the planet Venus, sign of beauty I’m told. Yet, I sit here, confused, which is not unusual to me, asking myself this question. “Since when are duck feet a thing of beauty”!

God, to be able to wear a normal pair of shoes.

Since I can remember, I’ve been cursed with snowshoes for feet. Wide and a bit oddly shaped, they drove my poor mother to distraction when she’d try to buy me shoes for school.

One day, she simply threw up her hands and threatened to lace the shoe box instead of the shoe for my footwear. Through the years, I’ve grown to understand her pain. Three toenail operations later, I know pain very well.

I loathe shopping for shoes. It’s about as nasty an experience as I can endure. Reason is: I LOVE shoes. For all my hatred of clothing, I think shoes are amazing.

Unfortunately, when you are walking on two cinder blocks with toes, most of the cool stuff is cut off to you. What you get to wear is suitable for a nice game of Canasta, or maybe, if I’m lucky, a pair of shoes some ambulance chaser would be proud to sport upon his fleet feet!

So walking through rack after rack of wonderfully great shoes made for normal feet, I come across the “doublewides” and “triplewides”. And what’s there is enough to make you cry.

For one hundred percent more money than the sweet suedes I had to pass up are, I get to stuff my kidney bean shaped feeties into the geriatric specials and walk in amazement as they squeak and squeal across the tiled store floor.

I am in Hell, and I am sporting my own cloven hooves. Penance for laughing at the clueless morons that actually thought platform shoes were a good idea when I was a kid. Sir Elton.. what horrors you wrought with that Pinball Machine and glasses. Generations later, Dame Edna sports your peeps, and I’m still scarred from the sound of clod hoppers strutting the school floors underneath the cord dusters we all wore.

Well, after traipsing through the store with the blue plate specials upon my feet, I resign myself to the fact that I am truly doomed to wear shoes sponsored by Geritol if I wish to walk without blood cushioning my tootsies. The experience brought me back to yet another trauma time in my history.

I used to LOVE to skate. And I mean LOVE. It was what I lived for. But from the age of eleven, there were no more skates for me. Bauer simply didn’t manufacture miniature coffins with blades attached to them. I could forget hitting the rink for good. It killed me, cos I genuinely could lose myself in the act of skating, and was pretty good at it. Yet, genetics had a good last laugh there.

It was also fun when you got to wear your Dad’s shoes once your own fell apart, cos the only thing that grew on me for two years were my feet. Skinny little body with these aquatic flippers projecting out from the bottom of my legs. Sure was good for my confidence having so much in common with a celebrity…one that danced under the Golden Arches sporting a lovely red afro and nose!

A couple of years ago, I finally made up my mind to see why my feet hurt so damned badly. A guy that specialized in custom shoes told me my feet were in great shape, that the shoes were my issue.

I was confused.

So he traced my foot, then put a shoe on top of the etching. Mystery solved. I was part Saskwatch, explaining why my shoes ended up with turtle heads poking through the big toe areas once they finally became comfortable. I could see the light. I also saw that whole “Castaway” deal flash before my eyes, the part where Tom Hanks cuts the toes out of the shoes so he can wear them.

What a statement!!!

So, for eight hundred dollars, he would make me some nice comfy shoes.

I don’t think so.

His stuff was even more arthritic and dessicated than the stuff at the shoe store.

Golf anyone?

So, I bid him adieu, and limped home in my Lawrence Welk specials, swearing and thinking of painless ways to cut off parts of my feet as I did so.

I once made the mistake of buying ill fitting shoes. Every time I wore them, I literally had to clean the blood up from inside of them. They hurt, but damn, my feet looked amazing.

In the middle ages, they could have used these shoes to force confessions from the accused. The Rack had nothing on these Italian made torture chambers, that’s how bad the pain was, but I suffered all for the sake of that sleek look I wanted to achieve.

I’d walk seemingly on air as blood would crest over the tops of my fringed loafers. Quite the look.

The sad part of this whole situation is that once I get a pair of shoes to feel the way they should, and am smiling during my walks, the toe rips out, or the sole comes apart, or the heel shreds to the point where I am forcibly putting duct tape up against the back of the shoe inside.

All this after only a month or two of ownership.

Red Green and I are Siamese Twins that have never met. Duct tape just keeps being so damned useful I could cry.

So.. I’m going to go shopping for footwear soon. But this time, I won’t be buying shoes. I’m going to find some NASA foam and just duct tape it to my feet.

Maybe I can be the new Captain Fantastic. I’ll just need my own pinball machine, wrapped up in duct tape and adorned tail pipes to make it cool.