Let me tell you a story. It’s kind of like a true fairy tale. Whether I will live happily ever after is yet to be determined.
So I’m out with a couple friends doing something or another, eating probably because I distinctly remember it was evening. My mom called me, and asked what I assumed to be a simple question,”I’m at Macy’s, should I buy you shoes?”
“NO!” I said quite emphatically!
“Are you sure?” she asked again. “They are on sale!” Just an FYI Macy’s has a sale three times a day, every day of the week. I wasn’t missing anything.
“NO!” I repeated again. “Please don’t buy me shoes, they have to fit for me to be able to wear them.” It seems like a simple request. Just an FYI to all mothers: Don’t buy your kids shoes. Don’t buy anyone shoes if they are not with you. Please.
The back story as to why she was insisting was because all summer long, like every single day, with every single outfit I wear what I consider to be very nice black flip flops. I don’t wear any other shoes at all. The reasons are many. I like my feet to be free. I have super sensitive skin and a lot of shoes irritate me, especially the skin on my feet. There are just all these foot issues I don’t want to deal with in the summer. Shoes are oppressive, much like bras but that’s another blog post.
Another part of this is that I’m not really fond of feet. A guy I met online once asked me to just send him a picture of my feet. He seemed really cool until he said that. Obviously, he had a foot fetish, which freaks me out. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
So my mom’s cure for this problem was to buy me more shoes, I, in fact, have shoes, a lot of shoes, that I don’t wear. It’s true that my summer shoes are all old because I’ve been wearing these black flip flops in the summertime for years now.
My mother does not find this cute, or amusing. Fashion is very important to this woman. Every time we leave the house, whether it’s to get gas or to go to a wedding, she asks me if I’m going to dress like a human or a heathen. I have been known to look homeless at times when I have to run to CVS. This absolutely appalls her. My mother has so many shoes that, well let’s just say that is a different fairy tale, but she literally could build a house with those shoes and become the old woman who lived in a shoe.
So here’s the situation. She calls me again. “I found some shoes for you, sandals. Three pairs, should I buy them?”
“NO!” What part of NO do people not understand? No means no people. No means no, even when it comes to seemingly frivolous items such as shoes.
Well, she continues on the phone, “Well, I think you need them.”
“Mom, I don’t always wear the same size in shoes, my feet are weird they are narrow at the top and wider in the back.”
“Well, you will never buy them yourself. I cannot stand your chappal.” Chappal is Hindi for flip flops.
“Mom, I don’t think this is a good idea,” I say again.
“That’s too bad!” she says and hangs up the phone. Oh no! I think to myself. This is going to be bad, ugly. I can feel it.
So I get to my friend’s house and mom calls me again. It was nine o’clock at night. “You must come home right now and try on these shoes I bought you.”
“But we just started a show…”
“No, but! Come home.” She hung up. There’s this new thing with my parents, they hang up on me when they are upset. Can you imagine how traumatic it feels to have your parents hang up the phone on you? My friend looks at me and says something about “She’s doing something nice for you, be nice to her.”
OK, OK, I think. I’ll be nice, I decide to go home immediately to try on shoes. That’s weird, right? They will still be there later that night or in the morning. Anyways, even my friend was kind of annoyed that I left her house.
So I come home and there is a red and white Macy’s bag with three boxes in it on the leather dining room chair. I sigh heavily. She actually has good taste in shoes and clothes and stuff, but I knew this would be a mess. I tried them on and none of them fit, some were not right here or there, or everywhere. All three were a bust. They were cute, black sandals, camel colored sandals, and some other shoe I can’t remember. I think I blocked some of this story out.
So this is the real kicker. I go upstairs and tell my mom, “I’m sorry they are all very beautiful shoes but none of them fit me.” I thought that was respectful and nice.
“What? You didn’t try them properly!”
“I-I don’t understand what you mean…” I stuttered. Words are coming out of your mouth and I’m not getting it. How does one try on shoes improperly?
“Bring them up here, you are never doing things the right way!” she yelled.
So I went downstairs like a dutiful daughter, confused, upset and just feeling weird. I bring the shoes up. And this is where it gets really good. “They don’t fit mom, I don’t know what else to tell you.”
“Show me how they don’t fit!”
“What exactly do you want me to show you?”
“Put your foot in the shoe,” she said and held up a black sandal. Is this really happening to me, I was thinking?
I tried to put my left foot in the shoe, and as nature would have it, the shoe don’t fit. “See what I mean?” I say to her. I want to ask her to watch the movie My Left Foot, about a guy who paints with his feet. I can’t even put on a shoe with my feet.
She takes my foot and tries to shove into the shoe, “You are not really trying!”
“It doesn’t fit! They don’t fit!” I got up and threw the shoes on the ground.
“It kind of fits,” she says and stares at the shoes. There is no middle ground in fitting. Either it fits or it doesn’t. There’s no kinda.
“You ungrateful child,” she sighs.
“I’m not a child! I’m not twelve mom. Don’t buy me shoes!!!!!!!” Ever. Again.
“You were much better when you were twelve…” and then she went on to yell in Hindi stuff I don’t remember. I probably blocked it out. Something along the lines of how unfit I am to be a human, a woman, don’t I want new shoes? I looked back at her, this was a pivotal point in the conversation. I could have sealed my death.
My parents taught me English. In fact, I lived in India for a hot minute as a child and came back not knowing English. My parents would only speak to me in English when that happened because they worried I would not adjust. My mother’s English is probably better than mine, she can spell words like pneumonia because she’s a doctor. But when I am really mad at my parents I sometimes ask, “Do you understand English?” Just to throw them off their game. To which their response is “O beri vaadi Engrazee Professor aeeyha!” Which roughly translates to: Oh the big English professor has arrived!”But I assessed this as not being a good moment for that question.
So we have a cordial talk in the morning, she tells me to return the shoes immediately. Today she says. This urgency annoys me. She tells me I only have 60 days. You shouldn’t tell someone like me that. I will in fact probably wait until the 60th day.
Anyways, I shove the boxes in the back seat of my car and totally and utterly try to forget about the whole thing. I call up my good friend, and as she put it, “Are you kidding me? Cinderella called, she wants her story back! Ha ha!” Ha Ha Ha
Very funny if this wasn’t my life. This does have a happy ending. It’s been like forty days since she bought those shoes, so today I decided to return them, why the hell not? I go into the store thinking I can use the store credit to buy some clothes. But it turns out they have some cute flip flops, fancy flip flops. And other rather comfortable and cute shoes. It turns out if I try out the proper shoes they actually feel good.
Let’s just say, I came into the store with three pairs of shoes, and came out with four. OK, perhaps I forgot in the midst of wearing flip flops all summer that I really do like shoes and sandals and all kinds of foot paraphernalia. I decided I need to get another pedicure. I don’t have the money for it, it will have to come out of my Starbucks fund.
I don’t know if I’m being too harsh in the way I depict my mother in this story. She was really trying to do a nice thing for me. She was showing her love in a weird way. Love is weird so I understand. I’m over it. And I have four new pairs of shoes.
I mean if the shoe fits…I know this story is really not about boots, but I just really like this song:
These boots are made for walking
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you…