Anyhow. I'm back. I have two New Year's resolutions. The first is to live, in both the strict literal sense, but also the more enthusiastic sense. To go out when I could have stayed in. To take the call instead of screening it, or make the call instead of putting it off. To reach out more, even when I'm not sure of a good reception. To stand out when it would be safer to blend in. I will not be attempting to skydive or ride a rodeo bull. Or ski. I will, however, eat potato chips more, and with french onion dip, the real kind, not the kind made with organic dried minced onions and Greek yogurt. I will not pass up dessert.
The other resolution is to write every single day. Even Sundays, even vacations, even when I have a streaming cold. Even if it's just a paragraph, even if it's just a blog post.
Aren't you all lucky.
One of the blog posts I wrote in my head was the other day while I was out doing some post-Christmas shopping. I'm not a big shopper, because I'm not good at fashion and also because I have almost everything I need. But I was shopping, because my husband had done some of his Christmas shopping at a store that offers "Cash" as a bonus for making purchases. His annual shopping done, my husband handed over his store cash to me, and I noticed it had to be spent between Christmas and New Year's. So off I went.
It was my intention to buy either black pants or black shoes. With the exception of jeans and underwear, almost everything I wear below the waist is black. Because it matches everything, and because they don't make Garanimals for adults. Like I said: I'm not good at fashion.
I learned a few things. First, even if a pair of pants looks like black jeans, if the tag describes them as leggings, you should believe the tag. The second is that Jennifer Lopez does not have my picture pinned to the bulletin board above her desk as inspiration when she is designing clothes.
So, I did not find pants. I meandered over to the shoe section, which, like much of the store, was teeming with shoppers and looked like zombies had torn through it on their way to an apocalypse party. The clearance section was curiously untouched, and I am
I was in the market for some semi-dressy shoes that I could wear with pants or skirts. My (black) pumps gave up the ghost over a year ago, and I've been making do with wearing pants and flats. But I have several (black) skirts that I would like to wear to church, and the church I attend has long services that involve a lot of standing. I don't mind this, but I'm reasonably confident that I would mind it much more in stiletto heels. Jesus did not wear stiletto heels and I don't think he expects me to. So: semi-dressy, not quite flat, but not towering. Not boring, but not overly embellished. This was a challenge: in the clearance section, the cute shoes are all in a size 5, and the shoes that might actually fit you look like they were designed for burly cross-dressers who idolize Liberace.
Yet there, like a beacon shining from the next-to-bottom row, was a pair of Dana Buchman shoes in a size 9. Black patent leather, low wedge heel, criss-cross straps across a peep-toe. Cute. Perfect. And on clearance for just two dollars more than the amount of store-cash I had. I tried them on. They looked darling. They fit. But they weren't totally...comfortable. They fit okay. But not like a dream.
This was when I wrote the blog post in my head. It was about life being too short to wear uncomfortable shoes. No matter how cute, or how low the price. I walked virtuously away from the shoes, ignoring their pitiful, squeaky patent-leather voices crying out to me. I walked around the store some more, looking for something else to blow my bonus cash on. A percolator. A gravy separator. A tabletop foosball game. Anything.
But there was nothing I wanted. I wanted the shoes. The heart wants what it wants, people, even if it's not what the feet want. And even the feet kind of wanted them. I ambled slowly back to the shoe clearance rack. What if they weren't there? What if someone else snatched up what I had failed to appreciate? But as I approached, I saw the zebra striped box sitting demurely, unnoticed, on its low shelf. I grabbed it and sped to the checkout as if my shoes and I were on the lam.
So, what's the lesson in all this? There's supposed to be a lesson. "Life is too short for uncomfortable shoes" is a good lesson, but it no longer applies here, since I bought the shoes. Maybe the lesson is, "Answer the things that call you." Or, "Embrace the things you love, even if they're not perfect." Maybe the lesson is to extract your own lesson, or that reading this post consumed five minutes of your life you'll never get back, and what, exactly, are you going to do about that? I don't know. I hope there is some meaning in this post, and I hope you find it, and then walk away thinking about it. Preferably in adorable shoes that fit you just right--or at least well enough to keep you moving forward.