I am a woman, so imagine how heartbreaking it must be for me to say that what I least look forward to doing in life is shoe shopping. Yes, you heard me right, a woman who hates to shop for shoes! I promise though, there is a good reason for my hatred.
You see, I was born to a race of giants that stealthily hide their presence through a series of slouching postures and some great camouflage clothing techniques. Okay, fine! That's not true at all. I was however, born with genes that while giving me very long legs have also given me very large feet. What does that have to do with my hatred of shoe shopping? In a word, everything!
Let me take you back to high school, and prom season. I never really liked prom for various reasons, including but not limited to the fact that I could have more money to party with that weekend if I wasn't buying a dress, shoes, etc. Senior year I chose to party with friends at the beach instead of sweating my ass off in an expensive dress. We had a blast getting our Zima drunk on. Yes, Zima! I know, it wasn't my proudest moment!
My junior year, however, I was talked into going to the prom with friends. So, I borrowed a dress from someone at the last minute, but I obviously wasn't going to borrow a pair of shoes, not with my bozo the clown feet. My mom did the only thing she knew to do. She took me to the closest large city and we went to about 15 different shoe stores, and many tears, before I settled for a hideous pair of white shoes. That's the best description I can give for them (see photo below). Hideous and white. Beggars can't be choosers though. Sadly, for a girl with a shoe fetish, this was the beginning of a devastating love/hate relationship with footwear.
For the longest time I gave up on women's shoes. Before I had children I was a size 10. That was bad enough back then. After having children, my feet have taken on a life of their own. I am currently residing in a woman's size 12 shoe or a man's 10 1/2. Yes, I could hear your audible gasp at that, along with the comments, "that's a big bitch!" "Look out Sasquatch coming through!" Very funny! har har
So, as I was saying, I gave up on women's shoes for a long time and just relegated myself to shopping for skater punk shoes or hiking boots in the men's department, because they were at least somewhat cool. Oh, I would torture myself and meander over to the size 7-9 isle of women's footwear and drool over the latest and greatest fashions. Once in a while I would get fed up and go harass poor, unsuspecting, store clerks about their purchasing practices.
Eventually, I started wearing women's shoes again. What caused the turn around? I lived in Key West for three years. Key West has a huge drag queen population and one perk of working in an adult store that sold costumes was getting to know said drag queens! I found myself jealous of their footwear and then it hit me. "Wait," I said one day, "where in hell's name did you get those shoes?" Oh, the smiles I procured from the very proud queens with that question. "Dragqueen.com darling!" This is the point where I smack myself in the head and berate myself for weeks on end for not remembering that you can get anything online!
While I received a renewed sense of hope for my shoe shopping love from those wonderful drag queens, I still get pissed off when I walk into a shoe store and see maybe two decent shoes in my size while there are racks upon racks of amazing shoes in size 7!
I went shoe shopping yesterday, can you tell? When I walked in the clerk asked with a sweet smile on her face, "is there anything I can help you find?" I felt like I should answer back, "Look out, bozo the clown coming through! What do you have in size gargantuan?" But I held my tongue and politely and quietly told her, "just looking." I slunk over to the men's department where they keep the inhumanly large women's shoes and I started the long stare. You know the one, where you really look through the wall of shoes because they are all so ugly. Okay, so maybe you can't relate! I did manage to find a pair of tennis shoes that I desperately needed, but there was nothing "cute." At least, not until I rounded the bend and found myself in shoe heaven - or hell in my case! You know that saying, "always the bridesmaid, never the bride!" I felt like that yesterday as I glanced down at my tennis shoe purchase, "always the tennis shoe, never the pump!" SIGH
Seriously, look at those shoes! *gasp* *cry*
I love reading Tracey Hansen's blog, Tracey Hansen Will Write For Food
. It never fails to make me smile! She has nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks so much Tracey! If you haven't stopped in to check her blog out go do it.
The rules for this award are as follows:
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.
And now, *insert drum roll* here are seven random facts about me:
1 - Procrastination isn't my middle name, but it probably should have been. I have it down to an art!
2 - My right index finger is actually crooked from all the actual writing I did when I was younger - you know before these new-fangled electronic devices. If you thought computers where bad because they caused carpal tunnel syndrome, just imagine all the crooked-fingered people who would be walking around if we still used pencil and paper for everything! ;)
3 - I can be a bit abrasive, says the people who I insult without knowing it. I don't sugar coat things. I tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may. If you "CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH" you probably shouldn't stick around! Yes, that was a partial geeky movie quote and I'm cool with that.
4 - I believe in Karma, but I also think Karma needs a helping hand some times, because it can be too damn slow!
5 - I have a love/hate relationship with my first book. There are days when I think it's great (although in need of better editing, I admit) and there are days when I want to shoot it and put it out of its (and my) misery. I suppose I am not alone in feeling that way though.
6 - I abuse punctuation and should be punished for it. Dashes and ellipses just leap from my fingertips at their own whim. It really isn't my fault. I think I have a disorder!
7 - I could be perfectly cool with being a hermit, although I am addicted to social networking sites. Just like Starburst, I am a contradiction!
Now that you know all that useless information about me, here are my nominees for The Versatile Blogger Award:Blog it Out Bitch
by Nina PerezNo One Can Own Your Soul
by Stephanie StebbinsHere There Be Monsters
by Toby TateThe Sweetie Chronicles
by Sara CannonSteve Draws Stuff
by Steven Novak
I suffer from seasonal allergies. So, this morning when I saw an article about this being the worst allergy season ever, of course my over-active imagination ran full throttle off the deep end. Here I am ready to hide in an hyperbaric chamber because suddenly the zombies aren't my biggest worry. The plants are attacking!
Don't they know that I switched to electronic writing? There are no more crumbled heaps of paper littering my room. Okay, I admit, I have a black thumb. Really, I think that's a cellular level flaw that shouldn't be held against me. Yes, I admit, I over watered the lawn in my zealous attempt to help things grow. Please, don't punish me for that!
Why are the hooligans who chop down entire rain forests not targeted? I mean, I don't wish ill on anyone, but come on evil plant geniuses, there are bigger fish to fry out there! What do you say we strike a deal?
Who would have ever thought zombies would turn out to be the lesser of the evils?
Hyperbaric chamber - order one today for your bunker, because zombies aren't the only ones attacking!
My parents used to take my brother and I camping a lot when we were kids. We grew up pitching tents and cooking on a camp stove or over the fire. I remember riding my bike around campgrounds and swimming until it got too chilly at night then heading to the warmth of the campfire. One of the last great memories I have with my own grandfather was a camping trip we took.
Somewhere along the way I stopped going. Not because I didn't want to, or because I didn't have that desire burning deep within my soul, but because I had no one to share it with. My husband of 13 years never wanted to go and wouldn't get excited about anything, so it was hard to talk my children into wanting to go pitch a tent in the woods somewhere. It's a devastating thing to a person's soul to lose something that you identify as a part of your life. It's worse knowing that I couldn't share those memories with my own children, because the memories I have camping with my family are some of the greatest from my childhood.
And so it was that I started making plans to take my kids camping during their spring break. My dad, being a camping enthusiast, put forth a huge effort in making this endeavor happen. Having someone else get excited about it makes it a little easier to get the kiddos involved. So, my children, who were used to being camping naysayers, headed with us into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with a tent, some supplies, marshmallows to roast, and a bit of a sour disposition.
Before the first night was out those same naysayers were begging to stay longer and begging to go again long before they ever had to leave. How do you know a camping trip is successful? When your techie kids say "who needs video games when you have all this fun out here!"
Unfortunately, some bad weather cut our trip short by a day and the hiking, waterfall viewing, and peddleboat ride on the lake that were on our list of things to do ended up not happening. Sad faces emerged, but were short lived when I promised future trips to make up for what the weather ruined.
While we were there I realized we weren't the only ones in the camping spirit. Oconee State Park in South Carolina was packed. It reminded me of when I was a kid and there were always people camping, kids running about, and laughter filtering through the trees. If ever there was an upside to a downed economy, it's that people rediscover nature and the simple pleasures in life.
The other amazing thing I re-discovered is that campers are some of the nicest people out there. I have never been on a camping trip where everyone didn't wave, ask about your day, join in random banter as they pass by, or come to your aid if needed. I had forgotten that people could be like that - you know - genuinely nice and caring. When your own neighbors don't even know your names in a lot of places, it's somewhat disarming to have our fellow campers ask if my daughter was alright when she was crying. It wasn't that could you shut your kid up thing you get while walking through places like WalMart, it was a genuine inquiry. It was a pleasant change of pace to be able to strike a random conversation with a man about a his St. Bernard/Great Dane mix dog because the animal was so beautiful. He didn't look as if I were invading his personal space as so many people on the street would. We stood and talked about our animals for a bit. Two people exchanging pleasantries on a whim - it made me wonder when basic human goodness stopped being the norm. That's another blog for another day though, for now, I'm happy to see courtesy making a comeback.
So now that camping is back in fashion, grab your tent, and come join us by the fire for some marshamallowy, outdoorsy goodness!
Nothing makes me crazier than limited time items that I am in love with, but can only get during certain times of the year. Case in point, I have an addiction to these little mini-packs of colorful candy-coated balls of chocolate known as Sixlets
. I have loved Sixlets since I was a girl and I used to buy them from the mom-and-pop shop on the corner of the street I used to live on in Baltimore, Md. I remember finding a nickle on the sidewalk and thinking, "Oh happy day! I can go get some more Sixlets."
Somehow, while I was growing up Sixlets started disappearing off of store shelves. I am not quite sure what happened, but my heart was broken. I can still find them on occasion in places like WalMart, but only during Easter. Why, must you tease me with holiday only candy?
If ever I own a store in this lifetime, be it a candy store, book store, or shoe store, there will be a shiny little shelf holding my favorite coveted candy-goodness!
Now, don't get me started on my childhood cereal favorites, BooBerry, FrankenBerry, and Count Chocula
. Target was kind enough to carry them during the Halloween season, but what about the rest of the year? I am a firm believer in equal opportunity for ghosts and ghouls too.
I did discover, while searching Google for an image to use, that I can purchase my favorite candies online through several merchants. "Oh happy day!"
I remember being a kid and having my mom drop my older brother and myself off at the roller rink. There was nothing quite like that first taste of freedom, being dropped off to have fun, and dancing your little heart out on wheels to rock anthems like Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It."
To this day, that song brings back childhood roller rink memories like no other. I lived in Baltimore, MD during the skate rink heyday of the 1980s. I think it was the place to be seen and hang out, but what would I know, I was just a kid who loved to blaze around the rink on wheels.
When I was in the fourth grade my parents moved us to Elizabeth City, N.C. Right away I realized two things, this town had absolutely nothing for kids to do and the one thing they used to have - roller skating - was closed down. Without a roller rink nearby, when I outgrew my skates, that was it. I never owned another pair until I was an adult and I bought my first pair of rollerblades. The change from roller skates to blades wasn't all that challenging. I picked right up on how to balance and went forth. The nostalgia for true skates would keep me coming back to the old school side-by-side wheels though. I learned to do tricks, dance, and fly on those wheels. How could I abandon them for in-line skates?
Now that I live in South Carolina I have two roller skating rinks in my town to choose from. We have Skate Station
, which is less than five miles from my house and Gamecock on Wheels, which is about a 10 minute drive (if that). I get to share the sheer and utter joy of flying around in circles on wheels with my children. The laughter that comes with each bruise as they fall on their butts, as I once did, is a memory that I am sure will endure for them too. Last night I took my daughter by the hands while I began to skate backwards in front of her. I slowly began to pick up speed until her hair was blowing back as we went around, the smile on her face was the reward! Skating hasn't gone out of style, or left the hearts of America.
So, to the places where the rinks have disappeared - I say - bring back the fun! And to those of you who have not strapped on a pair lately, what are you waiting for? It's amazing exercise, and so much fun that you don't feel like you're doing any work! You can't beat that.
If you're having trouble finding a roller rink near you try Southeastern Skate Supply, Inc.
they have a pretty good list of rinks across the country!