Yes they do. Every day. In almost every way. This, as much as used-up eggs and hot flashes, seems to be a fact of my midlife.
Once, in my glory days, I could wear any number of cute little shoes with impunity. They were, in fact, the balm to an ego smashed by a body that was somewhat larger than the clothes that had always fit it. If I didn’t like the way said body looked in the dressing room mirror, well, the shoe department mirror is very short and only reflects one’s lower legs. And that part of my body is still good, and not, so I thought, growing or changing or letting me down.
I was, I confess it here, a shoe snob. Wear crappy clothes, dress straight out of Target, but if your shoes are good (i.e., not straight out of Target), you can get away with almost anything. Wear a fantastic outfit, something from Saks or BCBG and if your shoes are not equal in style and provenance, then you’ve blown the chance to look fantastic. I still stand by that basic principle of fashion.
I wasn’t one of those willing to endure pain for those cute shoes. I was just one of those for whom most shoes in size 8.5 or 9 fit. While I sympathized with those who had Problem Feet and had to wear Special Shoes, I couldn’t imagine that would ever happen to me. Oh, the folly of youth…
Here’s what happens when your feet go bad on you. They get wider. Who knew that that’s what they meant by middle-aged spread. They get larger. Or something or other has caused every pair of shoes in my huge collection to NOT FIT. Like some Mafia princess, I kept my shoes stacked in plastic boxes with identifying labels. Now they’re scattered around my closet where I’ve flung them in disgust at their NOT FITTING.
Here’s another thing that happens in midlife: the balls of your feet get all thin and meager. This means that you’re walking on foot bone bereft of padding. This is not great for going barefoot, especially if your floors are, like mine, ceramic tile. It’s not great for wearing those really high high heels that are in fashion now, because they throw all of your weight onto the balls of your feet. Dermatologists have a cure for this. They shoot Restylane into the bottom of your foot, giving you a little cushion of filler to walk around on. For a couple of months. Because Restylane doesn’t last that long, you know, so you have to schedule regular fill-ups, at about $700 a pop.
And then there’s the vamp situation. I don’t know what has happened to that part of my foot that starts at my ankles and ends at my toes, but it has become VERY FINICKY about what is on it. I feel like Goldilocks trying to find a pair of shoes in the morning that will last the day. I can’t lace up my running shoes properly, because if I do I feel as if my feet are in a vise. Even now sitting here wearing socks and Crocs, I’m hyperaware of my feet. This can’t be right.
I used to mock old people who wore those hideous clunkers known as Earth Shoes. But you know, they may have the last laugh. Tonight I went out for drinks and dinner with a friend. I was more than pleased to see that it was raining, pouring in fact. The weather meant that I could, without shame, wear my Uggs, and my feet were, at least for tonight, quite happy.