There are times when I find myself in a spot I had not anticipated. Where the wisdom of someone older and wiser would have helped immensely avoid some of the pitfalls I was spending a lot of time crawling out of. Sometimes I actually do know better but think I am being overly cautious so I forge ahead to the spot in the road where things start to unravel. Then I think, “ah this was what I was afraid of, this could be embarrassing, a career limiting move, cause injury, or some permanent psychological damage.”
It has been pointed out to me recently that my toes all look like they are trying to flea my feet. It was not said exactly like that but the gist of the comment was along the lines of my unnatural angled toes looked better in closed toe shoes rather than the cute open toed sandals I was sporting. My toes are very long and my years of rushing about and miscalculating the placement of solid objects has not been kind to them. They are splayed out like the hair of a new wave singer in the 80’s. That doesn’t mean every three to four weeks I don’t like to go for a pedicure tarting them up with bright lacquers and try to manage the overall build up of hoof on my foot.
I live in a great neighborhood inSan Diegowhere I can walk to almost anything that I need. One of which is a wonderful nail shop with talented brave young women who manage the overall build up of said hoof. I know enough when I traipse down there to wear sandals but I don’t have a pair of flip flops or sandals that leave all the toes untouched so’s not to mess up the wet polish when it’s over. I usually sit and wait for my toes to dry reading a magazine, watch passers by and sip my tea and chill out till it’s time to put my sandals on and wander home. This isCalifornia; laid back I am adjusting to this lifestyle as I am fromNew York–my people are not known for being laid back. We are kind of a whirl wind of activity which nets us a lot of crankiness in the end.
Last weekend I made my monthly pilgrimage to Lulu’s and choose a lovely tomato red polish. I received my usual excellent pedicure and went to sit and wait for my toes to dry. As I sat I became antsy thinking about all I wanted to do when I walked that 5 blocks home. I was wearing those thin disposable spa-flips flops you get after a pedicure. I remembered as I sat there that I had seen some people wear them out; I had seen them trundle off back to their day. Looking at my wisp of a sandal I thought, “well hell it’s only 4-5 blocks home, I will just walk slowly and I’ll be fine.” I started out the door and realized these sandals had only one speed it was not only slow but shuffle slow. As I stepped out onto the sidewalk I could feel the heat of the concrete radiate up through the thin sole into the bottom on my now baby smooth feet. I thought “ok these things are flimsy at best I need to be really careful.” As I began to walk I became aware of my feet starting to sweat from the heat which was making my sandals slippery. I shuffled slower, lower and more carefully looking at every step, any uneven surface made my feet slide in the sandal. I had not yet come to the point where I thought this was not a good idea, I was still problem solving the terrain and trying my best to work with the sub par equipment some of which was my brain.
Then I looked up and I noticed that people on the sidewalk were not making eye contact with me and were all but looking away as I got close. This did not register at first as I was continuously looking down for rogue leaves, dog poo and uneven patches that were now the bane of my existence. I finally knew with certainty that this journey was a mistake one block into it. This long coming realization hit when the toilet paper substance wrapped around each toe to keep them separate for painting started to unravel. I looked down helplessly as it unraveled from the smallest straightest toe of the lot and started to drag a few inches behind me. With each step I took it unraveled a little more. It would not be retucked no matter how hard I tried. People continued to not meet my gaze and they had started to give me a very wide berth on the sidewalk.
I had now fully acquired the look of an escaping mental patient. The flight of the loon was mine to claim. There was no fix for this. I had to just keep staring at the ground and shuffle as fast as my sweat soaked, toilet paper trailing, spa-flip flop clad feet would go. A small detail dawned on me toward the end of my journey home. Something so small yet so significant I had missed it, all of the people I had seen leave the shop with this inadequate footwear had keys in their hands. Ah yes that small detail was a killer, as escaping mental patients who drive rarely have toilet paper trailing the car which never garners a second glance. Drat.