I was as excited as a schoolgirl. My manager had a pair of black Fluevogs that didn't fit her just right. My size.
They looked even prettier in person. A little narrow, but very pretty. I unbuckled them. And couldn't even get my foot in all the way. Foiled again by my fat feet!
A childhood of ugly shoes
I can remember from a young age, probably around kindergarten, my mom buying me shoes, bringing them home for me to try on, then returning them with me in tow so I could try something on in the store.
Inevitably, the shoes she tried to buy me were always much cuter than the ones we left with. I craved black patent leather Mary Janes, but ended up with sensible matte brown, in a leather that was sure to stretch if need be.
|The shoes I coveted as a child.|
Back in the 70s, kids with fat feet didn't get a lot of choice. You took what you were offered, and felt lucky that you weren't leaving with newspaper duct-taped to your feet.
Not like today. My son has been blessed with normal-width feet. Often, particularly when there's a sale on, I'm hard-pressed to find shoes that will fit him in a sea of EEEs.
It got (somewhat) better
By the time I hit grade 8, my feet were the same size as my mom's. I discovered that adults get more choices when it comes to footwear than the measly kids, even those with tubby toes.
An added bonus is by then, it was the 80s. Running shoes could be worn loosely laced. Flats had openings that often showed toe cleavage. Perfect for my feet!
As I grew into adulthood, I picked up the knack for being able to tell if a pair of shoes would fit by eyeballing them. Doesn't mean I wouldn't try a narrow pair on now and then, just in case.
The big lie
Sometimes I would even buy shoes that didn't feel right, buying the salesperson's lie that the shoes would stretch. It never happened, and I would wear the offending shoes with a wince a few times, then they would be banished to the back of my closet before being given away.
I now know that shoes can be stretched, by a professional, but only to a point. I mean, a shoe has only so much give.
Today, I'll admit, I knew the Fluevogs wouldn't fit when I looked at them. But I coveted them nonetheless. Alas, it just wasn't meant to be.