The Cruel Shoes

I sat in the shoe store surrounded by towers of boxes containing some of the ugliest shoes I have ever seen, trying them on one by one like a reverse Cinderella — the pair that fits will definitely not get me a date to the ball. As I whined over the loss of not being able to wear pretty new shoes, I complained even louder to no one about why there can’t be stylish-yet-comfy shoes that don’t look like they were designed and stitched by trolls. And inexplicably, the uglier they are, the more they cost!

I freely admit that my bunions were partially caused by too much new-wave dancing in cheap footwear (think Leeds and Comtempo Casuals). Mostly, though, they can be attributed to my flat feet. A bunion is caused by “hallux abducto valgus.” HAV is a fancy way of saying your big toe is rotated and leaning toward your other toes. Do not confuse this with HPV, which is a fancy way of saying you have genital warts. Neither is “bunion” a funny way of saying Funyon, as I had mistakenly guessed in my teens before I knew better — that is an onion based snack from Frito-Lay.

As is often the case, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about how this new affliction will affect my dating life. Here are some of my obvious don’ts learned the hard way:

Don’t ever discuss the bunion or orthotic on a date, especially a first date. For example, “Can we just valet? My bunions are killing me,”  or “That squeaking noise? It’s just my orthotics, I forgot to powder them. Did you know baby powder stops the squeak?”

Don’t show off your red lumpy bunion like it’s a cool scar or tattoo. It’s not.

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