A California boomer feels she can never own enough shoes

Baby boomers put up with things no one else would understand. Except fellow boomers, of course. So if you’re a boomer woman, you might relate to this piece by Erin O’Brien of Redondo Beach, California. It’s about her Achilles’ Heel … oops, we mean, her Achilles’ Heels.

My podiatrist is young and handsome. Rather than ask him out for a drink, I want to adopt him.

Erin O'Brien

Erin O’Brien

One recent day at his office, I stared at his curly blond locks as he examined my foot. He wanted to know my shoe size. “A five,” I answered proudly, the same size since eighth grade. Still, he insisted on measuring my feet. I stepped onto the cold metal plate. The doctor paused a moment before declaring I was actually a size 5-1/2, with a small possibility of the other foot being a size 6. I recoiled in horror.

“Well, you are 50 now,” he explained, as if offering solace. What did he know about women’s shoes?

Erin_feet_5I closed my eyes and thought of my shoe collection, arranged by style, heel height, and color, neatly stacked across the length of my closet shelf (and along the floor of the closet), each box brandishing the enviable “size 5” label. Every pair was lovingly wrapped in tissue paper discarded from gifts, and stored in its pristine original container. Some boxes were adorned with magazine photos pasted on the outside for easy identification.

One day I arrived home late from work to find three shoe-size shaped boxes stacked on the dining room floor. I hadn’t arrived in time to intercept the UPS delivery truck. “I thought you were going to cut back on clothing expenditures,” my husband reminded me.

“Do shoes count?”

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I love shoes. As I shape-shifted from gaunt to curvy, to trim, to (gasp) middle-aged, and despite the increased frequency with which I had to visit my hair colorist, my feet always stayed the same. It did wonders for my ego.

I left the podiatrist’s office that afternoon with prescriptions for pain medication and a new pair of shoes. I wondered if my husband would believe me.

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  1. As I see 50 looming ahead in the not so distant future, I can relate that my shoe size has not changed either. However, thanks to my middle age and out of shape attempt at aerobics, my achilles heel no longer likes shoes of any kind and reminds me daily that I am getting old. Maybe it’s time to meet that young and handsome podiatrist!!!!

  2. Love this writer and subject! I can relate, though I’m MUCH older, my weakness has always been china and handbags. I am a strong believer in treating yourself to feel good things, it keeps life fun!

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