Pride Goeth Before the Fall
I should have learned my lesson in fourth grade…but some of us are slower than others. Back then I was desperate for clogs, not just any clogs—clogs with heels. Missy Scanzoni had the perfect clogs that clapped when she walked and made her look taller, prettier and most important of all, older. I asked my mom if I could have shoes like Missy Scanzoni and her response was “Absolutely not,” or something to that end. (She was a smart and practical mom.) But somehow I knew I needed to wear those shoes. I hatched a plan. I convinced Missy to trade shoes during recess. I gave her some sparkly unicorn stickers, along with my sneakers, and she handed me her clogs. The moment was magical. Like Cinderella getting the glass slipper. I put them on and instantly I was beautiful; elegant, I could even run in them—ha, what did my mom know? I made sure everyone on the playground saw me wearing them. As I traipsed around the swings and jungle gym, I thought to myself, the next day we’ll trade again—I had plenty of stickers.
But when the bell rang and I started back to class, my foot caught on a tree root. Ouch! My ankle turned. I wanted to cry. I couldn’t walk. The teacher and my best friend Hilary Donahue had to carry me to the nurse’s office. They called my mom before I had time to explain. “No, no, these aren’t my shoes!” I still had on Missy’s clogs! When the story was all told, the nurse called the teacher, the teacher called Missy. It was a big hullabaloo. Worst of all, the sympathy I’d gotten for my sprained ankle was gone. Everyone was mad. I was just the silly girl who wore someone else’s shoes—really not so cool when you put it that way…gross! I spent the next day at home in recovery, drinking Tang, eating bagels, watching Gilligan’s Island (it wasn’t so bad).
My first day back at school, after we had stood for the Pledge, a voice came over the loudspeaker, “Recently we had a student injured during recess because she traded shoes. There will be no more trading shoes during school.” I must have turned a thousand shades of red as I melted into my desk. (I don’t remember much of fourth grade after that.)
But something about time heals old wounds…and makes us forget. This time it wasn’t Missy’s clogs I longed for, it was my sister Keri’s shoe collection—the best, most amazing, most fantastic collection of platform heels you’d ever hope to own. Hot pink, leopard print, every shade of green you can imagine (her favorite color), some she’d even dyed herself with a Sharpie pen to match the color of an outfit (she’s so clever), boots four inches off the ground. I’d been wearing flats for years, missing out on all this fashionista fun! Why not get some summer sandals with a platform heel? I’m almost 40, my mom can’t say, “no!”
I bought a pair of sandals—white cloth across the toe, knotted with a rosebud print from the 1950’s. They’re adorable! The platform heel, 3 inches high, makes me tall enough I can almost look straight into Cooper’s eyes. Yesterday was the first time I wore them to Church. For three hours I knew they’d be comfortable enough. No problem. I walked slowly, but that didn’t matter, I need to be reverent, right? The new vantage point was incredible. I was towering. I didn’t care about looking older, (like I did in fourth grade), I did believe, however they made me look thinner!
Driving home from Church, Cooper mentioned he got a lead on a house for rent on the island, (we’re still searching.) We decided to stop by the address and what do you know, the owner was outside gardening. How lucky! He told Cooper we should take a look. I hurried out of the car as he reached to shake my hand. I stepped onto the gravel driveway and suddenly my ankle turned. The elderly gentleman did what he could to grab hold as I teetered sideways. If not for his grip I would have surely gone down hard on the sharp stones. He lectured me afterwards, (like a trained parent), warning of rocks and shoes with heels. It sounded familiar. Thoughts of clogs, Missy Scanzoni, and my mother’s stern but always loving face came rushing back to mind. So did the embarrassment of being clumsy.
I spent the evening with frozen vegetables on my ankle along with my essential oils—lemongrass and deep blue. I kept my foot elevated, wishing I had Tang and bagels, worried this injury was going to stop me from hiking the trails. I wanted sympathy, but it was hard to accept when I knew it was my own darn fault. So much for fashion and my pride. I think maybe I learned my lesson this time. (Mom you were right.) The next time I see something that I’m sure will make me prettier, thinner or more amazing, it just better not come with a three-inch heel.