You Wouldn’t Want to Walk in My Shoes

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes to solve my foot problems.

I blame it on my last pair of tennis shoes. I wore them down and didn’t throw them away for a new pair.

But finding a new pair of walking shoes isn’t easy, I’ve discovered.  rainy-evening

I began my search in Berkeley, the home of seasoned walkers. I came away with a pair of Mephisto’s with a scandalous price tag. I have never spent so much money in my life on a pair of shoes and I was feeling quite guilty about it. I rationalized it by telling myself the shoes would outlast me in longevity and I could bequeath them to my daughter along with the African Grey parrot that will outlive her.

I walked in them for a few hours inside the house to test them out. Pretty soon my feet were on fire. Not a good sign.

I went back to the store and discovered I couldn’t get my money back, only store credit. So I came away with two pairs of shoes that were on sale for the price of the one pair I returned. There were two I didn’t really need – a pair of Dansko’s and fleecy bedroom slippers – but could use them eventually. I felt somewhat better but not a whole lot.

Then I realized the Dansko’s weren’t really walking shoes as much as standing-on-your-feet-for-a-long-time kinda shoes like chefs need or tulip growers in Denmark.

This time I tried several shoe stores in San Francisco. The sales personnel at one shop were used car salesmen in another life, trying to sell me shoes that didn’t fit my needs. The next shop didn’t have anything that remotely looked like it could support a gymnast let alone me.

But I hit the jackpot in the third store.

I came away with a pair of Jewish shoes. I should have known. I have Jewish feet. Of course Jewish shoes would fit me.

They’re Naots and they’re made in Israel.

It was as if a Jewish shoemaker had measured my feet and created a tailor-made pair for me.

And I didn’t have to pay as many shekels for these.

Calvin says, “I have English paws. If anything happened to them I’d need a trip to England for replacements.” beagle


Give Mom a Kick-Butting Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner.

That horrid one day of the year when families take mom out for brunch and fuss over her with eggs Benedict and Mimosas. Then she’s returned to the daily grind and all is forgotten.

I’m sure the restaurant industry contrived the holiday to beef up their bottom line in May.

What if mom doesn’t like eggs with a last name and orange juice spiked with bubbles? Maybe she prefers her steak grilled with a heaping plateful of shoestring potatoes and a large pitcher of sangria?

And please don’t give her a cheesy card with a sappy greeting that a computer spit out last century that you found in the greeting card aisle at the supermarket next to the artificial smelling air fresheners for the house. Definitely don’t buy one of those either.

Instead, head out to the mall and buy her an all expense paid shopping spree to her favorite shoe store. Or put her on a plane to a beach somewhere. Or give her a lifetime of body massages at the Holistic Health Clinic where Mai, the masseuse will be happy to walk all over her back.

Then install the dog in the pet hotel so she doesn’t have to walk him for a month.

Hire a private chef for the rest of the year and give her a break in the kitchen.

Oh wait. The kitchen. It needs a desperate overhaul before Wolfgang can cook there.

Maybe mom has a dream she’d like to focus on for a change. Provide her with the tools she needs. Lipstick, make-up, haircut and color, liposuction, a new wardrobe.

Singing lessons? Maybe she’s always wanted to develop her voice beyond yelling at the kids.

Calvin says, “My mom never got to develop herself. I know she had a secret nobody else knew. She always wanted to be an owner.”