Diana Vreeland, according to the new documentary about her, loved to turn people’s defects into their assets–like a celebration of Barbra Streisand’s nose or Lauren Hutton’s gapped teeth to name two. That concept inspired me to flaunt something I’ve always tried to hide. Yikes. Can I say Opening A Can of Worms? But I’ll just start at the bottom…with my feet.
I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I came here against my will. I didn’t want to move from New York City. I thought I would die leaving New York City. “People wear ugly shoes in Cambridge,” I said to anyone who would listen. But my husband got a job here so we moved. I was mad at him for a long time. Okay, five years to be exact. But I’m over that. Now, I love Cambridge, Massachusetts. I think it’s the greatest place on earth to live. And chief among the reasons is the shoes.
Before I moved to Cambridge, I thought those giant protrusions on the side of my big toes were bunions. That is until I saw a doctor. I begged him to just shave them off. “If only it was that simple,” he said. Turns out, “your feet are deformed,” he told me. My big toes got the wrong directions when growing. Instead of Stay Straight the one on the right heard Head East and the one on the left heard Head West. Now each hallux (that’s the word for big toe) nestles snuggly into its neighbor. All of that might sound kind of cozy if shoes weren’t mandatory. They are. Even in beautiful Cambridge bottles break and dogs poop and who wants to step in either?
Not me. But fixing my feet is no walk in the park. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to do that for weeks or months. In New York City, I felt obligated to wear stylish shoes. Or to be perfectly frank, I’m vain so I wanted to wear stylish shoes. Which meant my feet hurt all the time. I found temporary relief at Sacco Shoes on the Upper West Side. They made beautiful shoes for women who walk. Imagine! But then they went out of business. So it’s a good thing I moved to Cambridge. Here my feet are very happy in my grey Birkenstocks. And so am I.