Not sure why I feel compelled to start every Nickle’s Pickles post with “True story…” but I seriously couldn’t make this stuff up!
So last Thursday morning I’m standing in one of our director’s offices chatting away about something or other when I felt a slight shift under my feet (coupled with a sense that I was, well, getting shorter)! I was a little alarmed, but just kept talking, figuring maybe I’d felt a little bit “off” for wearing a (nearly 20 year old, but still stylish) chunky-heeled pair of sandals that give me more height than I’m used to in my normal flats.
Blah blah blah we droned on when I felt another quick shift, but this time I was positive I just got shorter! I felt like I was standing on foamy Jenga blocks, and one-by-one someone was removing the blocks (ever-so-slowly) beneath my feet!
The director didn’t seem startled or interrupted at all by the strange phenomenon, so I kept him engaged in conversation while I thought to myself, “OMG I’m totally having my own Oda Mae Brown moment, like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost!”
From my years of experience in awkward situations, I knew I needed to play it cool and NOT CALL ATTENTION TO MYSELF! So, I waited for a chance to sneak a peek down at my feet, and assess the situation when the director looked away. And, when I did, it was SO MUCH WORSE than I anticipated! In my two-second glance, I observed a pile of shoe “turds and ash” surrounding my feet. My chunky-heeled sandals were (literally) disintegrating as I stood there talking to the director. I realized I had to make an immediate break for it before the entire heel fell apart in his office.
So, I did what I do best. I owned this pickle like a ROCK STAR, smiling and nodding as the conversation lingered on. Keeping his eyes fixed on mine, I casually squatted down and swept the pile of shoe remnants into my arms (like I was collecting seashells by the seashore), and ever-so-slowly backed out of his office, waving goodbye with my free hand.
Then, just as I cleared his office, the remainder of my dangling heel shot off behind me, landing right back onto his office floor. Sigh.
After stumbling forward a bit and nearly losing balance, I quickly composed myself and returned to casually scoop up the large chunk of heel from his office floor, but startled by my return, he turned around when I popped in again and caught my gaze just as I was reaching for what was left of the heel. So I grabbed it, smiled, waved, and left again before he could interrogate me.
Then I high-tailed it back to my desk (in slow motion), keeping my eyes forward, and politely greeting all passersby as my shoes continued to break down into a path of little black foamy nuggets stretching from his office to my cubicle. I struggled to stay steady on my feet because that’s tough for me anyhow, let alone when my shoes are crumbling out from underneath me!
By the time I landed in my seat, both shoes were cracked and tattered and one was missing the heel all together while the other one was only mostly gone. Luckily, I had an old pair of snazzy pink and white sneakers (minus the interior soles) at my desk, so I ditched what was left of the sandals and walked around feeling like I had bunched up socks under foot all day, which was far better than the disappearing chunky heel situation for sure.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time this happened to me either. Recently, my mom recalled a couple of other times my older shoes and boots outlasted changing fashion trends, but fell apart (literally) against the hands of time! (Stay tuned to hear more about those ordeals later!)
So if you’re like me, pushing the limits and trying to get just one more wear out of your favorite pair of ancient shoes, check the “expiration date” because those old shoes just aren’t made for walking!