Aging Disgracefully

We all know her.  She is the timeless woman:  classic, ageless, gracefully accepting each challenge of getting older.  Her lithe limbs glide across the room.  Upon close examination of her skin, we wonder what night cream she uses.  We assume she has spent her entire life in the gym and has never seen the sun.  She looks stylish in flats.  I am not that woman.  In fact, I hate her.  She is the epitome of “aging gracefully.”  I, on the other hand, am aging disgracefully.

Over the next few weeks, because there is just too damn much to write about on the subject of aging disgracefully in one post, I will examine every aspect of how my body has begun to betray me.

Let’s start at the bottom – my feet.

After decades of wearing fabulous heels and cute flip-flops, not to mention logging thousands of miles on a tennis court, my feet are waging a silent war against me.  Apparently, they launch their main attack each night while I sleep.  Now, every morning, I have to stretch my feet for several minutes before taking a single step out of bed or the pain in my plantar fascia will shoot up my leg causing me to face-plant onto the carpet.  Nice.

Shoe shopping used to be a transformative experience for me.  Even on the most frustrating days, the dazzling treats displayed in the shoe department of a good department store offered hope for the future.  Designer Shoe Warehouse was my crack house.

Now, shoe shopping is a grim adventure into three worlds:  stripper shoes, sittin’ pretty shoes, and the shoes I should wear.

On the first rounder of the shoe department, I find the stripper shoes – an assortment of metallic platform torture devices fitted with skinny straps that scream, “Wear me!  I’ll dig into the top of your foot and give you pump fat!”  If I were a 22-year-old pole-dancer with a much smaller butt, I might consider these.  But, sadly these shoes would make me tip forward while attempting to walk, making my butt look even bigger than it is.  (I’ll get to that later.)  And I’ve already paid for my college degree.  There’s no reason to get on the pole now.  (And we’re back to face-planting.)

I only pause at the stripper shoes for a split second before the shoe angels pull me to the center table.  The heavens part, casting a halo around my deepest desire:  the sittin’ pretty shoes.  They are beautiful, usually a classic pump style with a delicately curved, four-inch heel.  They beg to be worn to power lunches and cocktail parties.  Unfortunately, I have to walk into said luncheon or party before I can sit pretty, and the thin sole offers no support at all.  Damn you, you perfectly constructed, patent leather pump available in every color of the rainbow.  You are a wicked temptress.

I turn away from the center table, knowing those shoes are for someone else’s feet now.  Dismayed, I peer at the dark, back corner of the shoe department.  You know the section I speak of where Rockport, Easy Spirit, Clarks and Orthaheel shoes are displayed next to posters of fallen arches and heel spurs.  I know that is where my feet want to go.  So I abide and slide into a sensible sandal, well equipped with a supportive arch and cushioned heel.  My feet are thrilled.  My soul is crushed.  This category is also known as the I’m-one-step-away-from-giving-up-on-life shoes.  Behold my future.

Yes, after months of early morning stretching, corrective insoles, and rolling a frozen can of juice concentrate under my feet, I am in less pain.  However, every time I choose to wear the good-for-my-feet sandals rather than my fetching wedges, I die a little inside.

As for the 18-year-old that pranced by me in the canned food aisle of Publix wearing a to-die-for royal blue shift dress and killer nude wedges, all legs and attitude, I still have the ability to kick you in the neck, and I get excellent traction in my sensible shoes.  I just may need a nap afterwards.

So, how are you aging disgracefully?  Come on, share a little.  I bet Father Time is pissing you off, too.

16 thoughts on “Aging Disgracefully

  1. I love this one, Jodie! I’m sitting at dance class for the girls, so at first I just had a slight giggle as I read this, but when the heavens parted, I laughed out loud. I feel exactly the same way. Well said!

  2. Growing old can suck it! Not as fast as we used to be, but we are a lot smarter. I think since we are no longer the fastest gazelles, we turned into the lions! Like the lion, we can’t chase them down, but we know to walk quietly to the watering hole, then only have to use a short burst to get them. Of course that is now followed by three days of ice, bed rest, and heating pads….

    • That was the one brand I figured I would get a little disagreement with. And, yes, when walking through snow and ice, they are necessary and cute. But they are sensible which is a new development in my shoe thought process. Thanks for reading, friend!

  3. laughed out loud. After spending 10 years in an office wearing fabulous shoes to work, I now sit at home at my computer every day in my “I’m-one-step-away-from-giving-up-on-life shoes” for which my feet (but not my soul) are thankful. Then, off to a business trip I go and put on the sittin pretty shoes, for which my soul does flips… for about 1 hour. And then I don’t care about my soul any more and I just want my giving-up shoes back!

    • Exactly! I get all excited for events that I have to dress nicely for, but an hour into them, I really just want to be back in yoga pants and flip flops! Thanks for reading! How are you enjoying working from home?

  4. I love it, but really Jodie you are still very young, and Father Time has just got started. If you think he is pissing you off now just you wait. You have 40+ years before he really gets your goat!
    Love Jays take on this!
    Love you,

  5. My favorite shoes are what my husband calls my “cruisers”. They are Mary Jane like tennis shoes made by, none other than, Clarks. Cute and stylish and so good to my feet. I’m too old to be uncomfortable!

    • Love it! And I’m so happy you read my blog! Personally, I spent the entire summer in my Alegria flops. If a shoe doesn’t have good support, I don’t waste my money anymore. I guess I should consider this the wisdom of age, but sometimes I miss the stupidity of youth!

    • Do not straighten your hair! You’re curls are fabulous and leave all of us straight-hair women a little wanting. As for my closet full of fabulous heels, I am eternally foolish…

      Thank you so much for reading my blog. I am so grateful.

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