Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tight Squeeze

Several medical tests confirmed my doctor’s original suspicion about my swollen toe: my sneakers were too tight and irritating my toe.

“If I lose 10 pounds, will they fit?” I asked the doctor.

He was unimpressed by my humor, but I’m not one to give up easily.

“I really hate to get rid of all of my sneakers. I have them in five different colors. Can I stretch them?”

Dr. Stone Face ignored this question too. He was busy writing. When he finished, he handed me a prescription for new arches and special sneakers to help my newly diagnosed arthritic toe.

I wasn’t upset when I left his office. After all, as illnesses go, this will not alter my life style

I headed straight for one of the orthopedic shoe stores the doctor recommended. A very nice man measured my feet. “Size 9.”

I paled. Every closed shoe in my closet was an 8 and my sandals ranged from 7 ½ to 8.

“Please measure again.” Surely I knew my own shoe size!

He did. The results were unchanged.

I was bummed. If he was right, my life style was about to change, and not from the arthritic bump on my toe but from a dent in my bank account - I would need to replace all my closed-toed shoes.

He brought out a pair of size 9 sneakers. I winced when I saw the price on the box. The cost was triple what I normally spend. I slipped my feet into them. He tied the laces. “Walk around the store,” he instructed.

I stood up, fully expecting to clip-clop up and down the aisles with sneakers way too big for my foot. To my dismay, each step convinced me that my feet and the sneakers were a match made in heaven. I looked at the salesman. “I don’t understand. All my other shoes fit.” I pointed to the ones I wore into the store.

“Ma’am, you’re pointing to sandals. Nothing’s rubbing on your toes – but they barely cover the soles of your feet.” He proved his point by showing me that my toe imprints reached the end of the shoe.

When did my feet grow?

He went into his storage room and returned with a pair of sandals. “Here,” he said and showed me the almost identical orthopedic sandals my mother wore all the time when she retired and moved to Florida. “These will really help your feet.”

Last week not only cost me a small fortune, but it also moved me up one more rung on my Morph to Mama Ladder.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Treasure Hunting Without Leaving Home

The big discussion between my husband and me these past few weeks is should we move from our home of 35 years to what I call a seniorville. To both of us, retirement communities are sleep away camps for active seniors who are looking for a large menu of activities to keep them busy. We concluded several years ago that this kind of lifestyle was not for my husband as long as he was working full time. But his needs and work hours have changed, therefore we are making lists of all the reasons to move or stay.

Today, while I unsuccessfully searched for my gold hoop earrings that I wore last week, I thought of a unique new reason to make the move. Think of all the misplaced jewelry I could find -and the treasure hunt won’t be limited to that alone. Last week when I cleaned out our hall closet, I found a long- forgotten-about tablecloth hanging underneath a blazer I haven’t worn in years. By the time I finished that one closet, I had also recovered almost six dollars in change and one long lost gift card!

As of now, we still are wavering on our decision to take the big step, but one thing is certain - I’m going to continue to act as if we’re moving until I find my gold hoop earrings!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Irregardless - Ouch!

Could my ears have deceived me or did I actually hear a popular talk show host on a cable news network use the word “irregardless?” I’m tempted to send off an email and correct this man who interviews presidential candidates and an infinite number of dignitaries – tempted, but not sure I want to do so. I was stunned he obviously didn’t know there is no such word as “irregardless.” The pedestal I held him on tilted a little when I heard him utter the word. However, I would like to prevent him from further mortification since I still like him – regardless of his error.

I learned years ago that not all adults appreciate when you correct their grammar. When a young neighbor, who was once a friend, told me, “Me and my sister love all the flowers in front of your house,” I made the mistake of correcting her grammar. She turned red, snapped that she was no longer in school, and insisted she didn’t have to impress anyone.

My mother ranked proper speech next to cleanliness when it came to making first impressions. Mom was forever correcting her own three children and continued the practice with her eight grandkids. Once she corrected a letter one granddaughter sent from camp and then sent it back to her. Like my neighbor, my niece was anything but grateful. “You’re not my teacher, you’re my Nana,” she told her. “You’re supposed to love everything I do.”

Guilt worked. My mother stopped correcting letters from her grandkids, but it didn’t stop her if they spoke to her incorrectly. “Smart people should know the difference between ‘can’ and ‘may’” she would tell them.

When the principal of my son’s high school spoke during open house for the freshmen’s parents, he used the word “irregardless.” Half the people in the room cringed. My husband warned me not to correct the principal when the evening was over. “You can tell him after our son graduates, but not before.”

I listened to my husband, but it was frustrating – ‘irregardless” was one of the man’s pet words. According to one of my friends on his faculty, he was finally corrected by one of the English teachers – at her retirement party.

So, now to my dilemma: should I email the blond-haired, rapid-speaking talk show host or continue the policy I have followed ever since I offended my neighbor? On the other hand, I could write him and tell him to read my blog!