Anne Squared

Life filtered through the lens of an INTJ, Mom, and healthcare professional.

“Shoes” 1

The word “shoes” obviously means different things to different people.  When I was growing up, each autumn we would go with my dad to a local shoe store for the ritual of having our feet measured and fitted for new shoes. The store owner, a patient of my father, would always take care of us. There was no choice of what we would get, it was always the same: One pair of white tennis shoes, and one pair of saddle shoes. My earliest memories  mirror each subsequent year. My dad, four daughters. The big excitement was “Who would be getting the NEW SHOES?” and Mr. Playmore would be the one making that determination. Inevitably, there would be a few pair of shoes that would be measured and assessed as “acceptable” … and become “hand-me-downs”.
Just because we could not choose a style of shoe did not mean this was a rapid process. For the four of us to be properly measured, fitted, sized, and assessed for two pairs of shoes – it took a good two hours. And the other customers in the shoe store (I remember timing their interactions – yes, I was into time management at an early age) were given the same consideration. Fitting shoes properly was a profession, a proper science. I knew at an early age that my left foot was larger than my right foot (unusual, so always ask for the left, not the right I was told) and that I had very narrow feet. If shoes were not fit properly, it could and would lead to many types of problems later in life, I was told. Maybe you are seeing that I hit the genetic jackpot – odd feet, very narrow. And my older sister is only 11 months older than me. Well, I will tell you now, I started to outgrow her around the age of 3. Yep, I had bigger feet. And narrow. And my left one was larger. ODD. At a very early age. And I loved it!! I inherited my mother’s feet!

This was all well and good until I started second grade at my school, the year my older sister transferred into MY school. Yes, we were in the same class, in a very small school, but that is another story. We obviously wore the same style shoes for class and for gym. And all the other girls didn’t. No one else had saddle shoes. Now had I been on my own, this probably never would have bothered me. But it bugged the hell out of my sister, especially since she was wearing the “hand-me-downs”. I never had contemplated my footwear compared to the other girls. I was the smartest one in the class, I had my niche. But my sister…Jenny stirred the pot on this one. And she got me on board to start questioning our parents about “why” we had to have saddle shoes. “Why” not some other type of shoe? Why not a different color? And on and on. Looking back, I see how she got me to do the questioning and campaigning, likely because I could present a rational argument…and sometimes just an argument. And leave her out of it altogether. Jennie was and still is, a master manipulator – and I bow to the master. I love you, Jennie 🙂

And that brings me around to today. Shoes. They should still be fit. My children were fit at the only store I knew that still provided that service – Stride Rite Shoes – until they outgrew the shoes there. Except for my daughter, Susan. She is Jennie. (And that scares me.) She wants the bright, shiny, sparkly shoes that they sell at the large stores that I don’t like to shop at. So my sisters bought her the glitter shoes. And the neighbors bought her more glitter shoes. And Susan, my non-INTJ daughter – I BOUGHT HER the shoes that were GOOD for her feet – but she would cram them into her “Dorothy” shoes (red sparkly) because she didn’t want to wear what I guess was, the equivalent of the “saddle shoe” – though she picked it out and promised she would wear it. My Susan…my dear non-INTJ daughter.

Time for a deep breath. I need them with Susan. I am not even close to the story I plan to tell about “shoes” and Susan and me. About us. About an INTJ mom and a non-INTJ daughter. (karma? hey, I really do try to be good.)

Let me ask this… Is there anyone else out there who had to wear saddle shoes and Red Ball Keds as a kid? God, those Keds were uncomfortable! Weren’t they? Were the saddle shoes a Catholic school thing??

Categories: INTJ and INTP, Lions, Tigers and Catholics, Oh my.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. Thanks for reading and the comment – Ah, the shoes were imposed by my parents. The school was very small and did not have a uniform. Now that I think about it, when I started in first grade, they only went to 6th and all the classes were doubled up except 1st and 2nd. So there were 4 out of 8 classrooms used. I completely forgot it was a new school – maybe within a few years of starting.
    My mom use to buy the same dress or outfit for all of us (the first four girls.) She use to say it was so she could find us easily if one strayed off, but now, to use your term, I think she didn’t want to boggle her brain with choices 🙂

  2. I got a big laugh for the day when I was reading this! I’m sure saddle shoes and uniforms were the thing at Catholic schools. We went to public schools, but saddle shoes were the only choice for our family! At least we never boggled our brains or minds with choices! Take care and stay safe.

  3. Yes, those great loafers! I always loved them 🙂 They didn’t make them in AA/AAAA for kids so I was stuck with shoes that tied until I could buy my own shoes and “ruin” my own feet 😉 My mom’s solution to the scuffs – white shoe polish. Yeah, even on the washed, white tennis shoes.

  4. I had the brown oxfords and the Red Ball Keds. My mother had to wear saddle shoes, but thought that the oxfords were much more practical because they didn’t have white on them to get scuffed. They were say worse than saddle shoes. I had to start a one-girl campaign to get burgundy penny loafers, and it was tough.

  5. Somehow I missed the Nike fad – social worker casual (i.e., clogs imported from Norway) to pharmaceutical business attire with matching heels in every conservative color AA/AAAA. I did have something snazzy for working out but for the life of me cannot remember what – Susan was asking about them last night. (The girl is a fashion junkie – damn the era.)

    Boys are so easy to buy shoes for. And clothing. At least for awhile. Do your boys get into the “hand-me-down” issue?

    • My youngest has received hand-me-downs and been fine with it, but the truth is, by the time my oldest outgrew his jeans and shirts, there were holes in the knees and rips in the shirts. Not to mention grass stains, and food stains, and…

  6. I never wore saddle shoes or Red Ball Keds, but I did have some spiffy Nikes in the 80s. Another 80s fashion statement that needs to disappear forever…

    I don’t face many shoe issues since I only have boys. A cool pair of tennis shoes is all they want.


  1. Laughter as brain injury medicine … cold feet | braininjuryselfrehabilitation

Thoughts, ideas, questions? - Love to know what is on your mind!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s