Before the fire, my closet was overflowing, mostly with clothes I couldn’t fit in anymore but couldn’t bear to get rid of.  Seriously, I had the dress I wore when I graduated from college in there.
Truth to tell, most of the things I actually wore lived in a laundry basket sitting in the middle of my bedroom.  And most of my day-to-day wardrobe was . . . frumpy.
Because we were in Baltimore for a funeral when the house burned down, the four or so outfits I retained (I had consciously packed very lightly!) included some of my dressier items along with the t-shirts and yoga pants I brought along for the nine-hour drive.   I made do with this minimalist wardrobe for some time, going out to buy only the barest of necessities.
As I’ve slowly bought things, I have consciously tried to go with somewhat nicer-looking items than those I was wearing before (as far as the clothes I wear to be seen in, that is.  If you want to know the truth, at the moment I am wearing an exceedingly frumpy but cozy oversized Wal-Mart sweatshirt.).  And when anything I’ve purchased has made me feel dowdy after I’ve worn it a few times, I’ve promptly given it away.
I will probably be writing for years about the fire and how it has affected me.  I am not finished figuring it out yet and writing helps me do that.  One thing I know is that I get a strange satisfaction from looking at my nearly empty closet and mostly empty drawers.  Having lost everything I don’t see the point in collecting new things to get attached to.  I feel anxious looking at the huge amounts of stuff that everyone but me has already acquired in the last two years.  I enjoy filling up bags with Goodwill donations and getting them out of here.
030But none of that really explains the Crocs, does it?
The fire left me with one pair of shoes, I believe–my black summer sandals.  And then my hiking boots were rescued from the basement.  Which was a shame, because I have trouble finding comfortable shoes that fit, let alone that are stylish.  I have very flat feet so every attempt at heels ends up with me kicking them off and walking around barefooted for the rest of the night.    I originally wore size 9.5 N.  Many companies skip the larger half sizes, and they also seem to assume that if your feet are long they are wide also.  A 10 M used to fall right off my foot, so most of my shoes had to have straps of some kind.
After five kids, I probably measure more like 10.5.  So that means I have to buy size 11, and I don’t know of you’ve happened to look at that section of your local Payless, but blink and you’ll miss it.  And let’s just add the latest twist, which is that for the past several years I have been experiencing unilateral edema, so that while my right foot remains narrow, my left one varies from narrow to wide, depending.  (Depending on what?  No clue, really.)
This house has wall-to-wall carpet.  So after years of wearing shoes indoors because of gritty hardwood floors (What?  Yours aren’t gritty?  I hate you.) I now go barefooted inside to minimize staining (WHY IS ALL CARPET BEIGE OR TAUPE OR CREAM?  WHO THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA?).  I have a pair of slip on shoes outside my garage door and outside my front door for quick trips when I don’t want to go all the way upstairs to put on my shoes.
Now, William apparently has some sensory issues and the only shoes he can stand to put on his feet are Crocs.  For about two years now, we have just bought a new pair when the current ones wear out.  And one of his pairs broke a strap recently.  William being William, he left them outside on the front porch, and one day I slid my feet into them because they looked like they would be just my size.
They were!  And they stay on, and are completely flat, and don’t hurt my feet when I walk (I get plantar fascitis from time to time on top of my other woes.).  All anyone ever says about Crocs is how ugly they are.  No one ever told me they would be so comfortable.
At first, I just slipped them on to drive William to school.  Then I wore them on one of my walks up and down the street.  Then for a quick trip to the grocery store.  Pretty soon I was even wearing them IN FRONT OF PEOPLE, when I picked Lorelei up from school.
What I haven’t done is buy new ones in colors to match my clothes.  Yet.


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