Going barefoot brings up pleasant images for many people, perhaps memories of walking on a sandy beach or through dewy blades of grass. I never cared for it much, even as a child. There was always something sharp lurking there to spoil the experience. I’m hoping it will be a dry winter because I may have to go barefoot in the near future.
Most of my shoes are on their last leg (pun not intended, but a bonus), and I hate shopping for shoes. I have not held back my opinion in the past, and I will not do so now – feet are disgusting. They pick up every sort of nastiness in the transit of the day, unless one never removes one’s closed-toed shoes at all. Even then, do they not produce their own filth in the form of bacteria-breeding perspiration? Trying on shoes for possible purchase just spreads all of this to every other shopper. What if a previous customer had a foot or toenail fungus? And it isn’t only the shoes themselves; the boxes they come in have the same germs all over them. How does one come by a pair of new shoes without major contamination of the hands?
This week I looked at a pair of shoes, and I almost bought them. I hated touching the box; it looked as though it had been opened already. I did something I haven’t done in a long time – I curled up my fingers and lifted it off the shelf into my cart (I was in a big box-style store). I reasoned that at least my palms would stay clean, and if I felt the need (and I was already feeling it) I would have to spray only the backs of my hands. I used my curled up fingers to lift the lid from the box, and, indeed, the shoes looked as though they had been tampered with, i.e., tried on. Did I really like the shoes that much? I looked at the ones in the box; I looked at the ones on display. Then I decided that they weren’t that attractive, and I put them back on the shelf. I wish I had made that decision sooner. Now that part of the cart seemed dirty to me, and I didn’t want to put any other items there.
I walked through the store gathering the rest of the things on my list, all the while spraying the backside of my hands with alcohol. I finally made it to the glorious self-checkout lanes, and the bubble burst. The lanes I have come to love were being tainted, well at least one. A woman had placed her grimy purse right on top of the scanning platform where the receipt prints out. Where had it been placed before – the restroom floor? I knew self-checkout was too good to be true. From now on I have to avoid that particular lane, and at the other lanes, I still have to be careful to catch the receipt before it touches the counter. Regardless, self-checkout is still the best option out there.
But back to what to wear. My shoes are not the only things that are wearing out; so is the majority of my clothing. Shopping for clothes is not as bad as it is for shoes, but I still don’t want to try on clothes that have been on someone else’s body. That is why I try to make my best guess at what will fit, I buy it and take it home, and I try it on right before getting in the shower. Because of the guesswork involved, most of the time I end up returning the clothes. And that is a hassle, too, because I either have to wear gloves in cool weather, or have a dirty hand when it’s warm outside. I did consider shopping online, but then I thought about other people returning items they don’t like, and how those would be the very ones shipped to my house.
Despite all of that, I should find something to wear. At this time, my particular problem is that I don’t like anything I see in the stores. I don’t like the styles or colors or patterns. Am I just getting older and don’t like the young, trendy styles; or is that an OCD manifestation also? I need to learn how to sew. Is there a way for a person to make their own shoes, too? It sounds like a lot of hard work, but I think I’ll do a web search.