No matter what size pants I struggle to squeeze my mommy-butt into, I can at least count on my shoes to fit. Shoes don’t only comfort my feet, they comfort my ego and my self-esteem. I totally get why women hoard season after season of styles on their shoe racks. We sooth our burdened souls with new soles. There are no horrific 360 degree views under harsh fluorescent lights, no buttons that need to be moved over, no spandex laden blends or sections of our closet marked “skinny shoes” and “fat shoes”.
I have never uttered the words, “Do these shoes make my butt look big?”
They are one of the few guilt free purchases I enjoy, sale or otherwise.
But the best are the ones that slip into your life with ease, never go out of style and cushion the blow of hitting the pavement day after day. They can sit in the back of your closet for ages, until you suddenly remember where you hid them away, dust them off and wear them with pride again.
Good friendships wear like shoes, tie our heart-strings tightly. Sometimes a worn heal may need repair to stabilize our balance and remind us what it feels like to walk tall.
Recently I have reconnected with one of my dearest friends from high school. We were inseparable for years until the middle of our freshman year in college. She went away to school, while I stayed close to home. The sharp pains of immaturity pierced our souls with every step further away from each other, every step closer to our individual futures. We stashed our friendship away in the back of the closet. Until last year.
Last year I added her to Facebook. For months I stared at her picture every time I logged on, clicked her profile page “just to see”. Eventually I just couldn’t stand it any more and wrote her a long note, held my breath and pressed send. Her response took my breath away, knocked me off my feet. She had missed me as much as I had missed her. Phone calls and emails trickled for days. We stepped back into pace seamlessly. It felt like we were in the halls of Mac Arthur High, arm in arm, giggling over boys and complaining about teachers, only now conversations revolved around marriages and kids. I could picture us spending Friday afternoons white shoe polishing our marching band shoes, making friendship pins to dangle on our white canvas Keds, or wandering aimlessly in Solo Serve trying on mountains of Jelly shoes. I regretted missing birthdays and anniversaries, the birth of her children and the devastation of her losses. Our lives seemed to run parallel on many levels, yet miles apart.
At Christmas I got to wrap my arms around her again for the first time in almost 20 years.
Good friendships never wear out. They just wait until their paths cross again. This year I get to celebrate her birthday with her when she comes up for a visit. The only thing I have planned for us is a pedicure, and maybe some shoe shopping.