I fail at being a girl

Trigger warning: Feet.  Because feet are gross.



This week I am commuting downtown for work.  I’ve done it enough times that I’m generally comfortable with what I’m doing, where I’m going, and other lifestyle choices, but as I look at the people around me I still feel so jarringly out of place at the ease with which everyone alongside me comes and goes.

I’m a lot better than I used to be – I used to gaze up in awe at all the HUGE buildings, the likes of which I had only seen in pictures before.  Now I walk briskly, cynical gaze downward with the best of ‘em.

While I am cynically gazing downward, I see other people’s feet.  They are kinda right there in my field of vision so I can’t avoid it.  And I notice that the vast majority of women are dressed for their destination rather than the walk.  Women are wearing these shoes –



or these shoes –


or even these shoes –



But not many people are wearing these shoes –



And if they are wearing sneakers, they are wearing an outfit with pants so it doesn’t look too obnoxious.  I have yet to see another person like me wearing a summery black sleeveless shirt paired with a breezy black-and white floral skirt, rounded out with sneakers.  Or today’s choice of a royal blue sundress paired expertly with – you guessed it! – sneakers.

I know it looks horrible but I’m at a point where I am done sacrificing functionality for style; and I have learned from experience that any footwear less supportive than sneakers results in painful feet and swollen joints.  Especially the flat-soled sandals.  When I see women not so much walking but galumping around, carelessly slapping their feet on the ground, my knees hurt just seeing them.

But my real concern is when I get where I’m going, I have to walk through the reception area and down the halls of my law firm client still wearing my obnoxious garb.  By the time I have a chance to put my backpack down, dig out my real shoes and switch over, I have been there at least five or ten minutes and I have likely been introduced to one or more people by this point.  Yay for first impressions!  So important in a client service job.

99.9% of the time I am totally fine owning my more tomboyish self, but situations like this make me thing to myself, “If only I were more skilled at being a girl.”


  1. I fail along with you. That’s why I love fall and winter when you can wear cool looking boots that are comfortable.

    And don’t talk to me about pedicures…especially with the cost of getting a non-exploitative and my lack of art talent to do my own.

    1. Aren’t boots the best!

      Since I have a 12-year-old girl and a 9-year-old girl, I have no shortage of aggressive offers for free pedicures. They are much appreciated, of course, but the results are not anything I want anyone else to see!

  2. Funny! And I’m another so-called failure. But of course, I’m always fighting to expand the notion of what a girl is. I used to think that other women just felt less pain than me, but I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that they are just more willing to put up with pain for beauty. But those shoes D-beautify your feet in the long run. Have you seen Sarah Jessica Parker’s feet? She’s worn shoes like that for years and her feet are in terrible shape, and look terrible, too. A couple decades ago it was all the rage to wear sneakers with a skirt suit or dress, as you do. That’s one fad and that should have been more than just mere fad.

    1. “But of course, I’m always fighting to expand the notion of what a girl is.”

      Yes you are! Much appreciated.

      And I agree – it’s a shame that fad didn’t stick.

  3. There’s nothing to be ashamed of about taking care of your body. When you are 80, your feet and joints will thank you. I say you go, girl! Get down with your bad, sneaker-wearing self!

  4. No you don’t fail as a girl. You’re excelling as a wise woman who’s taking care of the only body she’ll ever be given! In 20 years, hi heel girl will be too crippled to walk. And you’ll be dancing on your healthy feet!

  5. I’ve had plenty of struggles with shoes in the last several years (military, shin splints, blah blah blah). I recommend looking at Vivo Barefoot shoes (no, not the ones with the toes!) — they are expensive, but they are foot-healthy AND professional looking! That’s a very difficult combination to find…

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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