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.”