Corrective Shoes and Colonics



Everyone in my family wore corrective shoes except my mother. She was blessed with nice arched feet, the feet of those women who never had pimples or passed gas. Her feet were smooth and peachy, slender and soft.

Mine, on the other hand, were boney and flat – flat like soft corn tortillas, and yes, the clichéd pancake. I don’t like to think of feet and pancakes in the same sentence or the same place. Kind of makes me sick.

When I was about six, my two brothers and I would be scooted, well, kind of shoved – we didn’t want to go – into our Cadillac that looked like a big white nurse’s shoe. We’d all go downtown, together, to the Corrective Shoe Store in downtown Dallas.

On the way, I threatened to open the door and throw myself out of the car. My dad, unblinking, immediately hit the modern lock-all-the-doors button. Luckily, I didn’t succeed or I wouldn’t be here today to share the story of  my big, loud, stiff, shame-inducing shoes.

Inside the store, there were shoes everywhere! Beige, white, black, school marm, puddle jumping, bus driver, trash man, cafeteria worker, and so on. You name it. It was the biggest collection of ugly shoes I had ever seen. I kind of felt sorry for the shoes, they were so ugly.

To be fitted, we put our feet into cold, steel measuring contraptions. I would scrunch my toes to shorten my foot so I didn’t have to get such big shoes. But the salesman always made me relax my toes and I ended up with what I perceived as the biggest, blackest, heaviest tie-up corrective shoes I had ever seen. Like black pot-bellied turn of the century stoves. I had to put my feet in stoves! And then try to walk.

My brothers were just little babies and they had to not only wear little baby corrective shoes, but the kind that had a brace, a long bar, that held the shoes together so their feet would grow straight and proper and not turned in, pigeon-toed. My brother Dan had kind of a little open-toed sandal number. His baby toes stuck out all white and doughy and puffy. They were so cute. I just wanted to pinch or bite or eat them.

My other brotherTom wore Oliver Twist lace-up ankle booties. Along with his little short pants, he looked rather proper, English proper! And, to further complement the 60’s fashion trend of the day, both boys had Beatles bowl cut hairdos. Mother loved it.

When I was eight years old, I remember running around the blacktop at school during gym class. It was awful. We’d all line up by height. All the cute bitsy blonde, teeny-weeny Slim Jim girls would be in front. I’d be in the back at 5’6” with size eight feet. A giant Woman Child, I was. We’d stand in these rows like at the grocery store check-out line. Boys in one line. Girls in another. I was taller than a guy who went on to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

Mr. Steele, our red-faced alcoholic teacher, was dressed in white from t-shirt to sneakers – just like Mr. Clean. He would let the girls do their lap first followed by the boys. He’d give us a loud, “GO,” and we’d be off.

Corrective Shoes and Colonics continues...
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About Lisa Johnson Mitchell


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Lisa Johnson Mitchell was born the daughter of a Texas hairdresser who subsequently pulled out all of her hair by the time she was six. She is afraid of clowns and mimes. When she was 10, she was bitten by a dog, then it died three days later. Her friends and family now know not to bite her. True story. But so...read more is this: Lisa Johnson Mitchell has been an ad writer for over 20 years in New York and Dallas. She produced a documentary film about a famous, Dallas homeless man, "His Name is Bob" that you can see on Google Play. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Her story, "Leota Fogg," placed in the Semi-Finals of the ScreenCraft Short Story Contest. Currently, she is an MFA candidate at the Bennington Writing Seminars in Vermont.
9 comments
Discussion
  2 weeks ago
Enjoyed this immensely, Lisa! I see the DS comparison.
  5 months ago · in response to Mitchell Toews

    Thank you! You are too kind.
  5 months ago
I will never again hear the phrase, "the same old crap," without clenching. Thanks for a great read.
  18 months ago · in response to Donna Snyder

    Thank you, Donna! I appreciate that you read them. Lisa
  18 months ago
Good stories.
  23 months ago · in response to Lisa Johnson Mitchell

    Let us know if you find this promised land!
  23 months ago · in response to Leopold McGinnis

    Thank you, Leopold! I love this site! I actually am looking for a hilarious blog that slams the literati and I can't find it...oh well. I'll keep looking!
  23 months ago
Oh man. This was hilarious. A perfect combining of two seemingly divergent topics, relayed with artful hilarity. Well done!

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