An Open Letter to My Feet

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

Dear feet,

I’m sorry.

I mean, here we are in Florida and there you are, completely and totally naked.

But here’s the thing. I forgot your warm-weather shoes at home. In the closet.

As you know, our exodus from the snow-ravaged north was rushed (what with the back-to-back storms heading our way) and as a result, so many things were left behind. My favourite black Capris, that cute sunhat I ordered online, the poolside read I had picked out specifically for this trip… All of it, forgotten. In the cold.

So here we stand, on this gorgeous salty beach, next to my happily barefoot daughter. Exposed. 

Ok feet, you’ve got me. The truth is I’m sugarcoating this whole thing because the fact of the matter is, you and I both know, we don’t own any warm-weather shoes.

Well, except for those cheap plastic slip-ons that blow apart as soon as you put them on. I thought you liked those. You certainly wear them enough. I mean, I have to keep the temperature in the house at 75 degrees year-round thanks to your penchant for flip flops. I keep buying them and you keep wearing them but - because they cost less than a chocolate bar - the straps keep snapping. So I buy more and of course I don't mean to pollute the environment but wait... this isn't about me.

There was a time when I kept you in shoes that lasted longer than my daughter's ice cream sandwiches.

But then I got pregnant and soon after, you bailed on me while Indiana Jones was busy searching for the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I devoured an entire carton of salted popcorn and you quietly worked your “magic” while we waited for the film to end.

We walked out of that movie theatre – you and I – on that warm spring night looking nothing like the way we did when we walked in. People were staring, children were pointing, dogs were barking and that’s when I looked down to see your enormous cartoon-like proportions.

From that day on, any thoughts of me wearing celebrity-worthy footwear went right out the window as I metamorphosed into a first-time mother nicknamed "Bigfoot".

And that’s why you spent the summer (and fall) of that year, covered in slipper socks, knitted boots and shame.

I know you’ve probably blocked it out of your memory. But I haven’t. You increased in size. Twice. And I was okay with that. I even got rid of our old shoes – a year after my daughter was born - so they wouldn’t serve as a painful reminder of your expansion. I just wanted to move on and I didn’t want you to feel as though you had failed. Because you hadn’t. And I loved you the way you were.

But, shortly after I ditched the heels, flats and wedges, you magically shrunk back to your pre-pregnancy size. And well, that was just plain mean.

So no, I haven’t been too generous with you since. But can you blame me?

To be fair, I have – of late - provided you with some really fine European shoes and I did give you a super cute pair of canvas flats that you seem to enjoy.

And don’t you dare bring up the rubber boots.

You can’t deny how practical they are when the snow starts to melt in March. You like being dry, don't you?

But, I'm going to be honest with you. I'm ready to ditch the drab footwear. And I think you are too.

Because deep down, I'm still awesome. I mean, have you not seen my hair lately? It's almost red-carpet worthy. Honestly, it's time for us to stop buying shoes from the same store where we pick up batteries and toilet brushes.

We're here in Florida for another month which is more than enough time for me to find some stylish footwear.

So, dear feet, you'll soon be naked no more, because some serious glam for the beach and beyond, is on its way.

And, if you grow again, I will end you.


No, really.