shoes with silver buckles

i have large feet…like really large feet…large feet for a woman, size 11.  I am nearly 6 feet tall, and have had large feet all of my life.  My father always told me i was “big enough to hunt bears with a switch”…not really a compliment to an adolescent girl.  One time in junior high school, I went to the shoe store with my mom, Brown’s shoe store in Mitchell.  Duane Kellinger was the clerk (very handsome guy in my day and i had a crush on him) and he told me that the only thing that they had that would fit my feet might be some boxes in the back room… i wasn’t sure i heard him right, i was horrified.  Through most of my adolescence I entertained all kinds of ways to shrink my feet.

Women who have a thousand pairs of shoes in their closet mystified me. I have never bought many pairs of shoes, very few actually…the bare minimum to get by. To sit in a shoe store and bare my extremely big feet to a salesman for his brutal comment was not my idea of fun.  I would slink into the shoe store, try to find something in a bargain place, so i don’t have to meet a salesman’s eyes, and quickly, head down, make my purchase and beeline out the door.

Last summer, when I was shopping for shoes for my daughter’s wedding, I realized that my feet were here to stay- and I could hate them for the remainder of my days, or i could embrace them.  I came to grips with the fact that I don’t have big feet because of any irresponsibility on my part, or a lack of self control.  They are not the result of running red lights, or lying too many times.  My feet say nothing about my character. Why should I be embarrassed or ashamed of them, just because they are not the size of many other women’s feet…i am not the size of other women.  I am not unhealthy, but I am big.  I am a strong woman, in body and soul, and in my life, I have carried many…i have carried my babies, i have carried family members through heart wrenching times, and I have carried many students and their loved ones.  I have been entrusted to carry the hearts, tears and secret stories of many… and that is why my feet had to be so large.

I bought four inch sexy heels for the wedding.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. toemailer
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 19:12:41

    We would love to post that at toemail if you do not mind?

    Just need a location and we’d be good to go!


  2. toemailer
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 21:03:48

    Your photo is posted now. We hope you like it and thanks very much. We really appreciate it!


  3. Darcy Runestad
    Aug 05, 2011 @ 07:35:00

    For what it’s worth? I noticed your shoes at the wedding and thought what a nice change they were from the leather and cork clogs of my youth. I never thought you had “big” feet, even when Nina and I were kids. It’s amazing how we perceive things to be “wrong” with ourselves and obsess over the imagined imperfection until it becomes a veritable drain in our confidence. Kudos for embracing the things you cannot change! The wedding shoes looked fantastic!


  4. Stephanie
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 06:24:08

    Thank you for visiting me and commenting on my poem. I remember being struck by this photo of your feet in the flickr pool and don’t remember if I commented there or not. They are beautiful and strong and I never would have guessed they were size 11 or size 5. I did not see a size when I saw them. I was struck by the grey-blue color wash and the sheen of the polish on those wonderful feet. One of my sister in laws also wears a size 11 and has the most delicate looking little toes and narrow foot. It is funny because just this week I was telling a dear friend that is a petite 5’2″ how my 5’11 self had never felt “cute” but instead almost always felt like a caricature of myself because of my perceived exaggerated and oversized features. I embraced my height years ago and now I guess am embracing the parts that make up the whole. I love this line by the way: “I came to grips with the fact that I don’t have big feet because of any irresponsibility on my part, or a lack of self control.”


  5. theRipeProject
    Sep 04, 2011 @ 19:06:39

    I adored this post. I was always tall, so I connect with your adolescent angst on this! I actually wrote and performed a solo cabaret show in 2009, IN THIS SHOES. I’m betting you would have liked it! Thanks for this.


    • vesselsandjourneys
      Sep 04, 2011 @ 19:35:12

      Hi Dezur 🙂
      Thank you for your kind words! Yes, being tall is definitely not for the faint of heart! I have actually now started shopping for my feet- i have found a wonderful website called Barefoot Tess that is for women with larger feet- Awesome shoes and boots…And I think I would have absolutely loved your cabaret show! Is there a script i could read, or any footage of it? I would love to see it 🙂 Have a brilliant evening, Pat


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