Shoes and Their Imminent Deathwish
I’m griping about Pioneer Day again. (Last year’s gripe is here .) I won’t rehash, but this time I was planning on going to work. Not only are the buses not running (and I didn’t realize it until I sat outside for fifteen minutes), but there’s a parade across a street I have to cross to get to work, so the bus would be seriously detoured anyway.
It’s still annoying, but I’ve got plenty of things on my to-do list that I’m not too bothered. Still, I’ll be glad when we move out of Mormonville and the one holiday that only Utahns celebrate won’t apply to my daily life anymore.
On Saturday we had a family party thing. It was Grandma’s birthday, and I realized, when everyone was gathered and mingling, that I was wearing cool shoes that nobody there had seen. So, very much like a bouncy little kid, I went around to all the women to show them my shoes.
“Look, Joyce, look! I have cool shoes!”
“Oh! Yes, they’re lovely, Kate! How are you, darling?”
“I’m great, Joyce!”
I wandered over to Grandma. “Look, Grandma, look! I have cool shoes! Aren’t they cool?”
She looked at me and my feet critically, concerned. “I have an article that talks about the health hazards of flip-flops. You should read it.”
These were my lace-up flats that tie around the ankle, so not strictly flip-flops, but more like sandals. Still, I was not going to debate technicalities with her, and instead, I said something like, “Well, they’re working fine for me. The only health problem they’ve caused me is that I have small friction burns on the backs of my calves from the cloth being too tight sometimes.”
Her expression became even more concerned. “But after I wear them for awhile,” I continued, “I figure out how tight and how how loose they should be.”
I suddenly wasn’t in the mood to show anyone else my shoes.
I wanted to tell her that everything I do causes health problems. I eat and I could get food poisoning. I sleep and I could smother myself. I ride in our bright green car and I could get overheated. I wear pigtails and I could accidentally strangle myself while riding the merry-go-round. I’m always susceptible to some Final Destination-like health hazard.
If print out every article I read that talks about these possibilities and send copies to everyone I know, before long I’ll become the most boring person you’ve ever met. Because I’ve turned into this paranoid freak who won’t live life because I’m afraid it’ll kill me.
So go roll down a hill. Go climb a tree. Go strip naked in your apartment and dance grotesquely in front of your mirror while everyone is sleeping, in the style of William Carlos Williams.
Throw open all the windows and let the rain in, with all its summer smell. And if it kills you, then at least you died while enjoying yourself and the world around you. Thoroughly.