"Twenty-One Thousand, Seven Hundred Fifty and 00/100 Dollars." You try writing that out on the not-so-long line of a check.
That’s right, today Operation Shared Risk began. Coincidentally, Operation Second Mortgage kicked in at almost exactly the same time.
I’m finding myself surprisingly calm about laying out this kind of money. Probably because it’s too much to wrap my head around. It’s like Monopoly money—not really real, you know?
Then I went to work and finished writing an emergency motion that has had my nose to the grindstone for the past week.
And then, at 3:00 in the afternoon, I had a complete meltdown. You know what it was that set me off? Shoes. You heard me. Shoes.
Here’s the deal. I have a crap-ass lower back that’s been hurting since I was 20, and hurting like hell since I was 30 or so. I’m a pretty active girl, and like to think of myself as even more active than I really am, so having back problems at such a young age has been incredibly frustrating. I am convinced that nothing makes you feel prematurely old quite so much as having a bad back.
Except, of course, having a bad back in ugly shoes. In the past few years, through various visits to chiropractors and podiatrists, I have figured out that a lot of my back problems can be traced to my feet. I pronate, and I have to wear orthotics––all the time––to keep my back from freaking out. Mind you, this is not a complete cure. I still have pain, but it’s much, much, much better.
So for the past 3 years I’ve pretty much been stuck in sneakers or low-heeled boots while I try to figure this out. In the past year, even the boots make my back hurt, so I just wear running shoes all the time. And I mean ALL THE TIME. In my dress pants, in my pretty skirt, in the office, going out with my husband. Unless I’m in court, I’m in sneakers. Last summer I mail-ordered some sandals with orthotics built in, but because I didn’t go through a doctor, the orthotics didn’t work well enough and I can only wear the sandals for an hour or so before my knee and lower back give out. Then it hurts for a week.
Since November, my podiatrist and I have finally worked out the best orthotic for me, and I am ready to lay out cash for sandals. And I mean SERIOUS cash. I spent $500 fucking dollars on a pair of Naot sandals with built-in custom orthotics. That’s right, five hundred dollars. And they’re not even all that cute, because they can’t be high heeled and they have to have a wide enough footbed to support my saggy arches. But they’re a fuckload better than sneakers, and every day I have eagerly awaited their arrival. Seriously, I think about them every day.
The sandals were supposed to be in last week. So this afternoon, when I come up for air after filing my motion, I call the podiatrist to see what the holdup is. She calls the lab, then calls me back and tells me the lab didn’t get the order. Meaning it’s going to take another three weeks to a month for the sandals to come in. It’s already JULY, for fuck sake, and I’m so fucking tired of wearing ugly-ass sneakers with my attempt-to-be-stylish clothes. In the meantime, our office is crawling with 20-year-old interns in their skinny skinny outfits and their high high heels. And I’ll never even wear medium-high heels again. I’m only 36, and I’m already limited to frumpy orthotic-supporting shoes, and now even those aren’t here.
And in two weeks I’m going to New York do to a law training and J and I are going to go to dinner and a show and I am desperate to be able to look pretty, just one night, on a date with my man. We’ll be on foot, and I can’t afford to throw my back out in the middle of IVF. So if they can’t expedite the sandals I’m screwed.
Yup, I started crying. Right there in my office. Over sandals. I wish I were kidding.
That’s me. I can handle IVF. I can handle multiple miscarriages. I can handle a second mortgage, and an emergency motion, and the horrible backlog this motion has caused at work. But apparently I can’t handle ugly shoes.