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bought my mom two pairs of shoes -- she picked them, but i paid for them. the woman had the oddest (to me, anyway) request: they had to be really soft, fairly flat, open-toed and closed-heel. huh? i spent quite a bit of time looking, but ended up ordering them from a place that persists in sending me catalogs even though i am absolutely certain i have never ordered from them before. they seem to cater to people with foot/health problems, so i guess it was perfectly natural that we ended up there -- who else is going to have shoes comfy enough for my poor mom's tender diabetic feet?

my mother has always had fussy feet. when i was a kid she liked a certain brand of shoes we could only buy in select places... like san francisco. once we took a vacation up north just because she needed shoes. she bought four pairs. damn straight she bought four pairs -- you don't drag a spouse and two kids 400 miles for single pair of ugly shoes. maybe now they have improved in appearance, but back then they looked like nurse shoes (hopefully no nurses are reading this -- i don't mean to insult your appearance).

a few years back we discovered nike air prestos. high on my list of personal regrets is that i didn't buy 50 pairs back when they still made them (we only bought six pairs. two for me, two for my mom, two for cam). i missed it when nike temporarily revived the line. i didn't even realize it wasn't going to be around forever, so when i happened to check and saw them for sale, i thought, "piffle, i don't need any right now, i'll come back later." stupid me. my black pair is long gone, but i still have my navy blue pair with "swoo" on the side. even though they have a hole in them, i will keep them forever. my mom loved these -- they were so comfortable and so lightweight. she was very funny about her two pairs: one was for regular use, the other was for dressier occasions. obviously she kept the second pair very, very clean.

even though she loved the nikes, she did feel rather hesitant about the price. this made little sense to me. really, they were a bargain -- vacation expenses for a family of four easily top the price of even six pairs of shoes. she wearily hunted through her favorite stores for shoes that looked like her beloved air prestos, but never found any nearly comfortable enough. before she was a total freak about arch support. now she just wants softness.

my mother-in-law's best friend fairly recently tuned my mom into some five-toed japanese socks that she now swears by. they look kind of silly and are a pain to put on, but they make her feel better. she's keeping her source a secret from a friend who wants a pair. "why should i help her?" my mom asked. always a bastion of generosity, my mom is.

i'm hoping that the new shoes (which should be here soon) will be very comfortable. if they are, i'm willing to buy her as many pairs as i need to keep her in shoes for the rest of her life. it's the least i can do for the woman who ran after me and now runs after my son.



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