The trials of being Bigfoot and the miracle of Don Draper’s beard

Slapped at the end of my legs are two exceptionally large feet. I wear a size 11 shoe, a size that puts me squarely out of the hunt for fashionable, attractive footwear. Two kinds of shoes come in size 11: hideous, utilitarian loafers and tacky, “Nine to Five” drag queen heels.

Even sneakers are hard to come by in larger sizes. Typically, I have to wear a men’s size 10.5, which is fine enough except that men’s sneakers always look like men’s sneakers. As a woman, it really stinks.

So, after decades of disappointment and trying to jam my size 11s into size 9s, I gave up. I simply stopped shoe shopping. Unless a toe was worming its way through the side or a sole began slapping the pavement, I was happy with my one or two pairs of everyday shoes. Why suffer the trauma of shoe shopping until it was absolutely necessary?

Well, it’s becoming absolutely necessary again. My work shoes are showing the effects of two years of daily wear. They are groaning and my anxiety is rising with each centimeter of heel that is scuffed away. I will have to go shoe shopping.

Insert bloody scream here.

I’ll keep you all posted. In the meantime, send good shoe vibes my way!

Here are a few other things going on lately:

• As some of you may know, my oldest dog, Barley, has been very, very sick.


His liver, gallbladder, and pancreas were shutting down and the vets were unable to pin down a cause. The tests ruled out obvious cancer, parasites, and poison, but beyond that, they simply weren’t sure why his organs weren’t functioning properly.

Thankfully, however, after two months of treatment with a number of different medicines, his blood results last week were much improved and whatever is wrong appears to be getting much, much better. He has to stay on his current drug regimen for three more months, but if his blood tests come back normal at that time, he may be able to stop taking the medicines. That’s very good news!

• My birthday is next month and I’m trying to avoid the six weeks of crippling, angry depression that tend to accompany that horrible event. If anyone has any advice for beating the birthday blues, please post it in the comments section. I need help! I tend to look for love in an ice cream cake, but that hasn’t worked for years. I definitely need to come up with an alternate strategy.

• As a devoted fan of ‘Mad Men,’ I am desperate for the show to start its new season this summer.

The lovely, bearded Don Draper

However, I am so in love with the newly bearded Jon Hamm (Don Draper on the show) that I almost don’t mind the long hiatus.

He may be the most beautiful man ever and somehow the beard makes him even more attractive. I hope the beard sticks around for a while longer. Incidentally, if any of you are ‘Mad Men’ fans, let me know. I’m dying to have someone to talk to about the show.

Mr. Safeway and the consequences of too much handsome

There are three Safeways in my town and, for weekday trips, I go to the dingiest, dirtiest one. It’s the least crowded after work and generally, I’m stuck behind an older woman with a single can of Icehouse, who pays in cash, or a gaggle of emo teenagers buying junk food. In other words, I get in and out quickly.

However, there is one hangup. The manager of this store is arguably the best looking man in Puyallup. He’s so good looking, I cannot speak in his presence and I live in fear that he’s going to open up a lane for me and I’ll have to say hello and act like an adult. So, I dodge him. All that handsome in one place makes me very uncomfortable.

The truth is, I don’t like exceptionally attractive people. I think their lot in life is too easy and I can’t support it. I admit part of it is jealousy. After all, it’s a genetic crapshoot that makes one person Patrick Swayze and another Patrick Swayze’s hideous, pinch-faced brother. It’s a BS system and I’m resentful that my parents didn’t exactly roll a seven.

From the time I was in elementary school, my birthday wish was to be beautiful. Even at a young age, I knew that being attractive meant life was a whole lot easier. I certainly expected then that I’d grow up to be Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” and not the painfully average, marginally attractive woman I actually am. Frankly, I feel cheated. I could have spent those birthday wishes on My Little Ponies or ice cream cake.

When it comes to Mr. Safeway, with his perfect hair and rugged build, I know he’s never had teenagers throw food at him and yell “fat bitch” out their windows as they drove by and that he’s never been turned down for a date because the boy “only dates pretty girls” (both of these have happened to me), so I feel like he deserves my icy stares. I’m sure most women hope he rushes in like Batman and opens a new lane for them. I bet they eat up his smile and wince at his wedding ring.

But, not me. I’m perfectly fine right here, in the big-nose, zitty-faced kid’s lane, thank you very much. We know what it’s like. We’ve been there. We can share a knowing glance and secretly hope Mr. Safeway has a booger hanging out of his perfect nose.