This sad story starts, as all recent sad stories have started, with the rotten weather. One day last week, the temperatures soared into the low 20s, and I decided it was plenty balmy enough out for a walk.
It had been months since I wore my outside walking shoes, the green ones with yellow laces and gel in the heels. Three months is a long time in this house, and things tend to get plowed under in the clutter, and so I went to Plan B, my other pair of the same size and make, but in pink.
Exact same shoes, different color.
I went for my walk, my usual hilly two miles, and returned with rosy cheeks and a frozen chin.
The next morning, I awoke with the worst backache ever. Unable to sit up without pain, I swiveled myself 45 degrees in the bed, using my behind as the fulcrum, and lowered myself seesaw-like into an upright position. And there I stood for a good five minutes, calculating my next move.
What the heck? What had I done to cause this? Had I lifted a car to rescue a trapped bunny? Had I been twerking in my sleep? Did I jump off of something and not remember?
Yes, I’d taken a walk the day before, but I do that every day whether on the treadmill or out on the sidewalk. I didn’t fall into a pothole or slip on ice.
Then I remembered. It was the shoes.
I’ve reached the point in my life where something so seemingly insignificant as a change of shoe color can confuse my back muscles enough to render me decrepit.
This is the part of the column where I reminisce about the good old days, when I could wear two different black pumps with slightly different heel heights all day and not only feel excellent the next day but also not even notice the discrepancy until I went to take them off. (It happened.)
Now, my feet have become so set in their ways that I change one little thing and they screw up the whole works. It took me two days to get over the back pain. And I still can’t find the green shoes.
With my luck, I would find them, wear them for a walk, and discover that my feet decided they preferred the pink ones, and I’d be stuck in my bed for a week.
Somewhere after 50, we all turn into the Princess and the Pea. If someone had put a pea under my mattress, I, too, would have tossed and turned all night. A wrinkle in the sheet can do that to me now. I’m even afraid that if I grow my hair much longer, the extra weight will injure my neck.
Obviously, I’ve got something out of whack. Maybe if I lose weight in my heels. Or build up my toe muscles.
Or maybe start all over with new shoes.
Beth Dolinar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.