Friday, April 02, 2010

Farewell to My Birkenstocks

I picked up my orthotic inserts today. Even though I'm wearing shoes [SHOES? shoes???] I think it kinda feels good on my feet. They warned me to be careful and only wear the inserts for a few hours a day to start and to gradually work my way up. He said it will take a few weeks after becoming entirely comfortable in them before the leg- and foot-pain begins to lessen.

Right now, though, I am having a hard time adjusting to the mere thought of wearing anything but Birkenstocks. Ten years I spent in Birkenstocks. People made fun of me for my hippie shoes. Countless times they poked fun at me for my wool socks with my sandals in January. After that many years of thinking of myself as the-Birkenstock-girl, I'm beginning to realize that my Birks are part of my identity.

Okay, I acknowledge that that's pretty weird. But nevertheless, who am I now that they're gone? Am I still me?


  1. I finally got to that nice shoe store of your acquaintance in nearby Collegetown. (I dropped of my trashed Birkenstocks for rebuiding.) I was astonished at the variety of nice, straightforward, practical shoes that still managed to not look like Great-grandma's shoes that were on display for use with orthotics!

    I hope you found something you can stand, even if they're not Birkis.

  2. The orthoses are in my tennis shoes. They also had orthotic sandals that just arrived this week. Nice timing with the weather recently. :-) The sandals make my high-arch Birks feel totally flat. And the sandals are not "as aggressive" as the orthoses. Needless to say, they were serious when they said it would take a week or so to work my way into full-time wearing of the inserts.

  3. It will be so great if this takes care of the leg and foot pain. I keep thinking about you, because chronic pain is so wearing.

    Looking forward to seeing the new Susan. :-)

  4. I believe that I'm about to buy my first pair of Birks. With all the foot problems in my family, it's kinda sad that I never did sooner, but I'm excited to pare down my (summer) shoe collection. I'll still keep my winter ones, since I have a couple of pair I got during college that were recommend by the foot doctor when I was having pain in my toe joints, but will get rid of most of my other sandals, and am excited to be able to wear the birks indoors with socks in the winter so my skin can breath. YEA! I have a couple of fun heely sandals that it will be sad to part with, but a mom doesn't have time to think about which pair of shoes to wear to church (or have sore feet afterward), and dates (which will someday become a part of our lives again) are more fun if you're not thinking about sore feet, plus less to tote around the country in all our moves (only two to go...hopefully)... Speaking of dates... why do so many people think that now that my baby is almost one, it should be no big deal to go off and leave him for several hours at a time? Or rather, I'm not surprised they think that, but why is wrong for me not to, come on people. Sorry for the long rambling post.

  5. Rebecca, I have really been noticing today the problem with my feet breathing. Even wearing the orthotic flip-flops was making my feet sweat this morning: the soles aren't cork but some man-made material. And wearing my tennis shoes with the orthoses is a sweaty thing too. I'm not sure how this is going to work. That's something I'm going to really miss about the Birkenstocks. Big fat wool socks (from the hunting section of Fleet-Farm) go lovely under Birkenstock sandals for the winter.

    As for your rambling about leaving James ... just think what it's going to be like when you're not leaving a 5-yr-old and a 3-yr-old, but dragging them everywhere with you. Isn't that one of the ways that children learn about the world? Isn't it one of the ways they learn about what adults do? Isn't it one of the ways that family cohesiveness and closeness comes about? That's not saying that you and Sean won't ever have dates for the next 15 years. But a couple of times a year is probably enough. And there's always the sweetness of the "dates" that you have when you buy something elaborate and delicious (and easy) from the freezer section, put the kids to bed extra early, and reserve the house to yourself and your sweetie for a dinner-date.