Best foot forward

By N.A. Booko

Pittsboro, NC – I have always heard that; but never stopped to wonder just how many meanings it has and who still clings to those old sayings. I suppose I have always tried to put my best foot forward and many times failed; I guess. It probably means best effort, best try, best endeavor.

photo by Jakob Owens

Now if you want to interpret it as to actually putting one’s best foot forward, that is a different story. I know my feet aren’t what they used to be. No way. There was the day that my feet never hurt. Can’t remember which decade that stopped, but i know it was several ago. At one point, I adopted the belief that if my feet could punish me by hurting, I could punish my feet by walking on them. Seems I was the loser either way I looked at the situation.

I am one that just can’t give up old shoes. I wear them until I absolutely can’t manage to walk in them without part of my foot bulging out. But on the other hand, I very much dislike wearing new shoes. It just takes too long for them to get comfortable.

For decades I wore a size 10 regular. Maybe eight years ago, I noticed not many stores carried that size. Everybody had size 10 wide. I had to settle for that. In the meantime, my feet apparently liked the new territory and spread out; got wider.

Then I discovered I had five or six pairs of new shoes tucked away. Forgotten from years back. All size 10. Now they are all too tight and my free roaming tootsies are none too happy about the confinement; and are rebelling. “Foot freedom” they cry. “Freedom for the feet.” “The toes knows.”

I’m thinking about putting my foot down. If they can punish me by hurting, I can punish them by walking on them. They have no choice by to follow.

That old woman who lived in a shoe was lucky to find one her size.