This one was not difficult to locate in my “Box”. It was saved as “Granny’s Feet”. Even I could remember that no matter what wrong file I clicked to save. It hardly required a file of its own. I think I have two photographs of my feet. One shod. One unshod. I don’t have a thing about feet. Wait a minute. That’s only partially true. I don’t have a thing about feet now.
The family claims the strange, reclusive aunt-in-law, who lived next door, christened me with my father’s name when I was born. I do not recall having seen that woman more than a very few times during my entire childhood. Apparently, she came out of her house long enough to give me a name. Families typically shift blame onto in-laws. My older brother died at three years; my older sister failed to be a boy; I was supposed to fill in. Maybe they just gave up. More likely, everybody took one look at that newborn’s feet and sighed, “George”. It was undeniable. That baby had big feet. Her daddy’s feet. Later, they would assure me my big feet were “a good foundation”. I guess, as in “a house not built on sand”? It didn’t work.
The name was bad enough. “Georgie Porgy, Puddin’ N Pie, Kissed the Girls, and made them cry”… I could handle that. I was taller and stronger and could run faster than any kid I knew. And, I had bigger feet. It was the feet that got me. I hid them under my desk. I tucked them underneath me whenever I could. Everybody in the whole world was staring at my feet. They had normal size feet.
Then the trouble really started. I was a tall, thin teenager with big feet. Dress shoes for girls came in all kinds of whole and half sizes. The biggest was a size 9. Mostly, the matronly, orthopedic-looking shoes came in that outrageous size. Even they pinched. For most of my young adult life, I stuffed my size 10 feet into those pointy-toed Nines. I lived to tell the tale though. And, miraculously, with no bunions or foot deformities.
Thank God, girls finally began to grow bigger feet like mine. Either that or shoemakers inched up the number so the girls thought they were wearing an acceptably diminutive size. I could find a real size ten at last. Not so bad. Even Jackie Kennedy wore my size. I know that because some desperate newspaper hack snuck into the her church one day, crawled under the pews, and made himself a one-day-wonder on the front pages of all the newspapers. There it was, on the inside of the shoe she had carelessly slipped off during mass. Size 10. I bet she really wore a Ten-And-A-Half.
My shoe size has expanded over the years along with my appreciation for a life without pain. My basic requirement these days is that shoes come wide enough to allow me to spread my toes. If they come in nice leather with pretty flowers sewn on, so much the better.
I wish I could tell my daddy how I have finally knighted us: Sir Sasquash and his alter-ego, Dame Sasquash. What a fine thing that is.