Dame Sasquash

Granny's Feet
Granny's Feet

Granny's Feet

 

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.

29 Comments on “Dame Sasquash

  1. Great story..and as anaslense points out, you manage to make the ordinary seem not quite so ordinary. Just keep in mind, all us short girls with average feet were terribly envious. We just hid it well.

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  2. Great post ! You put your best foot forward. 🙂
    My problem was always a narrow heal. I would be in a strange in-between size ( now I am just in a strange in-between state of mind). My father figured out that if we alternated each year between a North American/Canadian shoe and a Korean/Asian made shoe the number and shape came out pretty closely. Remember when shoes and other things were being made in Canada & America ?

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    • I remember when shoes were repaired. Nobody threw out shoes that had a bit of leather upper left. I really wear a half size too. I found lots of old wooden shoe lasts in antiques shops years ago. I think there weren’t so many different manufacturers or so many styles of shoes. Now, with shoes being machine made on different lasts and imported from so many different countries, sizes have to be approximated. If I buy shoes made in Europe, I “might” wear a size 42!

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  3. Forgot to say that I love your quote by Mark Twain….I almost want to borrow it….but I won’t.
    I’ll just keep turning it over in my head and give it a mental hug now and then.

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    • You’re funny! Yes, I have fun with the camera and the blog. Everybody is so nice to me! Thank you!

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  4. I love it. How tall are you? It must have been a sonofabitch to endure those 9s and yet you suffered so brilliantly that Viktor Frankl himself would offer you a merit badge. This made me laugh today

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  5. I could have written this George, except for the part about your name. I wear a size 11 shoe, and like you pushed my feet in a size 9 as a teenager, thus ended up with soft corns, callouses and all sorts of horrendous projections and ugly bumps which cover my feet. Actually your feet are quite lovely. Mine are covered with spider veins…the curse of old women. And again, I have to disagree with your daughter…I like the shoes.

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    • There must surely have been enough of us big-foots to have made some smart shoemaker rich! Often, I wear an 11 too if the shoe is made on a short last. I thought of you when I was writing this. I knew we were in this together! For some reason I missed the foot damage from those awful shoes! Thank goodness. One of my friends had to have surgery on both of her feet from those shoes!

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  6. I hope you wouldn’t consider it inappropriate, for me to tell you that I find your feet quite beautiful. I myself have always had to chase around for large sizes… and unfortunately, in my country they started changing the sizes to inflate the egos of smaller men (I suppose), and so after I was satisfied that I could buy clothing in a certain size, I was surprised now and then to find that the size had become too small for me. Since I don’t believe I kept growing after the age of 20, this was a little aggravating… but I never had the time to sign up for a psychologist to help me overcome the trauma… Ah, the things we have to learn to live with. Thank you for a very enjoyable post, George… and now that I know why you’re called George, and that it’s not in hnor of George Elliot, I almost feel like I know you (ummmm).

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    • I suspect you do know me. At least, you know what defines me. Isn’t that all we really need to know?

      I laughed at the George Eliot joke. You are far too clever for me. I never put much stock in psychologists. Judging from my work with them as a social worker, I feared their children might all grow up to be serial killers.

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    • Ha Ha. My daughter said those were the ugliest shoes she ever saw when I bought them last year! We see how much SHE knows! 😉

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  7. Ah, I’m not the least bit surprised to learn we wear the same size shoe . . .
    I had planned on mentioning something akin to Ana’s statement, but she said it pithily enough. Tis true, George. You certainly do.

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    • I had you figured for my size. Sometimes, our impressions of people are right. So far so good with Mollusk Girl. 😉

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  8. Delightful story of how you got your name, it seems to have grown along with you just like your feet did. Finding comfortable footwear that makes you feel happy has got to be one of life’s simplest pleasures. It’s funny you should mention Jackie Kennedy as I know from my Mother that that was why she named me Jacqueline, however because my Godmothers thought that I would come to called Jack and be known as the third boy in the family (I have 2 older brothers) they decided to put my second name on my christening brooch, which was Helen. Another factor being that Jacqueline wouldn’t fit! So my family still call me Helen but sometime in my early 20’s I morphed into Jacki/and or Jack which I don’t mind at all. All through primary school my nickname was Helen the melon, even though I was possibly one of the smallest students there, go figure!

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    • The kids liked the sound of “Helen the melon”. Kids love rhymes. That was all there was to it. My name was George Ann Lee. In those days, when a father gave his name to a girl child, it had to be girlied up. Most women “Georges” are Georgeanne or Georgie. I was grateful they allowed me two separate names. George Ann morphed into George in my early twenties too.

      Did you get men’s shoe catalogues? I did, for years. Having that name is handy sometimes though. It’s an automatic mail-sorter. “Mr. George Weaver” is not addressed to me.

      Jacqueline is such a lovely name. Like Elizabeth. So mysterious and regal and suggestive of places we want to go and secrets we know we will find. Make certain Jacqueline marks your final resting place.

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  9. I’m with ‘anaslense’.
    Next, I want to see you move into the kitchen. That’s where I’ve got alot of memory-laden objects (or have you gone there with us already)? I’m new to this party.

    And is it me, or are all our damn feet growing? I was always a 9 1/2. Nowadays I have to go to a 10 1/2, 11, and sometimes even a 12. Yet when I put on a vintage pair of my 9 1/2s, they still fit me the same. What the ____ is going on?

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    • I think shoemakers changed the sizes. If you live long enough, you’ll be wearing a size 15! Ha Ha.
      I also think our feet spread a little as we got older. After my daughter’s son was born, she moved up an entire size. She said that isn’t uncommon. Feet spread in women, at least.

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    • Oh, I forgot the kitchen. No, I haven’t moved into the kitchen. I need a little help though. Do you want a Before or an After the Housekeeper-With-The-Cleaning-Fetish comes?

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      • NO, Lance. I want to see your own “memory-laden objects” first. I almost let you get away with this one. 😉

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    • Ana, we live in the Ordinary. That’s where we are most comfortable, most ourselves, most honest, happiest. We could not survive the continuum of sensory overload if we lived in the Extraordinary. The extraordinary frightens me sometimes. My sanctuary has always been in the Ordinary.

      I understand what you are saying. Thank you for allowing me to weave my little stories out of common cloth. And, especially for appreciating them!

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