To ugly running shoes.
Yeah, I am. It started a couple of years ago. I had worked a gazillion 12-hr shifts in a row. Plus, by day, I had been traipsing allover the University of Cincinnati’s campus for pre-med stuff. (PS-how in the blue hell did they design that campus to where literally everyplace you walk is uphill??? It defies the laws of reason.) The end-result of twelve days of work in a row, assigned to the ICU during the perils of flu season, plus school-schlepping all day with only brief bursts of sleep when I was absolutely about to die of exhaustion was that my poor feet were swollen and painful to even touch. I limped into a sporting goods store and told a bewildered salesman that I didn’t give two shits about the shoe’s looks or price–if it was comfortable, I would buy it. he reached somewhere up toward the heavens and procured this hideously ugly pair of running shoes. They were mesh and pleather, and the pleather was silver–not dull, matte silver, but mirror-like silver. They had big black stripes down the side of some sort of rubber and huge patches of pink gel-like shit in the inch-thick soles. The pleather trim was white–with fucking pink paisley designs. They were the ugliest shoes I have ever seen in my life. And I put them on. And I literally teared up because they felt so good on my feet. John was jabbing me in the ribs with his elbow and hissing, “Andrea, damnit, stop crying. You’re embarrassing me!” Yeah, whateves. So I told the guy to give me the other one, I was going to wear them out of the store. And I gasped when I saw the price: $190.00 with tax. For those ugly bastards. So I tried the cheaper versions of the same brand. Incidentally, the cheapies were cute, not ugly–why is that? But none of them worked. And I finally just paid the money. Best money I ever spent, I swear.
I wore the hell out of my ugly shoes. They were Asics. Very high-end running shoes. And they worked for about 8 months or so before the sheer amount of running I do at work made the insides of them die a painful death. The outsides still look like new to this day. As ugly as the day I bought them. But since then, I have devoted my time to finding the proper replacement. And no pair of Asics I have bought since has ever lived up to those ugly mofos. They all do fine for trips around the block or to the aprk. Even for long walks, runs, or hikes. But never to my hellish work environment. Never.
I was googling “ugly running shoes” in the hope of finding them online to buy another pair. And I encountered something that made me gasp with their ugliness. Another pair of Asics. High-end. $140. And though they weren’t the same, I figured their price and brand gave me a better shot of finding something comparable. So I ordered them online. The mens and womens’ versions were both equally disturbing.
I am not kidding. Excet that the photo doesn’t do them justice: the yellow is less green or yellow and more that painfully neon color of a yellow highlighter.And the Asics stripes glow in the dark. Really. John, having not seen them until they arrived at the house, gasped in horror when he saw them for the first time. And he hates when I wear them because you cannot miss them. So people stop and comment.
Turns out there are scads of people out there who love ugly running shoes as much as I do. At work, at the grocery store, at restaurants…People love my shoes. Or are lying to me, and making a big production out of stopping my and offering unsolicited lies. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Because these shits are as comfortable as if I swathed my feet in clouds. And the mesh top is actually so airy that you can see my socks through them.
So I will never buy cute running shoes again.
And John can bite me. Because my feet don’t feel like they’re breaking anymore.
And I am a respiratory therapist.
And it is flu season.