All’s Well That Ends Swell

Dear Millie,

Stevie the Snake!  HA!  I was wiping tears from laughing so hard.  Is he still on your neighbor’s front steps?

I have to tell you a dumb thing I did. I know you won’t be surprised, but anyway…. Have you ever gotten yourself too far into something and not known how to get yourself out? I do it all the time, but I’m hoping you’ll be better (or are already better) at speaking up when you should than I was.  You know, now that you’ve shared your steps to deal with unpleasant situations, I feel much better equipped the next time I find myself in one!  At any rate….

It was just after stake conference. It had been a wonderful meeting and it seemed like everyone was basking in awesomeness afterward. Most of the crowd eventually dispersed and the visiting authorities were enjoying a lunch with the stake presidency and their families. I was waiting to talk with Bishop about Relief Society-related things. As it happened, there was a gentleman already waiting ahead of me. I visited with him a bit and my feet were getting uncomfortable in the heels I was wearing, so I excused myself and sat down in one of the comfortable chairs in the lobby and busied myself in papers and things.

A youngish lady from my ward came into the building and saw me. She hurried over and said that she had just a bit of time before she had to be to work, but wondered if I’d like to take a walk with her. She had already changed into the tennis shoes she’d be wearing to work. I considered my footwear, but said sure and mentioned that it wouldn’t be a good idea to walk in the shoes I was wearing. She waited while I took them off and we headed outside. We had no sooner stepped onto the sidewalk than she started pouring out her soul. When we got to the end of the sidewalk, I started to turn to head to the grass, but she was forging on ahead through the parking lot, deep in lopsided conversation. I hurried after her and we marched right through the parking lot and onto the street where she turned to walk through a neighborhood.

Now, I’m no sissy and I enjoy being barefoot. It wasn’t painful to walk, and I was quite pleased at the pace I kept while discussing all sorts of things that were troubling her. But I also knew that since I don’t spend a lot of time barefoot on the street, it didn’t bode well for me that we were heading farther away from the church. To make matters worse, we were getting closer to an interstate, and her small voice was quickly being drowned out by the noise of the traffic. I could barely make out what she was saying, and she was clearly concerned about what she was talking about. We were quite far from the church, but it was too late to turn back now! She must’ve sensed my hesitancy as I was mulling my options. She turned her face to me and asked if my feet were doing okay. They were, and I said so, but I silently decided that I’d better do something or they might not be. So, I picked up the pace! I hurried us around the neighborhood and she commented that I must have fantastically tough feet.

By the time we reached the parking lot, I was trying to maybe spread the love and walk on different parts of my feet without slowing the pace or making my smooth stride weird or gallop-y. Praise be…I was wearing a long maxi skirt that hid all my weird leg configurations. I tried my heels for a bit but decided it was less noticeable to walk on the outside parts of my feet. It was all I could do to not have spazz hands (have you ever walked on the outsides of your feet? I remember Pops having us do that across the dojo when he taught Tae Kwon Do. All the kids’ hands took on mangled shapes while they walked! Try it and see what happens to your hands. And then report back!). I was practically race walking across the parking lot to the church. My companion thanked me for the lovely visit and walk. I practically barked, “You’re welcome!”

I sat down in the comfy chair for a few moments before Bishop came out and invited me into his office. I quickly decided I’d better just carry my shoes in. I played it casual like it was normal to not be wearing shoes in the church and certainly his office for a meeting.  I’m breezy!  I set my shoes down next to the desk and pulled out my notebook. We talked and I got some great counsel on things and by the time we finished, the building was empty. He offered to see me out to my car as a gentleman does, but he had to check all the doors on our way out. I had to wear my shoes. Blast. I could barely walk. Fortunately, the lights were off, so only my off-beat click-clacking shoes on the cultural hall floor could give any indication that things were amiss as I helped check doors. Rest assured I sported spazz hands in the dark. I waved goodbye at my exit and pretended to check my phone as he locked the door behind me. There was no way I was going to make it down the steps without some heavy rail usage!

A plus side was that I rarely reach any fitness goals on Sunday (I take my day of rest very seriously and maybe a bit too literally), but my distance tracker says that I walked at least a mile that afternoon.

I couldn’t walk the next day. I had forgotten about my feet when I woke up. I stretched and got out of bed. It was excruciating! I had blisters on my toes, the balls of my feet, my heels, and of course the outside edges as well. I mostly got around in a completely unnoticeable fashion: with my knees pressed together and lower legs splayed so I could walk on the inside edges of my feet. Most becoming!  By evening, I could make it up and down my carpeted stairs when thrown over using the banister. The next morning, it felt like I was walking on water balloons. Still painful, but it was picture day at Walmart (thank goodness for my fancy reminder card!), and I couldn’t miss my appointment with Disaster.

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Kinda nasty.  Sorry!

Tell me you’ve done something dumb like this before.

Love,

Grace

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