You should go to the bathroom before you leave. I told myself. Yep! Use the bathroom before exiting! It’s one of my mottos. So as I walked across Starbuck’s tile floor to the bathroom, I heard an odd clunking sound with every step. It was pronounced. It’s almost as if I have high heals on, but I don’t. I’m wearing these orange wedged sandals. Bizarre! I don’t remember these shoes making any noise. What’s going on? I wondered. It seemed a bit odd, but I didn’t investigate.
I called a friend while still in the Starbucks parking lot and made plans to meet at her house. “Well, I’m not home yet.” She said. “I’ll be home in about 15 minutes, I need to make a stop at COSTCO first.” She told me.
“No problem,” I replied. “I want to stop there too!”
We agreed. “Okay, let’s meet at COSTCO.”
It was then I looked down. Little did I know, the toe of my sandal had begun to pull apart from the wedged heel part. Oh brother! So that’s what’s making the goofy clunking sound!
I drove to the COSTCO. I sighed a chuckle. How am I going to explain this one? Maybe I should text her “change of plans I’ll have to meet you at your house and explain later.” BUT.. I thought, No, I can make it. I had quite an impaired gait. I limped and I laughed and dragged my foot so the sandal wouldn’t break completely apart. I greeted my friend Shanthini and explained briefly my awkward dilemma. We grabbed a cart, pulled out our cards and showed them to the greeter.
Once inside, Shanthini asked me, “What goes 99 tuck? 99 tuck? 99 tuck?” I thought, What is she even asking me? I was distracted because of my pathetic sandal and was not fully present, when she burst out the punch line. “A centipede with a wooden leg!” And she laughed her delighted-with-herself laugh.
I turned her direction, threw back my head and exclaimed. “Oh, I get it! 99 tuck. 99 tuck. “That’s a good one your silly!” I said as embarrassment gave way to the giggles.
I hobbled along a bit slower than either of us would have liked. We decided it would be best for me to use the cart for stabilization. I walked normally with each right footstep but slid my left foot along. I perfected this method near the meat section. We made our selections, I only needed one thing and so did she. Phew! I made it through the store! Just get in the check out line and blast out of here… or 99 tuck out!
I was personally amused as I handed the young, inspection guy my receipt. He drew a green highlighter mark through it, handed it back and said, “Have a good day ladies!”
My friend asked, “Rachel, do you want me to go get my car and pull up for you here so you won’t have to walk through the whole parking lot?”
“No, I should be fine” I said. I thought, how bad could it be? I looked down after I got seated in my car, and saw my sandal. Yikes! It’s no wonder?
We visited out on her patio garden, then I packed my delicate, dangling sandal in a bag she provided and headed toward home.
Once seated in my car again, I saw a reminder note I had placed there earlier… That’s right! I almost forgot… I need to stop at Walgreens to pick up photos! So, I pulled into the Walgreen’s parking lot. I then removed the fragile sandal from its bag and strapped it on.
Okay, Rachel you can do this, go inside, pick up your prints and get right back. I spied two people sitting in their car parked near the door. Man! I should have pulled in beside them- it’s closer! The first step on the left foot was fine.. NO PROBLEM! Again with the right foot… No big deal! But my left ankle turned with the very next step. It fell off the wedge part of the sandal.
“Ouch!” I exclaimed as I stumbled.
Oh, brother! I don’t want to twist my ankle or badly hurt myself! So I simply yanked the lower sole section from its nearly separated top. Forced now to hobble back to the car, I opened the door and tossed the wedged sole on the passenger seat. I was giggling so hard as I walked in. The people in the car facing the store probably thought, didn’t she just walk by us a few seconds ago?
With one FLAT shoe, now more like a flip-flop, and one 3 inch wedged sandal, I proceeded to accomplish the mission. My stride was VERY uneven due to the discrepancy of the heel heights. I can’t keep doing this high, low, high, low, thing! This feels ridiculous!
Finally, I stood on my tippy toes as if there were a left sandal heel beneath me but there wasn’t. I felt like the emperor from the Emperor’s New Clothes. Except mine was an imaginary left heel. Pleasantly pleased with my “phantom wedged heel,” I sauntered up to the photo counter. “Hi, I’m here to pick up some prints for INOUYE,” I said. The attendant located the photos and rang them up. (I was tempted to tell her the story of the sandal saga but showed extreme self-control. Instead I decided to share it with you!)
The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights him: though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23,24