I hate buying shoes. I actually hate shopping period, but I really hate buying shoes. For the most part I buy shoes at Payless but not sandals. Apparently Payless believes that what women want in a sandal is almost twine like strips of flimsy leather. I prefer something more substantial, so I buy sandals at WalMart.
I know, I’m a delicate flower.
My current sandals are at least five years old, all five of which were Georgia summers, meaning hot and long. They have the aroma of a wet dog, a dead one who had rolled in poop and then lay down in the sun to ferment. There were rumors that the Center for Disease Control had declared them biological weapons and were considering a quarantine of my neighborhood, that could extend to the entire city if I wore them for another summer.
Fortunately for the safety of the world my parents gave me a WalMart gift card for my birthday and I bought new sandals with it.
I hate buying shoes. I may have mentioned that.
Old shoes are comfortable and my feet slip into them automatically. They match the tan lines on my feet. The soles are molded to the way I walk and the straps are shaped to the bumps on my feet. New shoes pinch for a little while. Even when I buy shoes that fit, it takes a while for them to become acquainted with my feet and patterns and behavior. I used to be able to just slip on my sandals and go, forgetting they were even on. With my new sandals I was always aware I was wearing them, and they were new and different.
I’ve had them for a week and the last two days I’ve been able to slip them on and forget them. It’s not a long transition, but it’s there. It’s one of the reasons I hate buying shoes.
This illustrates why seminary life has been difficult for me. Every semester has been like having new shoes. The routine and schedule and events keep changing and just when I get comfortable with them and settle in to the new grooves, they change again and I’m back to the pinching, just a little. Just like with my sandals, there aren’t any blisters or rolled ankles to show a truly bad fit, it’s just the rub of change.
Jonathan is finishing up Hebrew in a couple of weeks and while I’ve only just gotten used to our summer schedule, we’re going to be into the fall one in four weeks. A new set of shoes. A new rub in a different place, and then as I build up my callouses and learn how to slip into it, it will be over and new semester will begin.
I used to love change. My goodness, we’ve never lived in a home more than three years, but children need continuity, and part of my job has been to insulate them from the changes and make continuity where there wouldn’t normally be any.
Maybe that is what is causing the rub. Maybe I’m taking the pinching for all of us and it’s making the shoe feel smaller than it has to. Or maybe I’m getting old and set in set in my ways, and the Lord is breaking me of that. Or maybe I’m just over thinking things. I do that some times.
Regardless, my new sandals fit, and I’m happy to wear them, just as I will be happy to settle into the fall semester when it comes.