The Size of His Shoe

The Next Family

By: Ann Brown

The games kids play

Despite the winter weather, I am not a fan of making snow angels. I need a real-size silhouette of my ass imprinted on my front lawn like I need a hole in the head.

I am not even a fan of making footprints in the snow. I am not a fan of anything with the word “footprint” in it because I have these huge clodhopper feet and I feel self-conscious. When anyone starts talking about even their carbon footprint, I immediately feel gargantuan and reptilian and hideous and I slip my feet under my chair. But my toes stick out.

When Karen and I were young we used to turn our shoes into cars for our Barbie dolls. Those Barbies had an impressive stable of automobiles – sandals for whizzing down PCH on hot summer afternoons, fuzzy pink slippers to go on dates with Ken, saddle shoes for going to work, and Mom’s high heels for, I don’t know, a hot bootie call to Poindexter after finishing another date with the overly pretty, 100% penis-free Ken who took her to some bullshit restaurant about which Irene Virbila (now that her cover has been blown we know her name) raved and where he urged her to order the vodka-infused, gold-encrusted, shade-grown tilapia (because that’s what Virbila had reviewed in the LA Times), and Barbie would suffer through another evening of Ken droning on endlessly about Burning Man while she fish-verped silently into her own mouth, as she was allergic to tilapia. Which Ken would have remembered had he ever listened to her instead of staring at her boobage.

But Poindexter. The best friend, the secret bootie call, never the red carpet date. He was horribly undervalued. It was the early 1960’s, before brainiac nerd chic entered the minds of blonde ponytailed women with perky boobs and they realized that the Poindexters were the ones who were gonna be able to buy the Malibu Dream House someday, whereas the Kens were going to be spending their weekends at the gym, making up bogus business trips to Thailand and turning their socks inside out to get another day’s worth out of them before going to the Laundromat. Not to mention that Poindexter had been working on his kindness and personality during all those long, dry years while popular Ken learned that a white-toothed smile and a handful of Rufies worked pretty well on a chick.

I once had a Ken boyfriend. I remember looking at the books on his nightstand and realizing with horror that they were, basically, the man version of bodice rippers. Giving him the benefit of the doubt (because he was good looking), I pawed through his bookshelf, hoping to find something a bit more erudite. I didn’t even find a bookshelf. Just a few issues of Playboy. I did, however, find that when you closed the bathroom door to sit on the toilet, you found yourself looking squarely into a full-length mirror. Now, maybe he liked to watch himself poop, I don’t know, or maybe he just liked to shock his visitors when they used the loo, but it was really hard to give that kind of sophomoric high jinx the benefit of the doubt. Which I did, of course. But only for six more months. Because he was so good looking.

I finally ended it with Ken (and by “I ended it” I mean he stopped talking to me and told me to leave him alone already) but it wasn’t until almost a month later that I realized it never would have worked with us, anyway. And not just because he had actually forgotten my name by then.

It was because I tried on his shoes one night when we were both at a party. And they didn’t fit me. Too tight in the toes. Even when I took off my socks and sucked in my stomach. And prayed.

Yeah, fuck that shit. No way was I going to spend the rest of my life walking barefoot in the sand with a man whose footprints made mine look like he was with Bigfoot. Or watching a man put my shoes on over his shoes to run out into the rain the way I do with Robin’s Crocs.

Plus, I think he once made a comment defending Spiro Agnew. And NOBODY is good looking enough to get laid once they’ve said that.

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