Barefootin' Mama in the Middle of Nowhere

The sandal that broke the camel’s back

I remember when I found out I was pregnant… and after the initial shock wore off… I was SO excited to start wearing maternity clothes. I was thinking to myself… does life get any better than jeans with an elastic waistband?? I think not!!! I was in seventh heaven. I am pretty sure that I was like fifteen weeks pregnant when I started wearing some maternity things… and most women don’t start to show until they are around twenty weeks… that just goes to show you how excited I was to be in the clothes. In fact, since I weighed about 160lbs before I got pregnant I already had a teeny tiny little beer belly… and now that I was pregnant I had somehow convinced myself that it was my ‘baby belly’ and thought it was alright to wear tight shirts… my god was I ever clueless…
I was wearing maternity clothes before I had even told my boss that I was pregnant… I remember being terrified that he was going to ask me why my pants had a huge elastic around the waist that reached up to just slightly under my tits… so I made sure I stayed as far away from him as I could when I was wearing them.
A few months (or maybe it was weeks) into my pregnancy… when I actually started to look a little bit pregnant… is when I decided that I really needed to wear my own clothes.. So there I was in jeans with an elastic from the button through the button hole and hooked back over the button to hold them together and layered shirts so my glorious gut wouldn’t hang out the bottom. Not to mention my belt with gigantic western buckle on it that sometimes dug into my belly in an awkwardly uncomfortable way when I sat for too long. This one lady that was from Mexico that I was working where I was kept talking to me in Spanish everyday about how she thought it wasn’t good for my baby for me to be wearing those things… she thought I should go back to my maternity clothes… but I refused.
And really… the whole elastic holding my pants together and my shirts being so tight that you could probably see the veins on my belly was the least of my worries!! You see, I’m a boot girl… I love shoes (to own different pairs) and I love to pretend that flats look nice on my feet but at the end of the day (or rather the beginning of the day) I Just don’t feel as complete without my cowboy boots on (unless I am wearing shorts or a skirt because then I would look so silly in boots and shorts…. unless they were jean cutoffs… but trust me I don’t have the thighs for jean cutoffs)… I can walk anywhere in my cowboy boots.. I can do anything.. they really complete me… and then they really cut off my circulation.
WHOA…. I knew my belly was going to swell up to seventeen times the normal size for a human being but nobody warned me that my feet would eventually be joining the swelling band wagon. I couldn’t get my boots on… I couldn’t even dream of getting them on!! Once when I bought new boots that I really, really loved and I really, really couldn’t get them on.. I put thing plastic bags (the kind you put your apples or peppers in at the grocery store) on my feet, sprinkled them with baby powder and slid them into the boots then walked around all day… after doing this for a few days I could get my feet into the boots with skinny little socks on my feet. But now… no amount of plastic bags, baby powder or any sort of lubrication was going to get those boots on my feet. I was devestated.
So I wore sandals to work. A job where I walk around in fields and look at plants… where things poke my bare feet and really really hurt. A job where apparently Occupational Health & Safety frowns upon my feet being clad in sandals… But that was all I had. They were my favourite sandals. The ones I thought completely appropriate to wear all summer when I wasn’t wearing boots. They were North Face ones that I had splurged on when I was a student and couldn’t afford them. But they were nice… and I could wear them in water or mud or anything and they wouldn’t get wrecked. So they became my ‘go to’ shoes and I wore them everyday (despite the evil glares from the occupational health and safety lady).
Then one night while I was sound asleep in my forty year old bed (don’t worry I’ll get to that in another post) something horrible happened…… Gertie ate my sandal! Apparently our puppy whom hadn’t chewed on anything up until this point decided that it would be a good idea to chew the straps off of my $125 sandals… that were the ONLY footwear that I could wear!!! My deathlike moan followed by unconsolable wails woke Paul. He came running to the porch expecting me to be missing an entire limb I am sure… only to find me sitting on the floor holding a sandal in one hand, the strap for it in the other hand and Gertie happily licking up my peanut butter and honey slathered bagel which had fallen to the floor during my reaction. I didn’t care that she was eating my glorious breakfast… I didn’t care that Paul was about to officially see the insane side of me… I was bawling. Full out one hundred percent crying over my precious sandal!
What’s the matter? I remember he asked me. If looks could kill, I would have spent the rest of my life alone from that moment on. WHAT’S THE MATTER??? WHAT’S THE MATTER? Was he blind? Was he stupid? What was wrong with this boy I lived with… oh god, my child… would my child be unable to see the obvious when it was right in front of him/her as well?? CLEARLY my sandal, my only shoe, my precious sandal, my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE was ruined… all because of that stupid, stupid dog. I couldn’t go to work… I couldn’t go to town… in fact, I couldn’t go anywhere… ever again!! I had nothing to wear on my feet!! I was destined to this stupid life… this stupid, stupid life where I had to stay home everyday and have a baby and cook supper and lunch and clean the house and laundry and wipe dirty bums… I was doomed… doomed!! How couldn’t he see all that?? It was very, very obvious… as I sat there… holding on to the only remnants of my past life…. a life that I will never ever have back again! And I couldn’t buy new sandals… I couldn’t afford new sandals… (I couldn’t afford them the first time either… but this time I had a baby on the way to think about… I couldn’t just run around buying myself new sandals whenever I felt like it)! SIGH! How would I manage? How would I cope?
Paul kicked the remnants of the other sandal aside and opened the door so Gertie could go outside… I let out a painful wail. How could he treat the deceased like that? My sandal… my life… he might as well have kicked me aside. Oh god… would he eventually kick me aside too?? I started to cry harder… there I was… sitting on the floor, pregnant and quite literally barefoot and I was having a major meltdown about the fact that some stupid sandals were ruined… as I sniffled, got to my feet, and threw my bagel disgustedly in the garbage Paul said ‘maybe you shouldn’t have left them somewhere where she could get at them’…. I knew that this was it… not only was life as I knew it was completely over… by the time this pregnancy was over I wouldn’t even be sane enough to enjoy my new one.


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