A tale of two feet

There is one aspect to this long stretch of remote work that worries me a little.

No, it’s not money, though that’s certainly a concern. Nor is it avoiding infection, which I guess is just going to be part of our everyday anxiety in the new normal.

I’m wondering whether my shoes will fit if I ever wear them again.


When working from home in the past, I usually put on shoes. It was a token gesture toward professionalism. Unless it was summer, in which case I went barefoot. No one knows anyway, so why not?

But this old farmhouse has cold floors. And the only thing that keeps me comfortable are slippers.

I have two pairs, in fact. One, heavier and cozier, for first thing in the morning. The second pair, still fuzzy but slightly less appalling, are for the rest of the day. Unless it’s cold, like it is today. Then I don’t care what they look like; I want the warm ones. I have sacrificed fashion on the altar of comfort and it seems like a very reasonable bargain.

But I wonder. Is it true that your feet spread if you don’t wear shoes? I know it’s what my mother always told me as she begged me to wear them.

There is no support in my slippers. None. Just a nice, fleecy lining. They’re like cozy little clouds. And I’ve been living in them for weeks now.

I long ago gave up on high heels. They’re very sophisticated, very attractive, and very stupid. They are hard to walk in, they’re uncomfortable, and they play into an ideal of female beauty that I think is sexist. You like ’em, fellas? You wear them.

I’m a ballet flats kind of woman, and if the occasion calls for it, boots. But I’m a bit afraid to try any of them on. My feet are probably as wide as they are long at this point.

One day soon it might be warm enough to put the slippers away. And what if, when I put on my shoes, none of them fit? What if my feet, once a bit wide, are now basically pancakes?

There could be a bright side. When we can go to the beach again, I’ll traverse the sand with ease.

Channeling my inner Bedouin, I will cry, “Hut hut hut!”  Fellow beach-goers will gaze in wonder as I float effortlessly across the shifting sands, clearly an evolutionary improvement on the species.

And I’ll say, “Thank the quarantine.”