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And that’s why to this day, f*@cking shoes.

Last updated on October 23, 2018

Click to donate toward Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes
Click to donate toward Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes
As I’ve mentioned before, when I was very little, we used to live on base in Alberta in a lower income area called Tin Town, named creatively due to the fact the buildings were tin roof and tin siding. When it rained in Tin Town, you felt like you were in a drier full of pennies. A very, very big, hollow, drum like dryer.

Our little house had a front door with a little alcove. I want to say that the paneling there like in the living room was dark and faux wood. The alcove for coats and shoes, the right side split off into the kitchen and the left the living room with large front window. One evening, my mother had spent hours and hours curling my hair, dressing me up. I could not have been any older than two and no younger than one and a half. She curled my hair and put little bows in it, put me in a black crushed velveteen dress with frills at the wrists and a pair of warm leotards. Usually, she’d put on my shoes too.

But this evening as my father and father waited by the door, no one bent down to put on my shoes. They were very pretty shoes if I might add. Shiny black with the tiniest of heels and a single snap-together strap. My mother nodded toward them and told me it was time I learned how to put them on myself. I stood there for a long while staring up at my mother as if she just spoke in tongues and spewed pea soup all over me, blinked, waited a bit longer. When neither my father nor my mother were moved to help the innocent, sweet maiden that I was I sighed loudly then trundled over in my curled and girly glory to my little shoes.

Figuring out how to put these one was equivalent to solving the mystery of life. Listen, I was two, when you are two and distracted by the sound of your own voice EVERYTHING is difficult. I hemmed  I hawed, I fiddled and twisted. I pushed the strap this way and that. I struggled and pitched forward, righted myself then sat on my butt on the floor doing my best to figure out the universe of shoes. A decidedly difficult place, filled with triangulation and algebra. Inside me frustration began to grow as my parents shifted back and forth impatiently. My mother was urging me on but it had turned from that goodhearted You can do it honey! sort of tone, to the, oh my god just snap it closed how hard it can be why did I have kids I need to drink more note. My father grew tired of waiting and marched back to the living room to sit. He told my mom to let me know when Her Majesty was finished or whenever my mother was going to help me put my shoes on.

I think that cemented the fact my mother wasn’t going to help at all, actually. She shot my father a glare then turned back to me with an expectant look.
This was all too much for my two-year old self of course. In a fit of impressive bouncey-curled rage I picked up a shoe and hurled it as hard as I could against the wall nearest me and yelled as loud as I could:


My mother’s eyes were wide as saucers for a split second before she wrinkled her mouth up in a sideways S. My father passed by us quickly mumbling, “Uh, I should go warm up the car–” Making noises suspiciously like snickering. My mother sent him a LOOK, a very wifely LOOK and muttered, “I wonder where she got that from?” Before bending down to help me with my shoes and trying–in between snickering–to tell me about language and what was appropriate for a two year old and what wasn’t.

I got my shoes on and I didn’t have to do it. That’s all that mattered.


Help pay for Mel's tattoo in memory of her mother
[box type=”bio”] Melissa Pence is wife to the husband and wife team here behind 2 phatgeeks. On December 11th, 2011, Melissa lost her mother to a long, difficult battle to diabetes. In her memory, Melissa is blogging 24 hours in order to raise funds for her through the organization: Step Out: End to Walk Diabetes, and for the personal goal to finish a humming bird tattoo on her right arm in memory of her mother. [/box]
Published inPersonalPhat Life