At the end of last Sunday's vulturing, I did something unusual (at least for me): I bought a pair of shoes. During the warm part of the year (which is pretty much March-October around here), my casual footwear is made of rubber or leather with rubber straps and the accompanying flip-flopping noise, but now that it's shoe season, so to speak, I had to do something about the fact that my sneakers were way too small.
I've worn a size twelve since eighth grade (which had to be comical back in the day, since i was about five-foot-two at the time), but I've always noticed how wildly inconsistent shoe sizes can be, both from manufacturer to manufacturer and even within a single brand. After wearing my New Balance for teaching (casual Friday, of course) and the game on Friday night and for my vulturing on Sunday, I knew I had to get a new pair, because, even though these were only a year or two old, they were getting painful to even have on, much less walk in--a feeling I usually only experience when I'm forced to wear dress shoes.
So for the first time in my life, I bought a pair of size 13's. I'm sure that if there had been a twelve-and-a-half, that would have been fine, but I saw no such animal during my shopping; it went right from 12 to 13. (That now means that I'm a shoe size that doesn't exist and a waist size that doesn't exist. No wonder I'm tough to shop for.) As another casual Friday has passed at school, I found that, as Spike Lee's character used to say in those commercials, it's the shoes, man; it's gotta be the shoes. Sure enough, no creaky knees, no tiredness of the feet. I'm glad I didn't wait any longer to do this. Still, it's odd that a size 12 in everything else works fine, but I needed to jump up a size for this one particular type of shoe. Buying a 13 may make me feel like Bigfoot, but at least the big feet are comfortable now.
Oh, and if anyone out there would like a gently-used pair of New Balance in size 12, they're yours.
I hope they make a firefighting merit badge: A pack of Cub Scouts in Pennsylvania were only about 500 yards into their appearance in a local Halloween parade when their float caught on fire. Thankfully, the parade inlcluded fire trucks as well.