So I found this scholarship opportunity on Chegg: “Write about the best shoes you have ever had or your grandmother’s beautiful toes. Just be interesting or educate us in 400-1000 words,” and this is what I came up with:
The Red Slip-Ons: A 5-Minute Memoir
I’m a flip-flop and bikini top kind of woman (meaning I don’t do bras or high heels). I’m five four with a size ten foot. I’d been a size nine till I had my daughter Hannah. Now I can’t wear my shoes or my clothes.
Every woman has a favorite pair of shoes. Big feet don’t make you cry in the dressing room. No woman ever asks, “Do these shoes make my feet look fat?” However, I won’t wear those with pointed-toes—they seem like corsets for feet.
It was a day that Target was having a clearance sale. It was the end of summer, and their flip-flops were all half-off. A ruby-red pair with red sequins had caught my eye. A combination of retail therapy and Starbucks caffeine had made me heady, and I wondered if they’d put something special in my brownie.
It was starting to sprinkle outside and the smoky violet sky made me think of Liz Taylor’s eyes. I’d tossed my crappy flip-flappies into the receptacle out front (near the big red balls some teenage girls were bouncing on) and worn these out. They matched my retro red toenail polish.
I went to the car and rolled down the window, letting my feet dangle over the side, the cool breeze blowing through my toes. The new shoes felt great. Now I just needed a pedi. That was the problem with open-toed shoes, they required foot care. No mangled pinky toenails or hairy halluces. I must have spaced out for a minute, for the next, there were a couple of guys passing by, chatting about Emerald City, rather animatedly. I called out, unable to help myself, “Are you going to see the Wizard?” They looked at me like I’d lost my mind and said, “Lady, you’re in the land of Oz.”
They walked off, laughing. When my husband came out with our daughter and a bag of Moose Munch, I told him of the exchange, and he laughed.
“Oh, that’s a gay bar downtown,” he said, and I shook my head. “They have great drag shows.”
I looked over at Pensacola’s self-proclaimed Moses on one corner, holding up an Israeli flag, and then over at some creepy ass cracker on the other, holding up a cardboard sign saying, “Cracker needs help”. Only in Lower Alabama (or L.A., as the locals call it), I think.
“You know something, Brian, there are times when I think we really are in the Land of Oz.”