My New Crocs
I don’t know what secret mechanism makes Crocs the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn, spongy yet firm, soft yet supportive. But while I was walking across the footbridge that connects the ancient mountaintop town of Civita to its larger sister Bagnoregio, I knew the precise moment that mechanism gave out. All at once, my reliable sandals with the suede tops and bouncy soles, in which I could walk for hours, collapsed. Every step hurt. The way back looked longer than ever.
“I need new shoes,” I said to Naftali. I mentioned it again the next day, but we had to drive to Rome, return the car, buy bus passes, find our rented flat, see the Colosseum by night and be on time for our 9 a.m. tour of the Vatican the next morning, so we didn’t have time. Meanwhile, we had to learn how to use Google Maps, and work out how the person using it communicates with the other person without losing the little arrow or their temper.
I should have worn my sneakers, but in the heat of Rome in July I couldn’t bear to put on anything heavier than a sandal, so I kept wearing my worn-out Crocs, ignoring the warning bells in my head. Google Maps took us the long way to the Vatican, and the extra kilometrage did not improve my mood. I didn’t mind standing and walking for four hours while my eyes feasted on Rafael, Michelangelo and Bernini, but as soon as the tour was over I was hurting again, overheated and miserable. As we burst into the sunlight of St. Peter’s Square all I wanted was to go back to the flat and lie down. My husband, however, saw ahead of him another half day of sightseeing. He teased me about being uncharacteristically lazy, which infuriated me.
The harmony of the first part of our trip, in which we celebrated our 27th anniversary, was gone, not to return until we got home. I made a few feeble attempts to buy new shoes in Rome but nothing compared with my old ones. When I got home I told my friends how my shoes had ruined the last days of my trip, and that Naf didn’t believe me and kept trying to make me walk more and more. That very day I went to the store looking for a new pair of my favorite sandals, but found out that model was no longer in production. I looked online. It turned they were available only in the UK, and could not be delivered to any other country. I remembered my dear friend Judith L. in London was coming to Israel and asked her if she would be so kind.
The new pair was delivered to Judith, not without hitches, and then to me, and I am wearing them as I write this, in fact standing in them, as I am working on my new standing-up computer work station, but that is another story. My point is, I really appreciate my new shoes. I need them to hold up my marriage.