Saturday, June 29, 2013

For Women Who Think On Their Feet


I almost recycled the Footsmart catalog without looking at it, when the phrase "lower body health" caught my eye. For a lot of us women, the area below the waist covers a lot of ground. For some of us, portions that had once been in the top half have changed allegiances. And if this catalog can keep all that territory healthy, it's worth a look.

Turns out it's a catalog of shoes, but not just any shoes: shoes that solve problems. Hey, if I can palm off any personal maintenance duties on my clothing, I will. Gone are the days a cobbler smacked out a leather last and made it do for both feet. Today's shoes can straighten you up, massage your toes, take the stink out, remember the grocery list and change the channel. The cushiony ones will walk to the store for you. Distribute your body's weight evenly no matter how much porkier one side is than the other. Sense you are about to tip over and fling you back upright again. There are inserts and pads and mesh. One pair will give you two paid sick days after the first six months of wear. Many offer arch support, and others encourage the arch to make it on its own. Some even breathe.

They've got flip-flops that, instead of having one annoying bit of rubber between the toes, annoy all
five equally. Has your heart quit beating? No problem. If your blood puddles up around your feet, they've got socks that will spank it back up. If you pronate, supinate, or procrastinate, there's a shoe here for you. Do you have Morton's Neuroma, described as a stinging sensation between the piggy that had roast beef and the piggy that had none, and caused by wearing high heels? Are you unwilling to trade in your fuck-me pumps for pass-the-potato-chips flats? You don't have to. They'll sell you inserts filled with goo, and a little hit of Oxycontin is released with each step so you can keep those sassy stilts on. Your feet will be so happy your ovaries will unionize for better conditions. Diabetes, arthritis, bunions, calluses, hammertoes, and borderline personality disorder will all succumb to the right pair of shoes.

The catalog got so much traction from its magic shoe technology that it careened into the magic underwear business in the back pages. And here is where the engineering truly shines. Here we are
introduced to enough stays, bones, gussets, wires, splints, and armatures to completely eliminate the need for your own skeleton, or the muscles to operate it. And it's all thanks to the same innovative technology that made the boneless chicken industry possible.

A generous crisscross strap vest with power mesh helps your posture. "Just the slightest pressure reminds you to stand up straight," the product claims. (Their spike-studded pajamas are already credited with converting much of America to side-sleeping.) The vest, it is noted, can be worn inside or outside the clothing. We assume the Queen is not on the mailing list.

And, in a major breakthrough, the Glamorise full-figure soft cup bra manages to be supportive without using underwires. It does, however, have reinforced side panels with "gentle bones" harvested from your smaller vertebrates. I'm getting one. It comes in a 32-hamster all the way up to a 44-double-marmot.

69 comments:

  1. I remember those days when I wore stiletto heels and so do my feet. I want some of those paid sick days. Do they work for really old people too? And the bras! They are continuing to evolve them until they are true torture devices. I laughed out loud a coupla times, Murr. Thanks! :-)

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  2. I swear my bra cuts off the circulation to my belly button. You wouldn't think that would matter, but somehow it does.

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  3. My grandmother never felt she was truly and fully dressed until she was wearing her whalebone corset. My sister, who cared for grandma in a later period of her life, took on the duty of lacing that corset up for a trip out for lunch with the "girls" (all of whom were 80+). We have not come that far along since then.

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    1. If that had been my grandmother, the corset would have had to come from a blue whale.

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  4. I read Jockey is about to introduce a line of bras sized from the aforementioned 32 hamster to 44 double marmot. They say they will introduce standardization to the bra world. Be still my heart. Which it well may before the revolution.

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    1. What do you do if you need a hamster on one side and a marmot on the other? Hypothetically speaking, of course.

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    2. Don't all of us carry different animals on either side of our chest? Or are you hinting I am not normal. (Don't answer that.)

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    3. Do you suppose we could lobby Jockey to make a bra that offers hidden pockets for a hamster or two? That would help those of us who need a multi species fitting!

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  5. I think this is a promising trend. In another few years, I'll be able to assemble my clothes and send them out the door to do my work for me while I lounge around and drink beer all day.

    Let me know when they introduce "snappy panties for stupid questions". 'Cause I already spend most of my time talking out my ass...

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    1. You know, wherever you get the best tone...

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  6. Applause! Standing ovation. Stomping, cheering and whistling between the fingers. I am reading this in public, and people are wondering why I'm whooping, "forty four double marmot!" It sounds like a hunting rifle for some reason. I'll ask my husband.

    Pantyhose were supposed to set us free from girdles. Then came control top pantyhose. Now they have these things called, "Spanx" of the genera called, "compression garments." which are actually control tops without the hose. So your butt can look cute when you're wearing sandals.

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    1. My butt wouldn't look cute in Spanx. It would look like I had an hourglass figure, only just on my butt. Not the look we're going for.

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    2. Spanx...bet they pronounce it Spanks. I think you should be the consumer tester for this and let us know!!

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  9. Fortunately I don't need special shoes or special shapewear to keep my body in tip-top condition. It functions quite well as it is. Glad I'm not a woman and obliged to wear all sorts of uncomfortable garments. As Roxie says, girdles disappeared for a while (along with bras) only to reappear a few years later as objectionable as ever.

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    1. I have enough trouble with my underwear disappearing WHILE I'M WEARING IT.

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  10. I spent a lot of time and money finding shoes that agree with my feet. Oddly, flip flops turned out to be a good find.

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    1. Remember when we called them thongs? No more.

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    2. We called them go-aheads. Think about it.

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    3. Wait. The footwear, or the...

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  11. 32 hamster to 44 double marmot? They just opened a chain of Target stores here in Canada, and I went to the closest on opening day. Acres and acres of bras, all pre-formed, set in concrete, hanging in racks of boobs, floor to eye level, like a mob of Hindu godesses. Doesn't matter what size you are, you'll be lost inside those fake boobs, anyhow.

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    1. I think it's totally spooky how those bras stand up by themselves. More than I can say for their occupants.

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  12. Had some snappy comment in my head until I started reading down the other comments... came to the "thong" ..... if I told my grandkids I used to wear thongs they'd never believe me... especially when I'd add that they hurt the space between my toes.... uh huh... I know they'd try real hard not to picture their ancient grandma in a thong... stretched between the toes and the .... well, heck... you know. Oh yeah... that snappy comment... I forgot already....

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    1. Just tell them the thongs helped with the hot assphalt.

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  13. Many smiles (some ruefull) here this morning. Thank you. And they are still thongs in Oz.

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    1. The problem is that "thong" got STOLEN. It isn't our fault. We would never have thought of such a thing.

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  14. So much you can do for feet. All this time I thought they existed just to keep your legs from fraying at the ends.

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    1. What--you don't have toes? That's how it starts.

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  15. I get this catalog also! I confess to feeling a little bit intrigued by all its promises.

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    1. Who wouldn't? You could maybe get bra shoes. For extra support.

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  16. You just reminded me of the girls in my gym class who got the most exercise by getting out of and back into their Playtex Living Girdles.

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    1. I didn't see many of those. I think I missed them by a year or two. But I do remember garter belts. Had one.

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    2. Oh, yes, garter belts! And the skirts were getting shorter about then, too. Dicey.

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    3. Remember the dropped-pencil vertical dip-swoosh move?

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  17. I'd rather be smooshy around the edges than wear one of those torturous undergarments. The shoes, however, I'm kinda interested in those. It must be nice to walk without pain. Are you SURE it's not a scam?

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    1. It's right there in black and white! They wouldn't fib, would they? I don't mind smooshy edges either, but I am kind of tired of things smooshing OVER my edges, sliding to the sides, and whatnot.

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  18. Hard to believe the original purpose of shoes was to protect the tender soles of the feet from rocks and thorns in the fields. And skeletons and muscles were used to support the body. Even the original purpose of a bra wasn't to lift and separate, those bindings were used to stop the breasts from bouncing and getting in the way when running away from stampeding mammoths.

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    1. And now they're just to contain stampeding mammaries.

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  19. That top photo has a great stabilizing influence upon those of us who habitually get dressed in a hurry --and I am male! On days that I need to be taken seriously, I wander the neighborhood asking for assistance.

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    1. The Jockey shorts worn on the outside are a very defining look.

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  20. My motto since turning 60 has been, 'Let it all hang out' and it does, with serious abandon. But the shoes - I'd kill for a pair of shoes that fit. Having misshapen feet from birth the thought of a pair of shoes that did not cause pain is a long discarded dream. Still, my clod-hoppers get by nicely all year long in men's sandals (and don't cost an arm and a leg).

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    1. And if you lived in the Pacific Northwest, no one would think less of you if you wore socks with your sandals. Important in your cooler climates.

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  21. @"I swear my bra cuts off the circulation to my belly button..."

    I know just how you feel, Murr. My stationary bike puts my prostate to sleep.

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  22. In the 60s, by the time I got through all the paraphernalia my girlfriend was wearing I couldn't remember what I was there for.
    Magic underwear - that is a Mormon specialty, now available for all the world???

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    1. I do not believe you, Mr. Fodder. I simply do not believe you. I believe you remembered exactly what you were there for. I do.

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  23. A clever entrepreneur could sell half-bras, so people who need different sizes on different sides could assemble a perfect-fit undergarment. Not that I would know anything about this.

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    1. Then you'd have one perfect torpedo pointing to the sky and one pointing to the horizon.

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  24. Other than a sports bra for pain-free running, I won't wear anything that involves compression. In fact, all those undergarments violate my rule of never wearing anything that I'd be embarrassed to be seen taking off.

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    1. I have the same attitude toward all enhancing garments. If things are dropping out of your underwear when you're taking it off, you've lost whatever edge you had.

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  25. First of all, your hair looks fabulous in the first photo with the white bra on the outside. Did you get a new do? And now I have to scout out this catalog. I have all sorts of body parts that need to go back to their original places. :) Not my ass though. My ass is just fine.

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    1. I did! I found a barber around the corner who does just what I want for eleven bucks. At that price, plus tip, I do believe I can keep up that cut, which is one I always preferred.

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  26. Hey Murr! I bought a pair of brogues that were supposed to help me correctly use the third declension, but in the end they just helped me conjugate in Spanish. Despair. And by the way, those five toed sandal things remind me of an egg slicer. Roth x

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    1. Oh man! You totally got the wrong shoes. Although most of us on this side of the pond appreciate a good brogue.

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  27. Glad you didn't toss that catalog without looking at it, for I didn't get one, but now I have been thoroughly entertained by it, thanks to the interpretive powers of Murr!

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    1. Advertising in general is a boon to humor. Just think that now they're advertising things on TV that promise a good likelihood of Anal Seepage and YET...and YET...they're selling.

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  28. Four Thongs don't make it right!

    It actually looks painful!!!

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    1. Speaking of painful...OW OW OW OW OW!

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    1. Not good enough, darling girl--we're going to be needing pictures.

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  30. My book came! My husband was so intrigued by the title that I have surrendered it already! Can't wait to have some spare moments over the 4th to read it MYSELF! Thank you!

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    1. Yay! Oh dear. If he's intrigued by the cover, it's entirely possible he's looking for information that may not be in there.

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    2. "this lady has a great sense of humor AND she tells a good story well" high praise indeed from someone who notices but doesn't voice compliments easily. It was a who thinks up titles like that? Is she trying to catch readers? Works!

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  31. ...reminds you to stand up straight...

    I'm lucky I don't need a special vest to tell me...I have a mother!

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