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Deep Philosophical Questions

I have funky feet. I believe the medical term is hallux valgus or bunion. However, the word bunion makes me think of a 10 foot tall lumberjack with a big blue ox, and as everyone knows my ox is purple with yellow polka dots, so I just say I have funky feet. Sometimes I call them Geckle feet because my grandmother had the same problem and her maiden name was Geckle. With a maiden name like that, I’d probably be less resistant to the patriarchal idea of taking your husband’s last name.

Bunions can be caused in women by wearing high-heeled pointy shoes too much. I suppose that could cause bunions in men too, but it’s less common. Mine are just genetic. I’ve had them since I was a kid and I swear I wasn’t wearing 4-inch stilettos in kindergarten. They don’t cause me any pain, but because of them I’ve avoided high-heeled shoes since the 9th grade. Why go and make the problem any worse? Also, when you weigh over 300 pounds, high-heeled shoes are no more your friend than that boy who used to throw spit wads in your hair during math class. Sure, they’re both cute, but they cause you such suffering!

But for every fat cell I deplete, I think my vanity increases by a tenth of a percent. I bought a new tank top and jacket to wear to the Over the Rhine concert last night and I decided the sneakers just weren’t going to cut it anymore, so I went shopping for a pair of cute shoes – with a coupon of course. I went into the store set on buying a pair of sensible but pretty brown shoes since I knew I’d be standing around at the concert in them. I’m all about sensible shoes. You never know when a bomb might explode and your survival will depend on how fast you can book it to the closest emergency exist.

Then I saw these cute shoes which even had a cute pattern on the bottom. If I went running through the mud in them I’d leave a delightful imprint, though they probably wouldn’t be good to wear while murdering someone in the mud. They wouldn’t even need a fancy fluorescent light to catch me. But they also have a three-inch heel, though combined with a one-inch midsole that’s really only a two-inch elevation my heel would have to deal with. I saw another pair of shoes that were also cute, but not quite as cute, that had a one-inch heel. The one-inch heeled shoes were as cute as a kitten, but the three-inch heeled shoes were as cute as a three-legged kitten. So thus I faced a philosophical question in the middle of DSW Shoe Warehouse – vanity or sensibleness?

Vanity of course! Duh, I mean, I did just post a picture of the cuter shoes. Did you think I stole them? That would be an ethical question, not a philosophical one. It even turned out that the concert venue that I thought I would be standing at turned out to have seats. So I didn’t even have to suffer for my beauty. And no bombs went off, so I didn’t have to trample anyone with my clogs to bring you this blog post.

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charlotte • September 8, 2006 at 7:16 pm

I remember a teacaher I had in 7th grade who was quite obese. One day she mentioned in class that no matter how heavy she got, her feet never changed in size. She could still wear the tiniest, spikiest little shoes imagineable. It was a humorous sight to see this great bit round body being balanced on her miniscule shoes.


JM • September 8, 2006 at 8:24 pm

Dude, I know where you’re coming from. I’m bunionless, but my feet have plantar warts all over the bottoms and got warped and misshapen during my tenure as the tallest, fattest girl ever to darken the doorway of the hardcore ballet school. All that extra weight en pointe = gnarly, crotchety toes.

What I mean to say is, those shoes are really cute.


lynn • September 9, 2006 at 11:49 am

They are adorable.

I’m so glad you purchased the cute ones.

The leather (or pseduo-leather, coming from a pseduo cow I presume :) is just adorable. I love the little flowers & butterflies.

Good Choice!


Kelly • September 9, 2006 at 7:30 pm


I know your pain with the bad feet. I have bunions on both sides of my family and have been sporting a big one for as long as I can remember. I have the worst time finding shoes because thanks to the messed up fronts of my feett, the fronts are wide width, while my heels are normal width. If I had a lot of money I would so have the cutest shoes because I’d get them specially made.

However, I have managed to find a lot of cute shoes to work around the bunion, so I say just keep looking and you’ll find even more and your feet will be so cute!


K • September 11, 2006 at 6:13 am

I have feet that look as though I have treated them with great respect all my life… and I still can’t last for more than a couple of hours in high heels. (And I’m somewhere in the 170s at the moment.)

Some of us were just not made for them.

However, your shoes are very pretty!


Barb • September 11, 2006 at 9:20 am

ahh!! i love over the rhine!!!

and nice shoes :D


Cathy • September 11, 2006 at 11:06 am

I had a bunionectomy three weeks ago. I didn’t even know there was such a word as a “bunionectomy”. My bunions may have been aggravated by high heels, but I think I can blame them on my family genes for the most part since I rarely wore high heels. I decided to have my bunions corrected after hearing a podiatrist call them a severe deformity. The thing I didn’t know is that when one has a bunion, it causes problems with the other part of the foot…like hammer-toes and dislocated toe joints. I decided to have mine repaired while young and the circulation in my feet is still good. Also, I have decent health insurance and medical leave…two big deciding factors. Anyway, my last two posts were on my bunionectomy if you are curious about the surgery.

Love reading your blog!

Cathy :)


hopefulloser • September 11, 2006 at 11:23 am

They are very cute! I’ve had shoes like that and find that they’re a little tough to wear no matter what state your feet are in. So pick the venue you wear them at wisely. They’re perfect if you are going to wear them at a party, standing around, looking cute. Not so great where walking is involved.

It’s definitely good to have some vanity choices because you look so amazing. Work it!


Morphidae • September 12, 2006 at 12:56 pm

You also have what my family calls the “Hames Toe.” That is where your index toe is longer than your big toe.

I have decent looking feet. My only problem is that sometimes they get very swollen aka “football feet”



lulu • September 12, 2006 at 4:47 pm

Can’t resist shoe-centred conversations. Pretty shoes are essential! I find it is possible to run (for buses and across roads, not marathons)in the highest heels, provided that they have an ankle strap so that they don’t fall off. If you have a high instep, high heels are actually more comfortable than flats. They shouldn’t cause bunions unless they are too narrow. If you are in strapless shoes and find you have to flee the scene you can always take them off. And high-heeled boots are perfect if you want to wear a skirt in winter. I am always barefoot in the house, though. Aren’t shoes fabulous?


v'ron • September 14, 2006 at 3:46 pm

I have your feet. I always thought those bunions were normal — that they were simply the joint between your big toe and the ball of the foot. I only learned a few years back that they are NOT normal. Somehow I’ve managed to cram them into shoes. Now I read these comments and … hammer toe? Severe problems?!?! I have enough problems as it is.

Oh, and I’ve never heard of feet shrinking after one loses the weight. As you’re advised pre-pregnancy, (and pregnancy will permanently jack you up anywhere from a half size to two shoe sizes), you do go up a shoe size or something, but once you’ve had the baby, it doesn’t come back down. (I think its Vicki Iovine who uses the term “lasting pregnancy damage”). So I’m not counting on going back to the size 8s I used to have.

But maybe a bunionectomy might help!


jessica Blackler • March 31, 2007 at 11:28 am

thank you for your post: I have big bunions and hate it. I can’t wear anything cute for more than two hours, and am always sneaking into the ladies room to change back into my sneakers. I just want to wear cute shoes and FINALLY got up the nerve to ask my doctor for a podiatrist referral. My greatest fear has always been that they’ll call me vain and laugh me out of the office. But I am heartened to read that a podiatrist called them “deformities” They ARE!! I mean, how can our souls survive without cute shoes? Thank you again and God Bless! :)


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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