a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: From Head to Foot

Friday, May 10, 2013

From Head to Foot

SUMMARY: Glasses and insoles. And hair, mustn't forget the hair.

As I reported a couple of weeks ago, I've got this annoying pain in the metatarsal/phalangeal joint.  I hate shopping for shoes. But, in the interest of lessening the pain and helping the healing, I went shopping for stiff-soled shoes. Which of course required walking walking walking around a huge mall on my sore foot. And to no avail: found that pretty much everything that was really stiff and don't bend much came in one of two flavors: Army Boot or Nurse Ratched. I thought that my brown men's Merrell's, which I wear a lot because they're quite comfy, were pretty stiff--

--until the podiatrist showed (as I reenact here) that they were merely "OK" (his word) in the bendy department.

That's why I went shopping. BUT not only were the selections not pretty,  the prices were also downright ugly. So I returned home to check out what I already have. My black women's Merrell's--a different fit, slightly smaller and tighter--but cooler looking because they're, duh, black, which is inherently cool--turn out to have much stiffer soles. Interesting. They did not want to bend at all. Score one for cool black Merrell's. Boost likes them, too.

So, what else do I already have around? Ignoring hiking boots for now, how about my 3 pairs of New Balance "tennis shoes". Worn but not worn out; dirty from all the times I wore them for hiking and agility and yard work and EVERYTHING until about 3 years ago when I mostly started wearing Merrell-style shoes most of the time. Kept them for serious walking and athletic activities that didn't involve wet grass or mountains. So I still have them.

And, whoa, they also really do not want to bend! And a sudden brain flash--that's because, back in '97 when I had a stress fracture in one foot (same foot, turns out, different toe), the podiatrist (orthopedist?) told me to always buy stiff-soled shoes, so that's what I looked for when I shopped.
Meanwhile, my current podiatrist had suggested that I take my custom orthotics--again, dating from post-stress-fracture wayyy back then--and have them covered with a nice cross-training insole pad by an orthotics guy. So I took my familiar bluies and his prescription and dropped them off last week; have an appointment for a final fitting on Monday. Who knew it was so complicated?

So, so far, foot still hurts, trying not to do any walking or hiking, but still did agility class last night and it felt OK in my stiff-soled turf shoes, which also don't bend much at all.

MEANWHILE, nearly at the other end of my body, it came time for my biannual eye checkup and glasses replacement. So, a couple of weeks back, I went on in. Left eye, which has always been pretty good, remained pretty good. Right eye, which has been very gradually getting more nearsighted and would require a very thick lens if I were using normal plastic or glass, tricked me this time around and got slightly less nearsighted and slightly more farsighted. Which is apparently typical for, ugh, "older" people.

Then I had to shop.

I hate shopping for glasses. Normally I just try to replace the lenses in my existing frames, but this time they no longer make the same frames, so I'd have to leave my old frames with them to have the lenses made. Fergit that. So had to pick out new frames for regular glasses AND for sunglasses (have been without separate sunglasses for 2 years. That's enough of *that*.)

And it's SO. HARD. Here is one of three walls of frames. They all look almost the same but they all look terrible on me.

Come on, which pair of thick black plastic frames do you want for your sunglasses?

It's hopeless. I'm probably not really crying, but I could have been.

Fortunately, the optician assisting me managed to convince me that she knew what she was talking about in terms of things that looked good on me. She did so by agreeing with me on several pairs that I tried and hated. Then she went looking for various frames and brought them to me. I'd look in the mirror, she'd look at me in person, and we'd negotiate whether they would be going home with me or not.

I finally decided on this for the sunglasses. Not black. From a distance, might look that way, but actually just dark purple. And on the inside, they're blue! If there's anything that convinces me that something is of high quality, it's that they're blue and purple. Don't look at the price sticker. I sure didn't. Gasp.

Then we agreed on these for my regular glasses. I said, "ugh, bling." And she said, oh, really, not very much bling at all, it's very subtle. And this is also an experiment; I've never before had glasses with no frame on the lower half. Yes, from the earpiece to the nosepiece, it's just naked lens.

And, two weeks later, here are my old glasses:

Here are my new sunglasses--whoa, don't I look cool or what?! Just the thing to wear with black Merrell's.

And these are my new spectacles.

Lastly, a couple of weeks ago I finally got my hair fixed--something I do about every six months but it was way overdue this time. Because I hate having my hair permed. But I really like the results (as seen in the photos above) and I really like that it then becomes pretty much wash and wear. This is the really glamorous part of the process:

So now I'm all fixed up in all these various ways. Ready to face the world.


  1. Wow! Head to toe all done up! :) Love the glasses...a little bling never hurt anyone!

    1. Thanks. Perms are just about my only concession to female vanity.

  2. Clogs are great for stiff soles and so many fashionable colors to choose from: http://www.clogkingdom.com/dansko_spring_2013 I got a pair after foot surgery and I dragged them out after my latest foot injury. Not the most comfortable at first but I got used to them eventually. I also have a pair of really stiff trail running shoes from Vasque. Not sure of the model and they probably don't make them anymore anyway but if you go to a running shoe store and start bending soles you should be able to find a pair. It's important to bend the soles though. I bought a pair of hiking boots that looked stiff but bend something awful, worse than my regular running shoes.

    1. Thanks, Elayne. I did see some Dansko shoes in one store and they felt OK but I lumped them (black, solid) as the ugly Nurse Ratchet shoes. I did try them on, and they did actually feel ok, but I couldn't convince myself to pay $120 bucks for shoes that I wouldn't want to wear except when my foot was sore. So I hate shopping for shoes for two reasons...well, three. One, very hard to find shoes that fit comfortably, so I would never buy them off the web, for example (unless I had tried them on somewhere); two, I think most shoes are ugly and I wouldn't want to wear them (this is why, when I find a shoe I like, I tend to buy 3 or 4 identical pairs); and three, SO expensive! Anyway, I poked around on their web site, thanks, and found links to a couple of other stores in my area that carry Danskos, so I'll try to get out and see what they have in stock. And thanks for the suggestion on Vasque.

  3. "ugh, bling." Ha! That's exactly what I would have said too about anything the least bit blingyish :) But it's subtle on those glasses and they look good on you. My current and past glasses don't have the frame on the bottom half either.

    1. I'm liking not having the frame on the bottom and the metal just across the top. Plastic ones have the lenses inset, and cleaning them and keeping them clean always was a challenge. much easier to clean now.

  4. Wow- a full makeover! I love the new glasses! I too HATE shopping for glasses and shoes. The last time I should've listened to the woman at the frame shop when she said she didn't like the ones I chose- I loved them at the time but hated them when I got them home :( Now I'm stuck with them for years until I can afford to go buy a new pair.
    Hope your foot is feeling better now!

    1. Foot is staying about the same, drat it. I'm still liking the glasses that we picked, thank goodness. They are *so* expensive, aren't they!

  5. A-Okey for taking good care of yourself!

    1. I try to take care of myself--sometimes. Some taking-care-ofs are easier than others.