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  • Elisse Gabriel

My Cinderella Moment






I lost my silver clog the other day, a shiny patent leather Dansko that was, along with its partner, my go-to footwear for errands, dog walks, and travel excursions. It wasn’t a glass slipper exactly, but close, or at least the closest I was likely to find as a middle-aged mom living in Berkeley, California.


I brought along a pair of Hoka tennis shoes (which Outside magazine describes as “cushy clown shoes”) on my Chicago “sis-cation,” and ended up wearing them while pounding the pavement with my sisters from morning ‘til night. My trusty clogs remained safely stashed in the hotel room.


While packing to leave Chicago, I stuffed the clogs into my Mary Poppins-style tote. Over the course of one day, I schlepped this bag from the hotel room to the valet storage area, the trunk of a Lyft car, the floor of my train seat, the back seat of my brother-in-law’s SUV, and then finally to my parents’ house, where I discovered one clog was missing.


Not a single Prince Charming came to my rescue. Not the hotel manager nor the valet, the Lyft driver, bus driver, or my brother-in-law (though he did pick us up from the bus station at 11 p.m.). None of these folks were able to locate my gleaming slip-on. In fact, when I returned home to California, my husband plunked my lone shoe into the trash can.


I spotted my clog sitting (standing? what does a shoe do?) among the garbage and took it out. “Maybe someone will call after all,” I said hopefully. “It’s lost, Lissy,” said my husband. “Maybe I can recycle it,” I said, this time a bit softer. “You can’t recycle your clog, Lissy,” he said.


It’s been a few days, and my evil stepsister–size shoe still remains unmatched, resting next to (but not inside) the garbage can. I don’t have the heart to throw it away, not just yet anyway. But I have gone ahead and purchased a new pair of clogs, and am thankful I have the wherewithal to do so. They don’t gleam like my others did (the silver ones are no longer available, alas), but they are mighty comfy, and most importantly, I now have one for each foot.


The moral of the story? Don’t depend on Prince Charming to rescue your wayward footwear, or help you find your footing, for that matter. In the words of Annie Lennox, “sisters are doin' it for themselves” nowadays—one step at a time. And who knows? Maybe my clog will make an interesting planter.


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