Walking in another person’s shoes

Today was a real frazzler. Is that a word? If it isn’t it should be. It fits me right now.

First up this morning: I had a hardcore discussion with DeAngelo’s high school counselor about his much-needed schedule change that had been on the back burner for two weeks now. It’s a long story, I really don’t want to remember it in detail, but I can tell you it all ended well. He got the class he wanted without having to rearrange his whole schedule. Yes, I apologized to the counselor for losing my cool and she apologized too. Good intentions all around.

The saddest part of this morning is Patrick’s new shirt that he bought to wear at his gig tomorrow night. He hung it on the closet door for the past few days, just waiting to be worn on stage. This morning I woke up and realized I forgot to do my laundry. All I had clean were winter clothes! I reluctantly pulled out a lime green long sleeve sweater and put it on, summer or not.

Patrick let out a sigh and reached for his “special shirt”.

“Here. Take it, you can wear my shirt today, just don’t mess it up with perfume or red chili sauce from lunch or anything.”

I put it on and skipped into the kitchen, ready to eat hot links and scrambled eggs for breakfast. But then the counselor called and the DeAngelo drama began. The conversation got so heated that tears were welling up in my eyes while I plead the case for my son’s NEED for yearbook class in 7th hour. My nose was runny too. I couldn’t leave to get a tissue, so um, I used my shirt. Or rather Patrick’s shirt – to sob into.

After the call, I stood up to go wash my face and I noticed my shirt was wet on top. “What the heck is this?” I asked. “Your tears,” he deadpanned. “Mujer, you just used my new shirt to cry into.”

Fast forward to work. Theresa (my sister and carpool ride) had to leave to take her dog to the emergency room. I get out of work an hour late and call Patrick to come to pick me up. The plan was to drop me off at my friend’s gelato birthday party and then he would visit a friend in the area and come back for me.

But when he arrives, he informs me that one of our art customers needs merchandise, and he happened to bring a whole bunch of it. So we go to the Purple Lizard Boutique and lovely owner Marguerite is in a shiny, happy mood. She just got her hair streaked and has all kinds of fun stories to share with me. We get into talking about the exhilaration of getting our hair done when Patrick decides to leave the shop and wait in the courtyard. Marguerite is looking through each and every item to decide what she would like to buy.

I notice 40 minutes have gone by. I’m supposed to be eating gelato for my friend’s birthday. Come to find out – today is Marguerite’s birthday too! No wonder she is so happy! She is 55, has really cool streaked hair, and owns one of the best indie boutiques in the city. She has every reason to be happy! I decide not to rush so I can enjoy this experience. We finish up and Patrick and I head home, but first stop for Mexican take out.

My cell phone rings. It’s Maya calling from Theresa’s (she picked up the kids from school today).

“Mommy! Tonight is Open House! We have to be there at 6:30!”

I get home, scarf half my food, and Theresa says she will take us to the school. Theresa and Maya arrive to get me. It all happened so fast I didn’t have time to change out of my high heeled sequin clogs that are KILLING my feet from a long day. We get to the school and I have to go to every classroom in Maya’s schedule. Half the classes are upstairs at one side of the campus, and the others are downstairs at the other side of campus.

I see an elevator and Maya has a cow that I would even consider using it. “It’s ONLY for handicapped students, Mommy! People who can walk have to use the stairs!”

“I can’t walk right now!’ I whisper-scream back. She literally throws herself in front of the elevator buttons and I literally pick her up by the arms and move her aside like a piece of furniture. This is one time when being plus-size comes in handy. Halfway through the night I want to give up. I seriously am in pain. My feet are throbbing like crazy. I’ve been up since 6. I want to sob in Patrick’s shirt again.

Finally, Theresa comes up with a plan. There in the middle of Cholla Middle School Open House Night, among hundreds of students and parents milling about the campus, Theresa, Maya and I decided to pull a shoe-switcharoo so I can finish out the night without fainting, whining or making a scene bad enough to scar Maya’s 7th-grade social life.

“Here – you wear my flip flops, I’ll wear your clodhopper clogs,” Theresa says as she kicks off her flip flops and scoots them to me. I kick off my sequined clogs and scoot them to her. She puts her feet in and my shoes are WAY too big. She looks ridiculous.

“I wear a 10 and you wear a 7!” I say. “You look ridiculous!”

“Theresa, take your shoes back,” Maya says as she holds up her hands like a traffic cop and quickly slips off her flip flops. “I wear a 9-1/2, which is close to Mommy’s 10. Mommy, I’ll wear your shoes and you wear my shoes. Hurry! The second bell is about to ring at we have to be in room 403! We can’t be late!”

I tell her I love her and I put on her comfy flip flops. And then it dawns on me.

Maya is 12 and has NEVER worn any kind of heels, much less the sequined clogs of a 40-year-old woman. I turn to look at her, almost frightened for what I’m about to see.


There she is in her cute Cookie Monster-t-shirt and denim capris stomping along in my HUGE high sequined shoes. She was now taller than me, and her skinny legs wobbled along the concrete. She looked just like a confused contestant from America’s Next Top Model, you know – the one that gets kicked off in the first episode because she can’t work the catwalk in a weird outfit and too-small shoes? Miss Jay would have screamed bloody bra straps if he saw!

It gets better. We get to her classroom (last one of the night) and have to sit in the student chairs. The place is cramped and sticky hot with parents and kids. The teacher is seriously lecturing on her expectations for the semester and everyone begins to poke their noses in the air. It reeked of stinky feet.

“Ew!” I thought. “Who took their shoes off???” The nerve!!” Just then, I ever-so-slowly look behind me. “It can’t be. Please God, don’t let it be…” I thought. It’s MAYA! She had pulled a Britney and kicked off my shoes! I caught her attention and pinched my nose to signal for her to put them back on.

We finally made it out of there. We ditched our diets for the night and went for a piece of pie. I just barely got home a bit ago. I’m ready to take a shower and crash, but I can’t. Tomorrow I have a segment on Good Morning Arizona and I have to get everything ready tonight. So, I’m off to make a pot of coffee. Now let’s recap:

DeAngelo got the class he wanted.
Marguerite had a happy birthday.
Patrick and I got some fresh funds from the things she bought.
Maya got extra credit for bringing me to open house.
I got to wear comfy shoes, Theresa didn’t have to trade shoes.
We all got pie.

And tomorrow, Patrick will get a brand new shirt, since I cried in his current one. And that’s a day in the life

Love & light,

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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