Thursday, March 03, 2005

On the Simple and Unsimple Joys of Fitting

Dance shoes, that is...
Fitting dance shoes. It's one of the things I "do" in the most recent incarnation of my job schlepping the boulders up my pharoah's personal pyramid... in order to have health insurance and a few bucks to rub together. Sometimes it's mind-numbing, but there are some moments that stand out for me as you might imagine.

So I'm going to try via my everyday to sow a few innocuous seeds, as the seed sower in the photo (left) is "obviously" doing.

I was mostly on the computer in my job with the multi-store dancewear chain in southern California for the first 18 months. Advertising and PR. But not anymore. Anymore they can't afford the monthly four-color glossy newsletter I created. So I'm out on the floor now, earning my buck three-eighty. Fitting shoes (among other things). Fitting shoes is actually something that I'm starting to think about as sort of a Zen discipline. It's all koans to me these days, and stinky, mangled feet everywhere. I don't know how the poets have missed such a goldmine for all these years. It's here every day for me.

I don't just hand them a box of shoes and say, "Go to it". I actually do a professional fitting. And I see and touch peoples' feet and listen to them, and observe them. One thing: most people don't really know their shoe size. This seems like a terrible disconnect to me. How can one NOT know their shoe size? Beyond all that though (and here's the Zen part of it) I get to talk to people about more than just their dance shoes. Hell. I get to do hour-long pointe shoe fittings, and get to interact with parents and their children all day long, and watch the parents mostly all pay for their purchases with plastic. Then there are those who never get off their cel phones while in the store. Sometimes when the store is empty and I'm doing something mindless, I cry quietly.

Yesterday I got to sit on the floor next to 70-something Beejay and her 60-something friend, who still dance up a storm in front of audiences on a regular basis. They are faithful customers. It was a hoot. As I eased myself down on the floor with my bum knee, I called myself a kvetching curmudgeon... and they laughed. I wondered at that moment as I often do if I would live as long as them. I wonder about that a lot. They've got almost 20 years on me. And I don't feel enough energy in me to make it that far. Maybe that will change. Something will change, of this I am sure.

So I was thinking last night at 2 AM Pacific about what I could possibly blog about in our ever-increasingly bizarro world. What could I say that means anything to all the hip political types that frequent ASZ? And of course I was stumped, and had to fall back to a slice of life. In the blogzome we vote with comments, good and bad.

I wonder.... What do you recite to yourself as you're trudging up the side of the local pyramid? Would you like to do something else, and what would that something else be?

Just wonderin'.

For the unitiated: Pointe Shoes

" Pointe shoes work on the same principles as an artificial limb. In essence, a pointe shoe is a prosthetic extension added to your leg which allows you to dance on your toes. Just like an artificial leg, a pointe shoe must be exactingly fitted to evenly disperse weight and pressure over the contact surface (in this case your foot). “When properly fitted,” explains Fern, “a pointe shoe will support your weight with little or no pain or pressure and will move like it’s a part of your foot.”"