That Time I Walked Barefoot on State Street...

I have gigantic feet. As in size 12, very wide, very big feet. My preferred shoe is a flip flop. Easy on, easy off and frankly? I hardly ever find a pair that doesn't fit me. I was leaving school one day, flopping along, and snagged a train towards the old Marshall Field's. I jumped off, proceed to begin my walk, when suddenly, the connecting-thing (scientific name of course) came out of the shoe. If this has ever happened to you, then you know that your flip-flop has just died. As in, probably won't be resuscitated. (Cue this same thing happening years later when I was on the way to visit my new nephew in the hospital and had to ask the front desk for a stapler just to keep my shoe together as 1. I didn't have another pair and 2. Tape isn't nearly as fashionable and 3. They usually frown upon a lack of shoes in a hospital. I obviously need to buy better quality flip-flops.)

Anywho. Back to State Street. So there I am, lugging a briefcase bag with a laptop that weighed more than it probably should have with books that should have stayed in a library somewhere, on the middle of one of the busiest (touristy) streets in the city, only to find myself without staples, tape, and apparently, a working shoe. I looked around and quickly found places that just wouldn't do - Neiman Marcus, Aldo, Old Navy - knowing full well these places either wouldn't have my size or they wouldn't have shoes that I'd be willing to also sell my arm and a leg for.

So I did the only thing I knew how to do. I started walking. Without my shoe. I threw the broken flop away, readjusted my bag and walked with my head held high. After all, who's going to mess with a sweaty, one-shoed woman walking downtown with a gigantic bag full of books? I huffed all the way to just off the corner of Jackson and State Street (yes, do the math, it's a decent amount of walking distance) and hobbled into the Payless Shoe store there because they are the only place that carries reasonably priced size 12 Diva shoes. I bought the cheapest pair I could find (did I mention I was in school...with loans at the time?) and quickly dumped the other flip-flop.

After that, I opted to end the day the best Chicago way - with a trip to Garrett's popcorn. Chicago Mix seemed to somehow make everything better. I made it the rest of the way home, showered quickly, and vowed never to speak of the day I walked down State Street without a sole.

Have you ever had a fashion faux pas in public? How did you recover?



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    I love your recovery - own it and follow up with Garrett's. Perfect. When I was nine months pregnant, I returned from the bathroom with my dress tucked into my pantyhose. I then walked into a room of 300 people (including Joe) who were participating in a Monopoly Tournament. If my husband could've ended things right then and there, I'm sure he would have.

  • Hahaha! Who finally told you that you had done that?! I sure hope some kind woman did (and where in the world do you participate in a Monopoly Tournament!?)

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    In reply to Samantha Schultz:

    My sister-in-law's SISTER told me. I thought she was coming over to say "hi" (we're all related here on the southside of Chicago). Instead she sort of just pushed me back into the bathroom. Let me know if you're interested in next year's tournament - I'll write you down!

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    Growing up in Florida I lived in flip-flops pretty much year-round! This has happened to me more times than I can count! :) You're in good company...

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    How fun, I love flip flops, and live in them in the warmer months. I have had a few brake a time or two :-). I am weird though I can't stand not having shoes on for some odd reason when I walk outside.

  • In reply to Kelsey Apley:

    haha! I definitely hear that - it's crazy how often it happens!

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    My mom always told me to keep one of those plastic tabs that seal bagels in a bag shut (technical description, of course) handy. Whenever she had a flip flop break, she would put it on from the bottom of the separator piece of the flip flop and it holds it in place! Not that you had one in the middle of the street or anything!

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    good for you! Hold your head up high! lol. Proud of you is being brave and going to a more reasonable priced store. The worst fashion faux paux I've had to endure is my bra breaking. I just had the husband help me take it off, hide it in a bag, and went about my day.

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    I am a size 11, and so I feel your pain! Just a few weekends ago, I was at a retreat in the mountains with some women from an online, it was the first time I was meeting many of the gals. The retreat was in the mountains of CO, so it was snowy...and one of the gals was driving a car that got stuck in the snow right outside the house. While going outside to help push the car, I broke the zipper on my boot. I only brought one pair of boots for all weekend! Someone mentioned runnning to one of the local shops for a pair of boots...but with my shoe size, that's just not easy! Instead, I wore a boot that was unzipped all weekend. I was definitely the "fashionista" all weekend!

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    Samantha Schultz

    I'm an {almost} thirty-something mom of two who spent exactly one year living in Chicago and 28 years as a Chicagoland suburbanite. Whether it was adventures with my Aunt or carrying on the tradition with my own niece, nephews and kids, I love experiencing {most} of what Chicago has to offer.

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