My Achilles Calves
This is a confession. Winter is here and I bought new fleece lined, rubber boots – the ones I really wanted. However, I am not confessing about my footwear purchase, which was essential for the wet, winter weather. I am confessing about the legs in the boots. My legs. The legs that I strongly dislike and would gladly trade for a new pair. Allow me to explain.
I finally was able to get the boots I wanted when they started making them in wide. Wide, extended calf, 15″ circumference. Call it what you will, but my calves are big. I didn’t always know my legs were big. My ignorant bliss ended when I was standing in the kitchen one day and a friend said, “Wow, that’s so funny, your legs just blend right into your feet. It’s like you don’t even have ankles.” I say friend, because the person who said this is really a lovely person and did not mean to hurt my feelings. I also think we were drinking wine at the time. “In vino veritas,” I say but, from that moment on I was starkly aware of my giant calves.
OK, they’re not giant, but apparently they’re not regular sized either. I also know this, because I have a heck of a time finding boots that zip or pull up over my apparently enormous legs. I had ordered the original, non-wide version of my fabulous new boots once before and had to return them, because the opening was way too tight. They bulged at the top after I stuffed myself in them and despite wishing they would fit, it was as if I was lady Gulliver and they were made in Lilliput. Large round peg in a small round hole. Thinking about this footwear failure not only makes me feel badly, but it also confuses me.
When I look in the mirror, my legs appear normal sized, but then the footwear industry slaps me, rather un-gently, back into reality. Trying on a beautiful pair of boots in a shop and feeling of the zipper stopping way too soon, not going all the way up, is embarrassing. I don’t think anyone around me sees or knows, but I know. And that’s enough. I know that other people experience this, because I read their comments on sites like Amazon and Zappos. So, to the many manufacturers of ladies footwear, I ask, “why the war on our wide calves?” Maybe I should open a shop for ladies with large legs, obviously we exist.
The other thing is – I was a skinny string bean as a kid. Where did these giant legs come from? The obvious answer is genetics. This is all the result of good ole DNA. At least half, my maternal half to be specific. Most of the ladies on my mother’s side of the family all started as string beans and then at some point, we “filled out” as they say. So we’re more Marilyn Monroe than Cameron Diaz. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Cameron Diaz. She’s funny, beautiful, dated Justin Timberlake, and I’m sure she has no problem buying all the boots she wants). But the point is, at some stage, I inherited the family legs. And maybe that’s why I should learn to love them. They are my legacy. My destiny. My sausages are my sausages, like those of the strong, independent women that came before me. Did I mention I call my legs “sausages?” I’ll never truly love them, but everyday I try to like them a little more. I like them in my new, shiny, black rain boots – the ones for ladies with wide calves. They’re the boots I really wanted. I’m so glad they fit my Achilles calves.