17 June 2008

The Sad Saga of the Slippery Slippers

On Saturday my then-current pair of ballet slippers finally reached the stage where they could no longer be worn.  The lining has ripped away from the bottom, and I keep catching my toe on it. So tonight in class I wore a new pair.  I have a whole black swan kind of deal going on in ballet wear, although because I'll never be good enough to dance an actual black swan (that's one there on the right), that really just means I wear black slippers -- well, tonight I wore all black (even more black swan!).  And I wear canvas slippers, because I like the way they conform more and more to the foot, progressively, whereas leather gets looser and looser (mine are split sole, which these on the left are not. Split sole allows for greater conformity to the foot).

At this point I imagine you're saying, "Is this all going somewhere?"  And the answer is, yes, it is; it's going here:  my new slippers were considerably less pleasant to wear than my old slippers.  For one thing, there was some kind of weird ripple in the heel, so I didn't balance flat on the back bottom of my foot, but rather wobbled slightly.  That was irritating.  For another thing, the right one pressed a little against my right big toe. That was uncomfortable.  And the bottoms are suede, so they were super slippery.  I tried to pirouette, just to test them, and I had no grip at all.  So I had to put rosin on them, which I really hate, and then they squeaked and still were slippery.

This is not a grouchy complaint about my new slippers.  It is, rather, a pondering of one of the great mysteries of my life:  Why does it always take time for new stuff to become comfortable? The only exception to this that I can think of is bras, because bras are never as good at holding after the first couple of washes.  They're good and all, but they're never quite as stabilizing and curve-giving after you wear them four or five times.  But things like knickers, and ballet slippers, are never right - or as right as they will be - when you first put them on.  They're itchy (knickers), or too stiff (cotton skirts), or insufficiently conformative (ballet slippers).  The stiffness has to do with the sizing they put in new clothes, I know, and the itchiness with the fact that new fibers are not yet smooth.  And I know that in six months, when this pair of slippers needs to be replaced, I'll be mourning the loss of my slippers that fit my feet so perfectly and make them look so tiny and elegant ('cause I do have quite small feet, and I'm vain of the size), but for the first couple of weeks they will be a
grouchy-making menace.  I just wish there were a way to make certain kinds of new stuff come to you already broken in.  Except pointe shoes, which are never comfy when you first get them but never as beautiful once broken in.  So there ought to be a way to make them broken in on the inside when you get them, but permanently pristine on the outside no matter how long you have them.

I think this might be my silliest post ever, so I'll just try to regain some face by saying that I know Germany beat Austria today, and I'm pleased about that.  I have a prejudice against Austria as a country, I'm sorry to say.  They embraced Nazism with an ardor that beat even that of the Germans, alas, and that makes me dislike the nation (I don't like myself for this).  In football terms, the victory means Germany will play Portugal.  So I guess I am rooting for Germany after all, although I predict Portugal will win -- largely because they play so dirty. Although they lost in 2006.  So, fingers crossed.

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