I’ve worn out a pair of slippers.
To be fair, I wear slippers quite a bit under normal circumstances, but over the past four months my slipper use has exceeded previous records. I was reading the news one morning (I imagine you know what that’s like). The takeaway for me was that I was going to be wearing slippers for a while. I looked down at my slippers and gave in to the inevitable. I ordered new slippers.
I’ve actually forgotten what shoes I own. I looked in my closet and it seemed kind of quaint. I had different shoes for different outfits. I had shoes with heels! I had boots of several varieties — even a pair of red boots! They are now stacked up neatly in my closet. I haven’t worn anything on my feet but hiking boots and slippers in months.
My husband, Peter, and I have Alexa, the Amazon device that amuses us and annoys us in equal measure. I like her because I can ask questions when I’m baking. “Alexa! How many tablespoons in one-third cup?” “Alexa! When does the sun set tonight?” I can ask questions and play music with sticky hands and this seems to me one of the great advances in civilization made in the last century.
Peter is less sure. He quarrels with Alexa. He asks things in a way she cannot answer and when she says, “I’m not sure I understand your question,” Peter takes it personally.
“She’s a machine,” I remind Peter.
“She’s not an intelligent machine!” Peter replies.
Yesterday, Alexa was flashing away like crazy. This, I have learned, means she has something to say.
“Alexa! Do you have a notification?”
“I have one notification.” I waited with bated breath. (There really isn’t a lot going on at our house right now.)
“The notification is for Carrie: Your slipper has been delivered.”
“Oh my gosh! My slipper has been delivered!” I felt like Cinderella. I immediately went out and fetched the box from the stoop. I discovered that Alexa spoke the truth. In fact, it was even better than she said. Two slippers had been delivered — one for each foot!
Since March, the only clothing I have purchased is two pairs of stretchy pants and a nightgown. I’ve been living in stretchy pants. New slippers were a very big deal.
I am amazed by how little I have thought about clothes over the past one-third of a year. I miss wearing shoes but now, glancing into my closet, I wonder how many of them I’ll want to wear again once the opportunity presents itself. It seems to me a lot has changed in four months and a lot of these changes have happened inside of me.
I have a much greater appreciation for all the things I miss. I miss sharing experiences and having people I can laugh with. I miss chatting with my 90-year-old gal pal in church. I miss sitting with a group of strangers in a theater when the lights dim. I’d be happy to wear my stretchy pants and new slippers everywhere if I could get together with friends for an evening of fun.
I modeled my new slippers for Peter. He pretended to be impressed. (A marriage relies on a little good-natured acting from time to time.) I’m going to keep all my shoes, although I think I might have to dust them pretty soon. I’m holding out hope that, someday, I might have the occasion to wear a pair of red boots — probably with a pair of stretchy pants.
Till next time,
Carrie Carrie Classon’s memoir is called, “Blue Yarn.” Learn more at CarrieClasson.com.