I need flip-flop lessons. Getting them on, to start with. I have a hard time slipping my foot into the thong that goes between the “Little piggy that went to market” and the “little piggy that stayed home.” The second my foot gets near the thong, those two toes stick together as though in a death grip. I pick up my foot and slam it along the ground, hoping to get the thong to break through the toe clench. I do this multiple times, but I usually have to bend down to get the issue settled. No small feat for an old coot, even one who bends over and touches his toes as a part of a daily stretching routine.
My wife steps up to her flip-flops and in a single motion slips into the straps and is off and running, looking back at me and asking, “Are you coming or not?” I point down to my feet and stomp away in a panic to get them shod. But, it’s not just the “getting them on” that defines my flip-flop problem. Walking in them is another challenge – I constantly find myself heading toward a spill because I’ve caught the front edge on the ground, throwing me into a stumble.
Then there’s the “going down stairs” issue. When I go down, I fully understand why they are called flip-flops. It’s that flip and flop noise they make. In my case, it’s so loud that the unfortunate people in the stairwell with me have to hold their hands over their ears. FLIP! FLOP! FLIP! FLOP! Quite often, one or the other of them flops off. Then, I’m back to the “getting them on” ordeal, but now, while balancing precariously on a narrow stair tread. Meanwhile, my wife has made it to the bottom of the stairs without making a sound, wondering, “What is that old coot up to now?” I’m a floor or two behind, even on a good day, thinking she won’t wait, but she usually does, if only to chuckle at me as I stub my toe while we walk along, and watch me perform the old coot ballet, my desperate effort to stay upright. Boy do I ever need flip-flop lessons. I wonder if they have a class at the senior center.
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