Today, I fucked up... by getting my boyfriend a gift
This morning I was awoken by a knock at the door. I open the door and no one is there. Then my phone goes off saying a gift I ordered for my boyfriend was delivered.
I was excited for this to arrive, his birthday is this weekend and I wanted to get everything wrapped and hidden. I stepped out to the backdoor to see if they left it out there, my cats love getting outside so I closed the door behind me. Yay! The package! I pick it up and go to return inside…the doorknob doesn’t turn…I am locked out.
My phone, keys, and shoes are all inside and my boyfriend won’t be home for six hours…fuck. Wait, he’s working about a half mile away today, it’s easy to walk to…only I’m barefoot.
So I open the package and pullout the new dress socks I got him for one of his gifts. I slip them on and start walking the streets of Chicago half naked and wearing just socks on my feet.
I made it there and back, but his socks are ruined and so is my pride. At least the morning commuters had something to look at.
My friends are always telling me to move on, to give up. But why? Why should I? They don’t see you the way that I see you. They don’t look into your eyes and see the world. Why would they understand? They can’t possibly imagine what it means to look at your best friend and see all their hopes and dreams come true. I wish for once, just once, they could walk a mile in my shoes. But they wouldn’t need to walk that far, they would just take one step and suddenly, they would take back every bit of ‘getting over you’ advice they had ever given me and realize you’re my life, you were meant for me, and that moving on or giving up is simply not an option.
You can never really know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. At first it might not seem like the most natural fit, but walk around in those shoes long enough and you’ll discover you might like it. Just don’t get too comfortable, kids, because you never know when the other shoe is going to drop.
I had seen him many times before, often with his girlfriend, but I’ve always hesitated approaching him. Even now I didn’t know if I should dig deep into something sad, so I asked him to tell me whatever he wanted. “I’ll tell you something funny,” he said. “Grab my cane, and walk a mile in my shoes.”
Today, I formally pledge to be more of a lady. From here on out, I solemnly swear to:
Take up more space. I will eat up all your space, and show up in places you don’t want me to be. I will be everywhere. I will take almost all the space up in the room. I will stand with my legs far apart. I will stand with my shoulders high. I will be as much of a physical presence as I will be a vocal one. You will hear me from streets down and miles away. I will run circles around you. I will be everywhere you didn’t see me before. I will climb higher and farther in shoes you couldn’t walk in.
I solemnly swear to tell you no. No. No. No.
I swear to look exactly as I want to. I swear to wear red lipstick and drink out of a straw. The next day I will have knots in my hair, thick and tangled. The next day, I will stop shaving my legs. Then, I will shave them again. My hair is my crown and I will cut it all off and I will let it grow long and soft. I will chew you up with my mouth open. I will blow smoke rings and make smoke signals to all the places I dream to go. I will put my napkin on my lap and scribble ideas on the napkin. I will move far away. I will be so high you cannot see me. I will break the glass ceiling on the other side of the glass ceiling, way up in the sky. I will speak assertively. I will say “Excuse me” and I will walk past you. I will carry a sledgehammer with smooth hands. I will eat things that make my belly soft. I will run farther and harder than you. I will invade all the words you own—I will settle softly into sportsmanship and handshake and money and power and dollars. I will pay my own bills. I will dress the way I like. I will decorate myself the way I like, in skirts and pants and smart trousers. I swear to cross my legs when I want to.
I will treat my body like my own temple. I will let people in. I will listen and be compassionate and not so modest. I will take my sexuality with freedom and responsibility. I will not be ashamed by how others interpret shame. I will not be ashamed of myself. I will cover my mouth when I cough. I will drink in great big swigs. I will drink life the same way.
I swear to be known. I swear to be aggressive and calm, a mighty body of water or a contained fire. I swear to make you nervous. I swear to make my own decisions and own my decisions. I will brush my teeth twice a day and be seen, not heard (during movies, only). I will let you buy me dinner and hold the door but I will hold the door open for you, buy dinner, make jokes, speak without being spoken to, be wild and powerful and impossible to ignore. I will sneak up slowly behind you and then I will be gone, quite a ways ahead. I will hold my head high and look people in the eye and say ‘fuck’ when I stub my toe and be the woman my grandmother dreamed women could become. I will be a force, the wind that throws open the door. I will also walk through that door.
I swear you will hear me and listen. I will be hte woman you were always afraid of.
If I could be you, if you could be me For just one hour, if we could find a way To get inside each other’s mind If you could see you through my eyes Instead your own ego I believe you’d be I believe you’d be surprised to see That you’ve been blind
Walk a mile in my shoes just walk a mile in my shoes Before you abuse, criticize and accuse Then walk a mile in my shoes
I could walk a thousand miles in your shoes. I could walk ten thousand miles in your shoes. Hell, I could walk a million miles in your shoes. But just stealing your shoes and walking around in them for a while will not help me to know you better. If you want me to love you, you need to walk with me, and tell me why your shoes are the way they are, all the ways they’ve been battered and torn, scuffed. You need to walk with me and listen to me explain my shoes, the strange stains and perpetually untied laces. Don’t let me walk by myself. Walk with me and tell me why you love me, and maybe I’ll figure out if I love you.