My life got a whole lot better a couple of weeks ago.
It all started when I called a podiatrist to schedule an appointment.
‘Doctor’s office,’ said a disgruntled voice with a thick New York accent. It sounded like this: DOC-tah’s ah-fiss.
I wondered if I was being scammed, but I’d found the ‘DOC-tah’s ah-fiss’ through my insurance company, so I crossed my fingers and made an appointment.
On the day of my appointment, I felt apprehensive. But mostly I felt foot pain. It was hard to remember having a day without foot pain since last July, so I headed to see the ‘DOC-tah’ I hoped would be a podiatrist.
On the way, I passed a grocery store with a sign suggesting it only carries
* FROZEN FOOD
* KOSHER FOOD
This pretty much sums up New York’s food culture. Just add halal food trucks, Boar’s Head brand deli products, a fruit stand, and a cupcake shop.
***BEE BEEP BEE BOOP BOOP. WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG POST FOR AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT NEW YORK CITY CUPCAKES.***
I’ve decided New York has an acceptable cupcake-to-kristy ratio. Dreamy, wispy Magnolia cupcakes; minimalist Sprinkles; Hunky Crumbs, Neon cart cupcakes, artisanal Brooklyn beer cupcakes, teeny adorable Melissa‘s cupcakes (thumbcakes, I call them) and every cupcake in between…New York’s got cupcakes on lock. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had the most cupcakes per capita in the world. Long-live New York Cupcakes!
***BEE BEEP BEE BOOP BOOP. NOW BACK TO REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING.***
Walking in the Lower East Side, I wondered how I’d be able to tell if the doctor’s office was a sham. Probably when they took out my kidney, I decided.
Then, I saw the sign. For the podiatrist’s office. A pretty little wrought iron stand planted in green grass behind green bushes. I passed a womyn smoking a cigarette and stepped inside where I heard the familiar ‘DOC-tah’s Ah-fiss’. (Do you think she does it on purpose, to temper expectations?)
I filled out forms, in a darling waiting room with blue tufted chairs, and gave them to the receptionist who was shocked I’d made the trek all the way from Brooklyn. It was actually the closest podiatrist to me, but I tried to look as though I felt I deserved a medal. It’s not every day someone looks at me with awe or incredulity, so I say milk it for all you can.
Done admiring me, she ushered me to the exam room. The doc’s first words were, ‘Pretend you didn’t just see me smoking out there’, and I liked her right away (not because of the smoking; because of the gruff New York frankness). I liked her even more after she told me she’d ordered special doggie take-out for her dog and that it smelled ‘better than [her] lunch!’
I may have learned as much about her bichon frisée as I did about my foot condition. I also learned that the doctor is from Brooklyn, but since she left for college, she’s never looked back. I think this is quite a feat, considering that she lives and works five minutes from Brooklyn. However, the longer I live in New York City, the more accustomed I grow to meeting the Staunch Manhattanites. They love their borough and they hate leaving it. If you’ve seen the Sex and the City episode where Miranda meets the man who hasn’t left Manhattan in a decade and has no plans of venturing out, you know what I’m talking about. That character is not an exaggeration.
My Staunchly Manhattan Podiatrist turned out not to be a kidney-harvester after all, and she gave me a surprising diagnosis. Apparently, my foot problems are the fault of my feet’s high arches and my shoes’ inadequate arch support. It is very difficult to find the support my feet need because my arches are soooooo high! I’d been trying to wear flats and tennis shoes to alleviate the pain, but the doctor explained that the best shoes for my feet are actually heels and wedges. That’s right, anonymous blog reader, I was prescribed my favorite kinds of shoes! (I subscribe to the theory of gender performativity, but if ever there was a case for gender essentialism…)
I’m probably going to get custom-made insoles so that I can wear all kinds of shoes like normal people do. Until then, I’m happy wearing my cork wedges. And in case you think my diagnosis was a bunch of hooey, consider this: I went to the podiatrist a whole twenty days ago. Since then, I have followed her advice and been free of foot pain for the first time in ten months! I went from taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) at least once a day to forgetting such a medicine exists. I no longer count my steps. I am free of foot pain, and it is glorious! Thank you, doc-tah, and thank you, wedges.
I left the podiatrist’s after taking a picture of myself looking triumphant in the charming bathroom and concluding that, except for the receptionist’s greeting, this podiatrist’s office is all charm.
Then, I caught the subway at a newly-renovated station with a nautical theme and went to work. I’m working at a vegetarian restaurant where I get free food, and it is delicious.
Hope your feet are in tip-top shape,