Life Lesson 30: If you find yourself lying flat on your back in the garage, don’t be so hard on yourself; throw the blue shoes away

Belinda Wilcox Ouellette, Special to The County
11 years ago

Everyone knows how much I love the color blue and periwinkle blue has got to be my favorite shade. Periwinkle blue is also the color of the plastic Crocs that I hold responsible for the events that took place on the frigid November morning I am about to share with you.

It was an ordinary work morning and Dale, his lunch bag clutched in his hand, was sitting in the garage as he waited for his truck to warm up. November has a snowless, cold edge that bites. I slipped my Crocs on and walked out to the garage to ask Dale one quick question before he left. Though the deck was icy, the garage floor looked frost free, though a little wet. All I recall is stepping into the garage and quite suddenly landing on my back and staring up at the garage ceiling above. Mysterious flat boxes, old lawn rakes and a dismantled dog crate stared back down at me. Indeed, I had fallen, and that seemingly harmless spot of water was clearly a patch of ice.
In record time, Dale had pulled me to my feet and helped me sit down on the wrought iron chair beside his. My left knee, which had completely folded backward in the fall, had no sensation. My lower back, however, was screaming. “Take those blue plastic shoes off right now,” Dale said. “I told you those things were dangerous.” He asked me several times if I wanted to go to the hospital and I shook my head. “I am fine,” I told him. “I just need to get my bearings.”
He informed me that he was going to get me something else to wear on my feet and I watched him stomp off toward the house, mumbling under his breath. I glanced down at my shoes for what I thought was probably the last time and sighed. True, they had no tread remaining. True, they were infamous for simply flying off my feet at any given time. True, I had purchased them at Miller’s years ago for an embarrassingly low price, but they were so comfortable and so cute. And, they were that lovely shade of blue.
Months passed, as did winter, and we welcomed Spring. Getting my white Impala detailed seemed like the perfect kick-off to summer, and of course, the trunk of the car needed to be emptied. Dale stood just behind me as I reached into the depths of the seldom-used trunk space, pulling out a snowbrush, neatly folded shopping totes, and a plain, white plastic bag.
“What’s in the bag?” Dale asked. I hugged the bag tight against my side. “Nothing.” I said. Too late. There was undoubtedly something inside that bag; something blue.
“I know what is in that bag,” Dale said. “You’re holding on to those blue plastic shoes. I would know that color anywhere. When do you think you are finally going to learn your lesson?”
“Hopefully never,” I said. I walked over to the trash can and placed the bag inside with care. I sighed. There are some things in this zany, confusing world that in the end, do us much more harm than good.
    Belinda Wilcox Ouellette lives Connor TWP with her husband Dale and their Goldendoodle Barney. You may contact her at: