As Indispensable as Sensible Shoes

Garry Trudeau has a great many talents; chief among them is his Doonesbury characters that make his comic strip come to life. Of course it’s no surprise that Lacey Davenport is my favorite.  The idiosyncrasies embodied both in the real life Millicent Fenwick and the fictional Lacey Davenport are uncanny. Both served as the conscious of congress, cared passionately about their constituents, and minded the purse strings be it their money or ours (as taxpayers).

Hanging proudly in Millicent Fenwick’s bathroom was an original Doonesbury cartoon panel. It featured a campaign ad for Lacey with the slogan “Davenport. As indispensable as sensible shoes.” On the bottom it read, “Paid for by her chums.”

I couldn’t help thinking about that cartoon tonight as I hailed a cab. Usually the walk from the Library of Congress to Union Station is a refreshing way to end a long day once the doors close at 9:30 p.m. Every evening is like an August recess. The only signs of life are of those protecting our national institutions – the Library, the Supreme Court, and the Capitol. But tonight was different. The walk was not enjoyable and I had my shoes to blame. I’ve literally worn them out. I could feel the pavement on my skin. My black open-toed comfortable heels are no longer comfortable.  They’ve logged more miles than most people and traveled all over the country. They’ve walked the halls of Congress, the tunnels of the Library of Congress, and the corridors of the Justice Department, but they are done. 

That became clear when I was halfway to Union Station and spotted a cab on Constitution Avenue. I got in and told the driver how happy my feet were. He started laughing and then he saw my shoes. He wanted a picture of them. He’s writing a book and I’m now going to be in it. Needless to say it was a great ride across the city listening to him regal me with his stories as a cab driver, invisible to many. He hears you on the phone, he knows your secrets, but yet you don’t know him. He has a story too. He’s from Ethiopia and wants to return to his field of study, medical-related. Next year is the year.  Grad school is calling.

We talked about his sisters and all their shoes. And I learned something new. Apparently, CVS sells shoe stretchers. I definitely need to buy one so I can break in a new pair of shoes!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anne Boyd on August 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Ahh, shoes, we women never have enough of them but we favor a precious few. They go with us everywhere and when a favorite pair gives up its sole, we have lost a dear friend!


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