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Mr. Swails has succumbed to what I'm just going to diagnose (even though I'm no doctor) to a very nasty virus. He's currently smoking a temperature of 102 degrees. Needless to say he is ....well...under the weather.

The whole Nurse Nightingale thing is in full throttle here. He's beating back the fever with Advil and drinking lots of water.

So you're stuck with me.

I will have to tell you I was not prepared to turn in a scintillating blog of epic proportions. But "Hey!" sometimes you gotta punt.

So here goes. I am going to present my latest and greatest best Lucille Ball moment. Since I have an entire roster of these moments, I am not going to have to reach very far back. Yeah, I've got this.

You may recall that Terry, Eden, and I were recently in Asheville, North Carolina for the wedding of our dear friends Eric and Joy. The wedding was fabulous. Held in the formal gardens at the Biltmore Estate with Terry officiating. All guests were asked to wear white or black. Cool.

Naturally I had to get a dress. 50 dresses later, I did. Below is said dress along with Terry in his healthier moments.

The dress was short and swingy. To carry this look off, you needed to be about 5'9'' or so. I am not. I needed the power of the pump. At least a three inch heel.

Summer stuff is on sale. So I picked up a pair of funky sandals with the needed height for ten bucks on sale. I was feeling pretty good. They were fun, gave me the height I needed, and didn't break the bank.

We hadn't even made it to the hotel for pictures before the wedding when alarm bells went off. A slight discomfort at the back of the shoe had turned into a digging pain. I was limping like a cowboy who got too close before we hit the lobby.

Now, I am no amateur when it comes to wardrobe malfunctions. I can improvise with the best of them. So I limped over to the front desk and asked a nice young man if they had any bandaids available. They did.

He handed me a handful and I thought, "Alright, I've got this thing covered!"

I slapped those suckers on and felt instant relief. This was gonna work.

That was before I realized Terry was going in a trolley with the wedding party to the gardens. Eden and I needed to find the car (Terry had kindly dropped us off in front) and drive over. The car was practically a mile away. I was halfway there when I felt that old familiar pain again. I looked down. The bandaids were flapping away at the back of my shoes like Old Glory in a stiff breeze. This was not working.

I replaced the bandaids in the car with the extras the nice kid at the front desk had given me. If I just limit my movements to tiny steps and no mountain climbs, I should be okay.

Life doesn't work that way.

Eden was in charge of the guest book and I was helping her. So when we reached the wedding venue, I dropped her off to hustle over to the guest book table while I parked the car. I caught up with her wandering around the gardens looking for the table. We hustled up and down steps, scampered through garden paths, and finally found the table with the guest book.

My bandaids had disappeared.

I sought out the woman in charge of the venue and begged for more bandaids. The back of my heels were now gouged by these stupid shoes, but there was no way I was taking them off. Did I mention the dress could not be pulled off in bare feet. I know I should have screamed "Uncle" and dumped the shoes in the nearest trash bin. But I refused to go gently in the night. I admit it. I was being foolishly vain. BUT! Allow me to quote Diana Vreeland, a noted columnist and editor in the field of fashion who once said, "I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity."


So I managed to score another handful of bandaids from the event coordinator. I slapped those puppies on and breathed a sigh of relief.

The wedding went off beautifully. But by the time we hit the reception, those bandaids had again worked themselves out of my shoes and disappeared. I sought out the event coordinator.

"Psst!" I tracked her down in a dark corner. She drew back from me warily.

"What do you want?" she said looking behind me in the shadows.

"I really, really need some more of those bandaids," I begged.

"Haven't you had enough" she asked. "You want more?"

"I know, I know, you already gave me some," I answered. "But I really need more. I can't make it all night without them!"

"Well," she capitulated. "I will check. But I think you already cleaned us out."

"Thank you...thank you," I breathed gratefully. "'You have no idea. I really need them."

She nodded briskly and disappeared.

I never saw her again.

By now I was shoving every possible thing down the back of my shoes. Napkins, kleenex, paper towels, even those small cards the guests were supposed to write their thoughts on and put in a shadow box for the bride and groom.

I was relentless. Items went in. Items came out.

All night, I left a trail of paper products as each napkin, paper towel, and kleenex worked its way out of my shoes and fled. Undeterred I just stuffed more in. Whatever I could get my hands on. It didn't matter. I would have stuck a filet mignon down my shoe if it would have alleviated the pain.

But by golly, I kept those shoes on and maintained a height I'll never achieve in bare feet. I did pay the price. When we got back to the hotel, I had some impressive sores. Eden was blown away.

"Mom!" she squealed. "Look at your feet!"

I saw this as a teaching moment.

"Yes," I told her. "My shoes were awful. So here's the deal. NEVER BUY CHEAP SHOES!"

She's got this.


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