I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I know, I know. That is a bad habit.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, waiting for the other shoe to drop means waiting for the seemingly inevitable to happen. The expression has come to be used when people are waiting for something awful to happen. As in—good things are happening but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Yeah. Mea culpa.
I’ve always been a fairly positive person.
Then I watched my mother die, rather unexpectedly.
Watched my father do the same, less than 18 months later.
Saw my marriage crumble and a man I thought I knew inside and out turn into someone I knew not at all.
Sorted through a Pandora’s box of financial woes and other fun bits because of the latter.
If I’m fair with myself, I think it is probably a reasonable reaction to wait for the other shoe to drop.
I mean, look at the trail of shoes left behind over the past several years. It’s a doozy.
Cinderella has nothing on my dropped slippers, glass or otherwise.
And yet, this anticipation does not protect me. It is purely a defense mechanism.
You will understand this tactic if you have ever been floored by something awful happening. Rocking your world.
I remember one such thing, a discovery that literally brought me to my knees in my bathroom a few years ago, crying so hard that my sobs were silent. And then keening.
I was blindsided.
No worse feeling.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop, not allowing yourself to fully experience the happiness you feel in the moment, is one way to try to protect yourself from being sucker punched by life ever again.
It does not work, mind you. As a tactic, it stinks. Not only do you deprive yourself of the happiness of the moment, you become a cynic. Behind every silver lining a dark cloud.
But it feels as if you can soften the blow by anticipating it.
I do not want to say much about loving and being loved again because that relationship is just for me right now. I share a lot in this blog but some bits have to be just for me.
I can tell you this—I have stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop. Almost.
It is a hard habit to give up. When someone you trusted with your life disappoints you, it is hard to ever trust that freely again. I recall Sandra Bullock’s Golden Globe acceptance speech in 2010, thanking her husband for having her back. And soon thereafter finding out, along with the rest of the world, that he had been cheating on her.
I see that she is dating again. Quite happily, it seems, just one man.
And every time he does what he says he is going to do, understands when it seems he might not, loves when someone else might run, supports and helps just because that is the way he is wired, I am heartened.
I do not like to think of myself as damaged goods. But damage did occur.
It seems part of the regeneration process is to learn to stop waiting for either shoe to drop.
I think, and fervently hope I am right, that there are no shoes in my current relationship.
I am hoping we both remain happily barefoot.
I mean, do you think Cinderella kept those glass slippers on?
Not a chance.
Which is why she and Prince Charming lived happily ever after.
20 Comments Add yours
Really, really ❤ this one.
What a beautifully honest post. Much love and happiness I wish for you. /hugs
Thank you! This particular relationship ended but brought me much happiness while it lasted:).
Thank you for another eloquent piece. Wishing you joy and happiness.
Yes, waiting for the other shoe to drop, count me in that club. I’ll have to dive in and explore why I too have those feelings. Must had had the rug pulled out from under me a few too many times when I was little.
Sounds like you picked well 😉 Very happy for your joy.
Sounds like you found someone wonderful although its easy to mistrust happiness. We all do. But sometimes you just have to relax into it. Looks like you’re on your way.
Love the word “heartened”! Wishing you your heart’s desire.
I seem to use that word more often this year, as my word for the year is “open-hearted.” Looks like it’s working:).
I am sorry about the loss of your parents and your divorce in quick succession. It must have been hard at the time. I do hope it works out for you with your new love in your life. I do understand the difficulty in trusting again. It is probably the hardest step to take after betrayal (of any kind) and I am glad that you are finding gradually that you can.
Oh, I love this one. I can feel your joy and your apprehension at simply letting it be. Barefoot is always the way to go. Great post!
Happy days, Kay. You so deserve this comfort, my friend.
i really appreciate this post.
in many ways.
and i’m happy for you & your feet.
My feet and I thank you:).
Very glad for you.
Good luck to you Kay. It Must be very difficult to allow someone back in after being betrayed and hurt. It must be doubly hard to remain positive about life when you’ve endured so many staggering blows. But you’re still standing, and thankfully you’re not alone. I pray the rest of your life is as happy as you dream it can be.
So many live like this Kay. Great post. Happily ever after is exactly what you deserve! 🙂
So happy for you!
What you describe here resonates with me on many levels…And I definitely use the expression, as well. But now that I’m thinking about it…just where is the shoe that is dropping? If it’s on one’s foot, then…I wouldn’t call it a drop, right? Are we holding it in our hand? Suspended from the air? Why is a shoe dropping so ominous? Now I’m going to have to go Google the phrase… 🙂
When I looked it up, it seems to have come from apartment living where you can hear your neighbors’ shoes dropping. I don’t miss those days . . .