Growing up, whenever I entered my home, I braced myself for the inevitable yelp from Nagymama, “PAPUCS! PAAAAPUCS!”
“Papucs” is Hungarian for “slipper”. Any time you came into my house, you had to lose your shoes and don the papucs. It didn’t ever help me that I’ve always been tall, so by age 14 I was already 5’ft10” with a 10-1/2 shoe size. Papucs never came in sizes lager than 9 from the El Cheapo Store, so my socked feet usually hung several inches over the back.
Thinking back on the papucs, I swear to god, she had 500 of these things! Dr. Seuse would have a field-day on my Nagymama:
Old papucs. New papucs.
Red papucs. Blue papucs.
The thing is, no matter how many papucs Anyu would buy her, she would wear the oldest, nastiest pair with the cardboard sticking out of the bottom. Nothing would stop her from hemming and fixing and gluing and sewing and nailing and taping the damned $2.99 papucs.
At a certain point, we developed a serious papucs problem.
Nagymama had started to get up in age, so she kept on losing her balance. It didn’t help that my papucs never had any sort of tread at the bottom, so my mom tried to hide all her papucs and make Nagymama wear sneakers. But somehow, Nagymama would find the papucs and run around outside chasing cats away or try to climb the roof to clean the gutters. In three years, I think my Nagymama has ended in the waiting room at “Med-Emerge” ten times in papucs-related accidents.
My mom finally had enough and threw out all her papucs. Without even flinching, Nagymama went into my closet, took out my nicest pair of slip-on high heels, and went to go weed the garden. I didn’t even notice until I saw them propped up by the door, caked in mud and weed reminants. They were stretched out so much that they were almost as wide as they are long. I told you that my granny is cubelike: that includes her feet.