BACK IN THE DAY
Shoes: That’s all I need to say. Shoes.
When it comes to my shoe obsession, I know I’m not alone. How else did the Beatles song, “All You Need is Shoes,” became such a classic? Women love shoes. It’s in our DNA. Sure, we can’t all afford to be all ‘Sex and the City’ and fill our closet with $900 Manolo Blahniks, but the clearance section at TJMaxx? Watch out.
To understand my own personal relationship with shoes, you need to go back to my teenage years in the Eighties (surprise!). During that time I loved trolling the malls. All the clothes, all the purses, all the shoes! Problem was, I got stares wherever I went. Was I a great beauty? No. A freak of some sort? Well, yes, but that’s not the point. People stared at me because I was incredibly tall. I say incredibly, people!!
I was, and still am, 5’11”.
I know, I know. That’s not gargantuan anymore. What historians say is true: the general population has grown taller with each generation. People keep getting bigger. As a matter of fact, Xerxes the Great stood only five inches tall. His chariot was actually a Rice-A-Roni box with bottle caps for wheels. True story!
Okay, so maybe I’m not that strong in history but I speak the truth when I say that whenever I walked somewhere alone, particularly in heels, at least one three year-old girl would yank on her mommy’s sleeve and point. Part of me thought it was cool. Another part thought it sucked. You know the whole ‘gotta blend in instead of stand out’ part? Anyway, that part won out and I gave up shoes that had any sort of heel.
Back to the most important part of this post: me. J So there I was, lost in a sea of flat footwear. When I got my first job out of college, I went to work every day wearing low rise pumps. Fashionistas would have been appalled, but my passion for shoes had long since waned.
Then I saw them. Black leather stilettos with the coolest gold buckle and two and a half inch heels. I know, not a lot of 'wow' factor, but that was part of their charm. They were the Michael Cera of shoes: cute in their own way with just enough star quality to put a sparkle in your eye yet leave you with a feeling of accessibility. My guard immediately went down. “I can wear these, can't I?” I said to myself. “After all, it’s only one pair.”
When I wore them to work the next day, my boss looked at me and smiled. “Great!” she said. “You’re wearing big girl shoes now.” That’s when the big shift inside took place. I was a big girl. I didn’t care if I stood out anymore. I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!
I spent $400 on shoes that weekend. In today’s dollars, that would be at least $8000. (Okay, so not very good at math either.) Anyway, it felt wonderful and I never looked back. Today I wear heels with pride. Not that I wear them all that much -- my knees are shot and Merrells are so comfy -- but when the mood strikes me I’ll strap on a pair.
And dahling, when I do I feel mahvelous!