Yesterday was the kind of day that called for my butt-kicking black pumps. I needed to deliver bad news at one meeting, cope with unrealistic expectations at another, then pep talk someone out of a little funk. My shoes gave me extra swagger, showing people I wasn’t messing around.
And then, like always, the things turned on me. Bitches.
Generally speaking, if I’m wearing my black pumps it’s to make an impression. And I’m going to pay for it. Just like Cinderella, if I’m not making a hasty adieu after a certain period of time in heels, there’s change a’coming. I can go from fabulous to frump in seconds. From the moment I slip those suckers on and I’m suddenly a female Samuel L. Jackson, a clock is ticking down to a time when I’ll be limping around on what feels like bloody nubs, whining like a lost puppy.
Afterward, I need a massage and at least half a day barefoot to recover.
These days, the amount of time I can strut around on heels trying to channel Audrey Hepburn rarely exceeds two hours. Then the pain starts radiating up my shins from my toes and I’m about as graceful as the Tin Man in a full body cast.
I think it’s grossly unfair that some women can regularly wear these contraptions for hours at a time and come out unscathed, where all of about twenty minutes a week over the course of my adult life have served to contort the bones in my feet, and left me looking from the ankles down like Fred Flintstone with a pedicure.
All the while, the feminist in me rails against the thought that such torture devices that force a person to wobble around on her toes all day, stifling a wince with every step, could ever be a fashion staple. That any woman, in this day and age, would stand to be turned away from a red carpet event like the Cannes – not for draping herself in steak – but because under her ball gown, her feet were flat on the freaking floor, like any normal, comfortable human being.
At the same time, the girly-girl in me thinks heels are pretty and likes how they make my calves look like they could cut glass. The clip-clip on the pavement means get the hell out of my way. Maybe it’s because I mean business. Maybe I’m already in enough pain to want to stab you in the throat with a dull spoon if you look at me wrong. Either way, you better watch it.
I’ve been ambitious in my shoe shopping in the past, thinking I could pull off the three-inchers that had the power to make me feel simultaneously like a porn star and a Wall Street wizard. Then there’s the benefit of the view from a few inches higher than normal. Anyone who doesn’t understand that temptation has never had to surreptitiously climb a shelf in the cooler section of the grocery store for her favorite beer, or wonder what numb-nuts ever thought it was a good idea to install cupboards above the refrigerator.
And I’ve paid for my foolhardy shoe ambition, for sure, with bunions the size of ping pong balls that will one day require surgery, and more than one pair of stilettos consigned to the thrift store pile.
Still, I’ve kept one pair of ass-kickers on hand for days like yesterday, for days I know I won’t feel enough like a power player in sensible flats. I loathe them and then I love them all at once. I’ve flung them angrily into the thrift store pile at the end of a long day, then pulled them out again later when I forget shooting pain threading it’s way up from the balls of my feet. Until I can’t walk anymore I can’t imagine a time when I will be absolutely sure I’ll never need them again.
I’m sure I’ll hear from all walks of life on this one, those who love heels and couldn’t live with out them, to those who would never think of torturing their tootsies in that manner.
Whatever your stance on heels, let’s just all agree on one thing shall we?
The meat dress thing. That’s what should be banned from the red carpet.
Your vote makes me happier than calves that look like they can cut glass. Just click on the link below.
Photo by Tigist Sapphire