The Long Ago Day of the Heel

I can’t pinpoint the date. Probably because it is not exactly what I would call traumatic. And besides, I feel like it was a slow death. Kind of like when your aging gums start to recede until you have no gums left at all. It’s gradual until the time has come for an alternative.

I have a closet full of them (heels not gums). They are all covered in a fine mist of dust and something that looks suspiciously like tumbleweeds stuck at the section where heel meets impossibly steep shank.

They were once very much loved. You can tell by the missing heel tips, and the rubbed-off leather on the technically speaking “counter” (the back of the shoe to you laymen) from using them as driving shoes.

The treatment they receive these days is less than par. Let’s just say if my shoes were human I would be spending the rest of my days making license plates and eating cold porridge for breakfast.

It will be one full year since this pandemic started and I was ousted from the office to work from the privacy of my own home. Yes, I am very lucky. No, I am not bragging. I’m just stating a fact.

Although I absolutely can blame the pandemic on many things, I cannot blame it on my inability to walk in shoes that have a heel height greater than a quarter of an inch.

Before this pandemic I wore flats to work most of the time. Once in a while if I was feeling crazy and wanted to completely let my hair down and get all “Girls Gone Wild” on myself, I would choose one of the two pairs of kitten heels I own.

For those of you who may not know what a kitten heel is, let me put it to you this way: there were plastic princess shoes with a higher heel in my child’s chest of dress-up clothes.

And I can’t wear them. These kitten heels. I try in vain, but by midday my puppies are barking at me like a couple of junkyard dogs.

The last time I recall wearing real high heels was at a nephew’s wedding nearly nine years ago. They are gorgeous, sparkly, open-toed, five-inch heeled stilettos. I have the photos to prove I kept them on longer than the church service.

These days if I even attempt to stand up in a pair of stilettos, I resemble a newborn baby elephant. Except the elephant is much more graceful. No matter how hard I try, I can barely get across the room without running the risk of spraining an ankle.

In my youth I could have run a marathon in high heels. I wore them as if I was born with them on my feet. The confidence I exuded from wearing a pair of four or five inch heels was incredible. And damn. They made my legs look great.

These days I look like a squatty sloth. My fuzzy slippers may be comfortable but they do nothing for me aesthetically. Although they do look real cute with my favorite pair of yoga pants. On days I want to get really freaky, I’ll wear a matching t-shirt.

So, that’s my story. My heel wearing days are over. Well, until my only child’s wedding day. I’ll just be sure there is a wheelchair nearby. Although, I suspect I’ll be utilizing that before the wedding march cues up.

Holy Heel

In my previous life, I was a heel wearer.  A pretty high high-heel wearer.  I could wear those suckers all day at work.  I could run down the hall to the copy machine or to catch a train.  I probably could have even worked out in them.  With no problems.  These days, my footwear of choice are either something resembling that of a senior citizen’s orthopedic or hush puppies.

Last year, DH and I went into NYC with friends of ours.  You cannot go into NYC looking like a shlump.  So, I went to TJ Maxx and bought myself the cutest high heels that I could find in my size.  And that I thought I could manage.

photo

My gorgeous niece, who happens to be an amazing and talented hair dresser wears shoes that are about 3 inches taller than this all day at work.  So I know she would just roll her eyes at me and say that these are nothing.  To her and many other 20-somethings they ARE nothing. To me, it’s like wearing a torture device that resembles that of a nail bed sticking into the balls of my feet.

We drove into the city.  I wore them starting from home and all through dinner.  At this point, I want to cry.  I am already a wobbling, limping idiot.  But I didn’t want to take them off for fear of not being able to get them on again.  When we were at dinner, I sat there with my legs crossed tightly because I was afraid to walk to the bathroom which happened to be upstairs.  When I finally realized I had to give in or REALLY embarrass myself, I stared at that staircase in fear.  As if I were going to be walking to my execution.  And when I just could not possibly hold it any longer, I looked like a drunk three-toed sloth.  Might I add, we were in a really trendy, pishy-poshy eating establishment whose clientele was young enough to be my children.  And I looked like a complete ass.

After we finished dinner, we decided to walk to the comedy club.  Why I agreed is beyond me.  I should have hailed a cab.  I was so desperate to NOT walk, that I would have thrown myself in front of one just to stop the pain.

Since then, I have tried to wear them on a night out again.  But the thought creates such anxiety I need a Xanax.  So I settle on my orthopedics.  What can I say?  I rock those orthos.  And my feet have thanked me time and time again.