The cranberry red, open toed stilettos with the matching bag sat on the closet shelf side by side as I smilingly thought “what a combination.” The threesome was made for the holiday season – rich and colorful, shiny and eye-catching. I was back east when I first saw the shoes on display in the upper end store where Asia, my 15 years younger, good friend, had taken me shopping. I had brought shoes with me to wear to the affair we would be attending later that evening. Asia had warned me that she wanted us both to look our best, as there would be lots of “people watching” at the occasion.
As I stood there in the store, mentally salivating, eyes aglow, unable to move pass the cranberry red colored, patent leather and snake-skin, open toed beauties, which I logically knew were much too tall for me to walk in comfortably, I was also, in another part of my shoe-warped lustfulness, justifying why I should buy them for wearing to the affair.
When the Cheshire-cat smiling sales person, trained to observe the stupefied look on a captured customer’s face, helpfully came over to me with the matching cranberry red, patent and snake skinned, just the right sized matching purse, I became a basket case. With thumb and forefinger, I measured the, snake-skinned platform sole and mentally subtracted the ¾- inch from four and ¾, patent leather heel and convinced myself that the stiletto heels were not actually as tall as they appeared. After all, my granddaughter wears six inchers with no problem. Perhaps, there was a chance that I could walk comfortably in them. I stuttered “size nine, please” to the Cheshire-cat smile, secretly hoping that my size would not be available, as Asia came over to me, knowing, as a true friend does, that I was hooked and she wanted to be with me as I participated the primordial dance of shoe worship and purchase. I secretly hoped against hope that she would take charge and convince me that the stiletto beauties would not be a comfortable shoe for me to stuff my 70 + years old feet into for that night’s affair. Asia looked at the shoes, fell in love and waited patiently with me for the Cheshire smile to return.
Asia and I intelligently discussed the logic of subtracting the ¾ -inch platform sole from the 4-¾ inch heel and the fact that for the walk from the car into the opera house would be a piece of cake for me in four-inch heels. In fact, Asia reminded me, I was an old pro who could make an entrance in these shoes with a big bang. We both looked up as the Cheshire smile returned with a box in hand. The smile with the box containing the ultimate fix in shoe heaven approached, as I literally, for the first time, heard the music, being piped softly into the atmosphere of the busy Saturday morning shopping scene.
The beauties fit. Then I had to stand and I did. Now, the great test, walk. The carpeted floor made it easier and as I stood before the mirror, Cheshire smile brought the purse to me and as I held the silver handles by my side, I felt almost orgasmic. Maybe I do need to talk with a therapist.
I bought the shoes and the bag and wore, maybe wobbled is a better word, them that night. Fortunately, the affair was a seated one with staged music, singing, dancing, speeches, and short drama scenes. However, I had to walk to and from the parking garage, as well as stand in the crowd until the show started. I didn’t people watch as I usually do at such affairs as I, and others in my condition, laser-beam focused on the limited opportunities to sit down before the show began. During intermission, I remained seated and at show’s end I walked gingerly back to the car as a sympathic Asia walked slowly beside me.
A few months later, for an affair here in the Bay Area, I challenged nature and myself once more and wore the shoes and bag again, this time to an affair that ended with music and dancing. As the chairs were being moved for the dancing to begin, I carefully walked to the exit as couples swung rhythmically out to the floor to partake in a beloved pass time of mine – to dance. As the DJ played Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” I gave it up and went home.
Now, as I write this post, I have brought the shiny beauties here to my desk as they glowingly still perpetrate their spell over me, perhaps sensing that I won’t toss them as I did my other silken shoe loves, because they are a pair. What madness lurks in the hearts of women regarding shoes? I’m debating what to do with them. I’ve aged another three years since I bought them. I don’t regret the purchase, even though the stiletto heels with its platform soles are entirely too tall for me to walk comfortably in.
A friend reminded me that for church wear difficult shoes can be tolerated because the walk is only from the parking lot to the pew. However, does one wear open toed, cranberry red, patent leather and snake-skin stilettos to worship? Or does one?