Thursday, July 21, 2016

         Sole Searching 

     It used to be that I was unique, as I was one of very few women my age in my social circles who wore stilettos on a daily basis. I am 73. I’ve been wearing heels regularly since I was 11, and my body is used to being carried at this height in this distorted position. I am most comfortable here. Can I walk in flat shoes? Of course. Do I? Only on tennis courts or for long walks. Can I walk in shorter heels? No. My balance is thrown by a shorter heel. I almost stagger. So what? So, my unique “ain’t she special?” days are over. I have moved to a very cosmopolitain town where not only do I see women in heels, I see women of all ages in heels. 

     When we go to the theatre, a large percentage of the women are wearing heels. When we go out to dinner, the same is true. Now, they may not be stilettos; they may be high wedges or high clunkies, but they are high. My mother taught me early on that the female body looks most chic and feminine in high heels, particularly when dressing up. 
When I was a teen-ager, all the girls wore high heels to our school dances, and our pledge formals (we had sororities and fraternities in high school). We didn’t wear heels to school, of course, but for most dressy occasions, we did. When I began my teaching career, I wore heels every day, and that continued for almost 40 years. 

     Up until a month ago, I would be in a grocery store, a department store or even on the street, and some woman would come up to me and marvel that I could walk in heels. The common statement would be “I used to be able to do that, but no more.” People from my past know me from my shoes, not my face (that’s probably a good thing these days). Unfortunately, those days are over for yours truly. It’s humbling, to say the least. All of a sudden, I’m just like everyone else. 

     There is a silver lining, though. There are actually stores that sell high heels. Now there’s a concept. I don’t have to send to Sri Lanka to get mine anymore. I can go right down to our fabulous mall and find a large inventory in at least a half dozen stores. Bless my sole!