I have a bad relationship with both staircases and high heels so it was probably some cosmic sign that as I set out to buy a pair of fancy heels last week for the newspaper awards gala, I fell down the front stairs of my home.
Not all the way down but sufficiently far to leave bruises and draw just enough blood to elicit whimpers and swear words.
“It wouldn’t have happened if you were wearing heels,” said our sales coordinator later, suggesting I would pay closer attention to the way I walked if I wore anything other than flat sandals or running shoes.
Staircases have been my nemesis since I was a kid, resulting in at least one broken leg and countless spills which may or may not be the reason I am incapable of wearing anything higher than a flip-flop.
“You don’t need heels,” said my pragmatic son. “You’re tall.”
But I desperately wanted a pair of glamourous heels for the occasion almost as much as I wanted to prove my co-worker wrong so, Band-Aids and pride firmly in place, I set out on my consumer odyssey. If I’d had feet the size of a water nymph or a drag queen, I would’ve been fine but, alas, being of average foot size meant not being able to zero in on exactly what I wanted.
With time running out, I headed over to Fairview comfortable in the knowledge that with that many shoe stores under one roof, failure was not an option. Two hours and just enough blood to elicit whimpers and swear words later, I was no further ahead.
“I like them,” I told one sales clerk, “but I don’t love them.”
“You have to get to know each other better,” he said dryly.
“I’m just not ready to commit,” I countered as he packed up all the assorted boxes on the floor, refusing to dignify the loss of the sales commission with eye contact.
A pair of four-inch killers at another store had my arms frantically windmilling as my inner ear adjusted to the new height level, never mind trying to actually walk in them.
“Whimp!” texted our sales coordinator in response to the photo I sent her.
“You spelled it wrong,” was my best editor comeback.
The journey had me meandering through every mall shoe store, including what my oldest calls the poverty-scented vinyl mecca discount chains until I was ready to throw in the towel and wear my black and white Converse low tops to the event.
Until I stumbled upon a small high-end shop with a subtly displayed pair of exactly what I’d been looking for. Beautifully proportioned with a (then) comfortable fit, black leather, silver accented babies.
“They’re one hundred and-”, said the sales clerk.
“I don’t care!” I interrupted. “Sold!”
Denial will only carry you so far and I finished the night walking barefoot back to my car with the beautiful shoes in hand, and have since been nursing the blisters and painful left-foot bone issue (I refuse to use the word ‘bunion’) those perfect shoes caused.
Our sales coordinator is very disappointed with me but my relationship with high heels is status quo.