I adore shoes. It is a true love affair. No matter what happens to the rest of your body as you age, your shoe size stays pretty much the same. I think the love of footwear is a genetic thing, so I come by my shoe obsession honestly. My mother was a shoe lover. And as further proof of my premise, my daughter also has a shoe addiction. When she was about 5, she had a sweet doll carriage which she pushed up and down the sidewalk teetering on a pair of my discarded heels. Inside the carriage, was her collection of old high heels, never a doll. The neighbors would marvel at how well she could walk in them.
I have worn heels for virtually every job I have ever had. In high school, I worked in Eaton’s and did every shift in heels. When I was a flight attendant for Air Canada, black patent pumps were part of the uniform. In retrospect, they were not very practical or safe, but they looked perfect with the dresses.
After I married, I became a teacher and taught primary grades. Every outfit had matching, color co-ordinated heels. To this day, I meet former students who still comment on how much they liked all my high-heeled shoes.
Aging has brought with it the inevitable arthritis in my knees. I am certain that a lifetime of wearing heels has exacerbated the situation, but I am not easily deterred. I recently decided to clean out my shoe closet. It seems to be a spring ritual.
I took out each pair and tried them on. Some were old faithfuls that I could grab and wear for many occasions, while others were worn for either very special dress-up events or very casual fun; some for walking distances and others for sitting at a dinner or show. And while comfort is a real plus in footwear, style always seems to take precedence for me.
As I examined each pair of shoes, some elicited happy memories. This pair for example made me laugh as I recalled a trip to Italy with my daughter. We walked about 2 hours one day following our city map to get to St. Peter’s. Once there we decided to climb the steps inside the dome to get to the gallery at the top which looked out over the city of Rome and the Vatican. If you have ever done this climb you know that the steps get narrower and narrower and the final bit is a rope ladder. Who knew? Not us! There we were in our platform heels. How could I possibly part with these well worn shoes. So back on the shelf they went.
And so went the rest of the clean out. By the end, I was able to part with about 8 pair. Now I had room for new ones. I have had my eye on a pair of beautiful coral suede sandals with block heels to wear if we ever get summer. I’m sure my knees will scream when I try them on, but age be damned, I am still not ready to give up my love of heels just yet. I have had to compromise on height; however, flats just don’t cut it.
Even my son knows ALL my weaknesses. Last year for Mother’s Day, he gave me a high-heel made of delicious chocolate and filled with truffles. I felt like Cinderella! I was torn with eating it or saving it, but since it was not my size, well….
Thanks for reading,