We now interrupt what is becoming our regularly scheduled programming to talk about . . . shoes. I suppose these shoes might have implications for dating (like: I don’t currently know any guys I’m not already taller than, so I might not be able to wear these on a date, for example).
I am what as generally known as tall. When I was in Gospel Choir in college, our fabulous but, um, not tall choir director set the dress code: if we weren’t wearing our choir robes, we had to wear assorted bright solids on top and black on the bottom, and all the girls had to wear heels. I stood in the back row. I never wore heels. “It’s dumb,” I would say. “I’m quite tall enough, thank you. And I’m in the back. No one can see my feet.” I was either right, or Awesome Choir Director was secretly of a similar mind about me, because she never said a thing to me about it.
It wasn’t until I had gone to London and come back that I would even contemplate wearing heels, and then the heel couldn’t be more than an inch. Okay, or maybe an inch and a half. This summer I had to replace my black sandals, and the replacements might have a two inch heel. I think they’re really cute. I’ve been rationing out the things I have to replace, because, as usually happens, everything seems to wear out all at the same time. I had to break down and buy snow boots last winter, on account of it was snowing a lot. And I finally had to toss my calf-length dress boots (sad day!) It belatedly occurred to me this week that I could cut off two pairs of jeans with holey knees, so that I wouldn’t have to buy replacements for the shorts I need to get rid of. My silver-coloured sandals are also about to become sole-less, and the light brown ones are getting hollow-heeled. (It should be noted that I let things get to this state partly because of money, but mostly because I want to wear things into the ground before I’m willing to part with them.)
This evening I was hanging out with my Girl-Talk Friend (of course I have multiple friends with whom I talk girl-talk, but this one is distinctive for these topics). We had supper and then she had to go to Walmart. There was a Payless store in the same plaza, so I, thinking I could maybe find some cheap light-coloured sandals to take care of both the light-brown and silver-coloured problems, told her I’d go in there while she went to buy toilet paper. But of course, she wanted to come, too.
Here’s the problem with being a tall woman in a shoe store. Being tall necessitates large feet, and the large-shoe sizes always have the worst styles and the fewest. This store seemed to have taken that truism to a new level, but because Girl-Talk Friend’s shoe size and height are a little more reasonable than mine, she was finding all sorts of shoes to try on, so I just kept randomly trying on sandals for something to do. This is how it happened that I tried on this pair right here:
You might have noticed that in the picture the shoes are on asphalt, not on Payless econo-carpet.
Here’s something you have to understand about me. I like shoes and clothes, but I rarely purchase them. (Even more rarely these days. Thus the cut-offs.) I am not the type of woman to need a pair of shoes for every outfit. Mostly my shoe colour is just something I can “get away with,” with any given ensemble. Close-toed shoes are usually scuffed. Also, I am not an impulse shopper. If I buy anything at all on the same day as I noticed it, more often than not it is after having wandered around a few stores also not buying things, and going back and getting it. Even after I buy something, unless I’m 100% sold on it, I often take it home and leave it in the bag and try it on a few times and put it back in the bag and it could go either way, whether I return it to the store or keep it.
These red gingham shoes were so ridiculous. They were platform shoes, for goodness sake. Never mind that it’s not a very high one–the idea of wearing platform shoes had never ever even crossed my mind. Not to mention the heel is about four inches high. I had, I thought to myself, no business wearing a four-inch heel. But Girl-Talk Friend had just been telling me that I needed to wear heels more, and these did look pretty good . . . and they were $8. Eight dollars. Even by Payless standards, that’s cheap.
Girl-Talk Friend went nuts. They looked so cute on me, she said. They were so me, she said. Who cares if I’m already tall–I should wear them anyway, she said. She also kept reminding me about the $8. She tried on a pair in her size and liked them so much that she bought a pair in blue and in red.
That’s how those shoes ended up in the parking lot with my feet inside them. I wore them all around Walmart and my ankles didn’t even wobble once. I’m not sure when or where else I’ll ever have occasion to wear them . . . but my birthday’s on Saturday, so maybe a totally impractical $8 splurge was in order after all.