Shoes can say a lot about how we feel. We trade in the comfort and health of our tootsies to make a non-verbal statement. From Amy Winehouse and her F-me pumps to hillbillies and their Sh*tkickers, everyone has their own go-to pair when they’re feeling like a certain someone.
In her eyes, you’re still the sweet, innocent little angel that used to sleepover and watch Doris Day films with her while eating s’mores. You bring her freshly baked cookies and word find puzzle books to make her time in the nursing home more tolerable. You wouldn’t dare reveal cleavage or jeans tight enough to show the quantity of storage inside your trunk. You still wear lace and bows when you visit her and giggle a lot. Outside of the nursing home, it’s leather, chains, and dominatrix style activities. What grandma doesn’t know won’t hurt her.
You accepted the pizza invite thinking he was being a friendly neighbor. The fact that he was 6’3 and had a faint Peruvian accent were just a bonus. When he arrived at your door and you were punched in the nose with Old Spice fumes, it felt like he might have romance in mind. On the drive over he mentioned a silly little felony he was convicted with for theft where he did some time in the pen. You decided not to ask for details, but when he asked what kind of wine you would like you belted, “I’m sober!” You needed clarity to keep an eye on your purse.
You know nothing about swimming. You go to the beach only for the tan and selfies….but boy, was that event inspiring! The swimmers looked like swans gliding up from catching a minnow. You’ve signed up for swim lessons at the community pool. You bought a few racer back tank tops to resemble the bland swimsuits of the competitors. Walking through the city in these shoes make you feel like you’ve just picked up your gold medal! You just need to keep in mind that the swim cap isn’t a great look for winter.
You look pure, but deep down, you’re oh so naughty. You told him you’ve never slept with anyone unless you had been dating for at least five months. White lies are okay. No one said it had to be a little one. White on the feet would make you seem matronly, innocent, and young. You told him on that hot, steamy night in the booth at El Torito that you’ve never actually experienced true love before, but you feel like something really incredible is happening and this might be it. You crossed your legs, kicking up a six inch heel to let him know that he is about to feel something really incredible taking place beneath the table cloth while the server is pounding and mixing guacamole for your entertainment.
You know about culture that is beyond pop. No one can hold a conversation with you because they just don’t get you. You see the poetry beyond the words, the hesitations that were ignored in the brushstrokes. There is no word for your hair color. This week it’s fuchsia with platinum highlights, but with a conservative cut. Your taste in music has not yet been discovered. You are so far ahead of the game. People ask, “What the hell are you talking about?” You just smile and decide that they are stuck in the past.
Mother Nature has increased the contrast on the sunlight as your dog’s bladder is about to burst. Retracing what happened last night amongst strewn clothing, keys, and a spilled handbag, your dog is doing the peepee dance. Your body is far too painful to have anything restraining touch it. Even standard flip-flops would be painful between your toes. You need something to sink your feet into while facing the shiny, happy, polished people outside. You throw on a hat to disguise last night’s makeup and deflated teased hair. As you open the door to the outside world, you fantasize the moment you return to plummet down on the sofa.
So, you got stood up and the girls took you out to feel better. Yeah, who needs love, anyway? The girls are cheering you on as you dance, which makes you feel better. You’re getting some glances from hotties. Until she moves onto the dance floor. She with her plastic DDs and tight, skimpy little dress. Wait! All eyes are going toward her. You move in to upstage her. You pull a move that happened on the American Music Awards from the backup dancers. You also pull what might be a hamstring or an Achilles. You don’t know which, but you know you ain’t stopping until the song is over. You hobble with pride back to your girls like nothing ever happened.
You’re hopping from train to bus, but you wouldn’t be caught in a pair of sneaks. Tennis shoes are for playing tennis and you don’t do recreational sports. These shoes give you coverage to trudge through any partially eaten burritos, sidewalk urine, and keep your pedicure free of scuff marks. They are flexible for running when the escalator is out and the subway is approaching. They send off a conservative, yet fun vibe that grants you respect from the elderly crowd and tattooed types who are in to Bettys. They coordinate with every piece of black clothing you own with an occasional spark of color. Be sure to thank your driver.
You’ve hated that job since day one. You have dabbled with looking elsewhere, but despise the idea of new resume trends and how to update yours to meet new standards. You go into that day job, keep your mouth shut, do your work, and eye the clock for closing time. Today was your 5-year review. It might have only been 50 cents more per hour that they are shelling out, but you are feeling powerful after being acknowledged for your self worth. You scour Yelp for a four dollar sign restaurant, dine there to celebrate, and take a pic of your shoes standing on their personalized entry rug. Enjoy!
You were a rocker chic back in the day, but you’ve toned it down quite a bit. Okay, you’re a little older now and you go for comfort, but still proudly show your wild side. Rocker chic is a lifestyle, after all. It doesn’t just go away. You can pick up those old cassettes of the Crüe’s Shout at the Devil or Metallica pre-Black album, but you find yourself mostly listening to the local college classical station. Hey, you’re not changing who you are, you’re just evolving into, um, okay, metal can be a little annoying at times these days. You see a teen on the side walk wearing a vintage Megadeth tee. You engage in conversation about, “yeah, I remember my first time seeing them. It was Ozzy’s No Rest for the Wicked tour….or was it Anthrax who opened?”
You’re feeling ethereal and whimsical. Dorothy just wanted to go home. You want to go on an adventure! The barista gave you a free muffin, just because. All the fuzzies were blowing from the dandelions as you walked by with your magical aura. You went to the ATM and your balance turned out to be higher than you had remembered. Every traffic light operated in your favor. You share smiles with every stranger you pass. You decide to lay in the grass at a park and just smell the air and feel the breeze of the universe directing a show that takes place on Earth.
The kids left for camp and it’s sushi time with the girls. You have ten whole days to feel free again and to live without the responsibility of picking up kids from the pottery place or wiping noses. You discover that you still turn heads! Popping out two pups just made your body even better. You strut your stuff at the gas station. You pump one hip while you pump that gas. You eat your sushi chewing slowly, savoring each bite without interruptions. You are a woman! You are an amazingly sexy gift to this universe. You will wear these shoes every day until the kids come home, then back to your Toms.
Everyone is bundled up in the cold weather, but you won’t let a little chill stand in the way of style. What is it with these L.A. people? It’s 50 degrees and they are behaving like it’s 50 below. While they are bundled in their winter scarves, you have on your sleeveless little black dress and request a seat on the patio and ask them to turn off the heat lamp. People want to make small talk about the weather and you remind them that this is NOT cold. You’re from New York, dammit.