Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Patent leather

When I graduated from high school my parents got me a really awesome outfit. I remember feeling really polished and grown up because I'd purchased my khaki pencil skirt from Nordstrom's t.b.d department instead of brass plum. REALLY fancy.

To round out the ensemble they bought me a pair of black strappy sandals with a .5" square heal. I loved them but I was REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEALLY nervous that the solid heal would make a deafening CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK as I walked across the stage to collect my diploma.

As the days to graduation ticked down I became more and more concerned with the CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK. I could just picture it, me, starting to walk across the elevated hardwood floor of the opera house and the sound of my footsteps so loud and piercing that no one could even hear my name being read. Or worse yet, they couldn't hear the name of my crush who just happened to be walking 2 or 3 people behind me.

It was unthinkable!

So, ever resourceful, I taped big wads of quilters batting to the bottom of my shoes.

Yup, DORKY as charged.

I just wasn't ready to fully own the grown-up sound of a person walking in high heels.

The thing is, in most of my childhood memories my mom is wearing high heels. The distinctive sound of those spiky shoes walking along a hard surface is a reassuring, very grown-up sound to me. At 17 I don't think I was ready to be the one making that sound. I was insecure, inexperienced and definitely not ready to be an adult.

In college I didn't wear them either. Well, maybe I borrowed a pair here and there from friends to go out or on a nice date, but I never really WORE them. They always felt like a costume. Not me.

But now? It's different. When I walk down the street in these babies they feel real.

When I'm making the sound of a high heeled woman walking down the street I don't feel out of place...I feel confident and sure of myself.

Is that strange? Should I be worried that I feel mature and validated by the sound emanating from a $100 pair of shoes? Wouldn't a deep and self assured person not care?


Erin said...

Those shoes are too freaking cute. I love them! And I absolutely think an awesome pair of shoes can make all the difference!

Tyra said...

very cute shoes!

Maggie said...

That's so funny because in high school I clearly remember wearing one of my first pair of high heels and thinking, "I sound like a grown up!" I guess the sounds we hear in childhood really do make a big impression on us. Instead of worrying about it though, I stood a little taller and walked a little prouder. It really does make me feel more powerful. And perhaps sexier?

Would I wear those shoes now? Umm, not while 7 months pregnant and chasing a 2 year old. Not even to church where you sit most of the time. Oh well, someday they will reappear in my wardrobe, with avengance.

Greeneyes said...

Girl, you are speaking my language. This is a serious topic, dear to my heart. A sexy pair of shoes is a beautiful, wonderful thing!

Well-constructed heels make you stand straighter, and they add a bit of panache to any outfit. I've heard that the first three things people notice when meeting a new acquaintance are the shoes, the hands (no nailbiting!), and the hair. Keep those in check, and you are already on your way to a good first impression.

In light of Maggie's comment, I love to break out the truly high heels on Sunday just for the reason that don't have to walk or stand too much in them. You can just sit pretty. : ) And shoes are the sole clothing item that seem immune to most of life's little weight fluctuations. Not a skinny jeans day? That's okay, just reach for your sexy shoes. Love the photo. Sounds like you are owning that little tippity-tap soundtrack of big girl footwear!

Janssen said...

I feel EXACTLY the same way! It took me ages to feel mature enough to wear heels, but now I LOVE them.

And that pair is adorable.

Mindy said...

My high heels still sit in my closet. I had planned on donning them after my pregnancy...and then I was called to the nursery. There's no way I'm chasing after 17 toddlers in high heels, even if they do make me feel cute.