I am not a dressing-up kind of gal. I wear the same shoes (sneakers) and hiking or workout clothes every day. My dressiest pair of pants are jeans, and my dressiest shirts are t-shirts. I rarely wear jewelry (though lately I’ve taken to wearing a gold necklace with a merlinite pendant round my neck), and I never, ever put on make-up or perfume. I suppose I should also confess that I keep myself warm with the same two hiking-style jackets, one of which my mother hates because of a large brown stain on the back from when Eden accidentally painted me.
Despite this, you might be surprised to learn that I own quite a few pairs of high-heel shoes. And I don’t mean just one or two. I have a pink, floral pair that I bought for my cousin’s wedding and worn that one time. I have a platformed black sandal that makes me feel tall and thin, and another black, elegant, shiny sandal. My grandma bought me a fabulous pair in yellow and tan -- worn once. I have a red platformed pair -- still brand new. I have one in sparkly purple that Eden decided she hates, and another classic black pump which pinches my foot terribly. And there’s my favorite one: silvery-grey with black dots, surprisingly comfy.
So what does a plain-dressing gal who wears hiking clothes and prefers flat sneakers (the flatter the better) want with so many pairs of (shall I confess it?) expensive, stylish shoes? Well, perhaps I too have a vain streak, an “oh my gosh I love looking hot” vein in my practical body. And perhaps I also love, just once in a while, and no more than once a year, to dress up in a tight-fitting dress and to add to it a pair of sexy heels. But more true than that would be an equally embarrassing confession: I just really really love shopping for shoes.
Remember the scene from Roman Holiday, where Audrey Hepburn (who plays a visiting princess) removes her shoe and cannot find it again under her dress? There’s just something about shoes, even if they are partly or completely hidden beneath clothes. They can make us tall, stable, comfortable or uncomfortable, elegant or dowdy. They can make our calves look sexy, lengthen our legs, give an unforgettable accent to an outfit. Can you imagine a cowboy with sneakers? A president in clogs?
My shoes, though kept hidden in the closet, remind me of an aspect of my personality that I rarely acknowledge: the coquetish, girly part of me that likes to dress up and wants to look beautiful, and that enjoys so much when Dar says, “Wow!” or Eden says, “Ima, you look good today!” The practical me prefers to dress in comfort. The sexy woman in me says, “Wear that jacket with the stains, but you have to have the shoes’ support behind you!”