Monday, January 04, 2010


Can you even remember wearing a shoe with a heel like this? So pointy, so stiff, so high and so unyielding looking. The currently fashionable strappy studded styles soar up so far beyond anything I would have dared to wear even when my bones were flexible. Not to be boastful, because I believe these things are a matter of genes, in my mid-fifties I was still working on a trade show floor at a convention, wearing high heels (what we called high heels which are "starter heels" compared to the pictured pair) for 12 hours, with no ill effects. No foot soaks, no foot massages necessary. Foot pain was a stranger to me.

My grandmother wasn't so lucky. She was plagued with bunion pain for most of her life. When she was about 85 she announced to my mother that she was having her big toes removed. My mother screamed at her not to do it, but Grandma was making an announcement and not requesting an opinion. She went ahead and had them hacked off by some French Canadian quack. We were all horrified because she had to wear special orthopedic shoes for balance and they never worked very well.

The last time I wore high heels was 7 years ago on New Years Eve. We were sitting most of the evening so I really wasn't foot-challenged much. The shoes weren't at all comfortable - mostly because of the challenge to my balance and besides, who was I trying to impress (this is a question I ask myself more and more frequently)? I still have those heels but am ready to pitch them out along with the remaining suits in my wardrobe all of which are out of style and ill fitting (shoulder pads). My many chef coats will hit the skids as well. I have 20 or so emblazoned with various of my past clients logos and there's no need to keep them hanging in the closet. I know the minute I throw them out logo-covered chef coats will be all the rage.

My present shoe line-up consists of three pairs of lace-ups, two black and one brown, the dirty (once-white) athletic type sneakers (in photo) I'm wearing today , 2 pairs of backless clogs, 2 pairs of wedge heels - black and brown, one pair of black boots and a bunch of sandals. 8 months of the year, we wear the sandals in Southern California. I wore the boots to a Christmas party this year and one of the women commented on my sexy boots.

In Japan, we saw many tiny girls teetering along in micro-mini skirts with this kind of extreme high heel. As the Japanese girls look like little dolls, the shoes seem appropriate and the whole look is cute. Here, we see over-weight young girls in these shoes with skin tight skirts and stretch tops with bare midriffs that display their fat rolls. With the high heels and the teetering, the whole mass jiggles and wiggles. I guess this is part of the new push against anorexic models and the joy of being yourself, fat or thin.

I have a friend whose mother is now over 100. When she was 98 she was still wearing high heels. My friend would plead with her not to wear them because of the danger of a fall. She replied, "But Merle, they make your legs look so much better!".

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