One Christmas long ago, a favorite uncle presented my two sisters, our brother and me each with our very own set of stilts. They were painted in our favorite colors and raised in accordance to our respective heights. No one knew quite what to do with them initially, especially in the snow and ice outside on the driveway, yet by spring we were pegging all over the cul-de-sac replete with well-earned bruises and cuts.
You would think all of that practice would have prepped me for walking on the high-heeled shoes I would come across later in life. Five inch heels? Six inch heels? Heck, my brotherís three-foot-high stilts were a piece of cake for me by summer.
But nooooo ... I remember well the night my saddle shoes were dumped for my very first pair of strappy platforms. It was the fall semester eighth grade dance and someoneís punch spilled down my leg and wound up between my bare foot and the shoe. Down I went. After that embarrassing fiasco - which Iím sure was dully noted by every boy in the gym - the wet straps pinched blisters into the tops of my feet for the rest of the night.
Thank goodness I became only a lowly newspaper reporter, and got away with wearing kitten heels and two-inch wedges to work. I canít image having a job in a big city or in the fashion or entertainment industries and having to wear pointy-toed stilettos all day long. Seasoned stars and even the newbies I see on American Idol actually look up when they cross the stage. I can only figure these women mastered the balance beam. Maybe thatís where I went wrong.
Truth is, I love shoes as much as the next gal. My friends can tell you that I rarely buy just one pair at a time. Iím being inspired as I write right now by my mouthwatering claret, three-inch, Yves St. Laurent pumps that I bought on sale at Loehmannís in Milwaukee back in 1986. I still wear them on special occasions, but they mostly stay perched in their own prominent place of rest on my desk.
My ankle ligaments, the balls of my feet and my metatarsals automatically spasm when I enter a shoe store these days. Iím pretty sure itís the back and forth over the years that did me in: the up on your heels during the working day and the down in the flats worn around the house. Or it could be the boots that enslave we upstate women from October through March. Even the low-heeled, expensive designs offer little, long-wearing comfort and arch support.
Where can I buy sensible, fancy flats and low-rise heels? I recently asked a salesperson this question and in between learning that I must buy only all-leather shoes, I was interested to discover that she held a degree in podiatry. While this may sound impressive, you obviously canít have one profession without the other.
Sooooo ... maybe itís another conspiracy. The shoe designers are in cahoots with the podiatrists. Sounds good, right? My son tells me President Obama is an alien - and everybody knows it - and that the World Trade Center, Benghazi, Newtown, and Boston Marathon murderous tragedies were all set ups. So why not this?
Oh well. Weíll never really know. Who cares? Whatever.