I must have some sort of mutant gene, shoes have never been important to me and unlike Maggie–and I’d venture to guess, most other women–I don’t really remember what kind of shoes I wore at what point in my life. I do know that nowadays I’d rather not wear shoes at all, especially in the summer when I spend most days in sandals or flip-flops. And I know I’ve always had at least one pair of tennis shoes, usually two or even three. I’ve tried all the major brands over the years, Reebok, Adidas, even Keds when I was younger, but Nike is my preferred brand so I always have a pair of Nikes, preferably, Nike Airs.
But as for my telling my life story through shoes, I can’t do it. A total blank. I do remember getting my first pair of heels but more because my dad took me to get them than anything else. I’m not sure how he ended up with that job, but it was one of the few days in my youth when I had him all to myself, without my mom or any of my brothers and sisters around.
When I saw that pair of heels in the shoe store, I knew I had to have them. My dad wasn’t so sure, and he wasn’t going to let me get them. He said I was way too young to wear heels and guided me to a pair of flats. I shook my head at those, said they were too babyish and he pointed to a pair of low-heeled pumps. I pouted, cajoled, and finally talked him into the ones I wanted even though he thought the heels were way too high for a girl my age.
In a scene that now reminds me of Atticus and Scout in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, regarding Scout not ever going back to school, my dad and I reached a compromise. He bought them but only on the condition we take them to a shoe repair place and have the heels cut down to a more appropriate–in my dad’s eyes–inch and a half.
I don’t remember how old I was, probably around fourteen, and I can’t even remember what they looked like except that they were white. Bright and shiny and perfect for Easter. Back then it was pretty much a cardinal sin to wear white shoes before Easter so I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could wear them. It seemed to take forever for those two short weeks to pass and I finally wore them for the first time–out in public, that is, I’d been putting them on and traipsing around my bedroom from the moment I got them–on Easter Sunday.
They looked good, at least to me, but strangely enough, they didn’t make me feel any more grown-up or sophisticated, or whatever it was I was looking for at the time. I was still the same old tom-boy me, only with fancier shoes.
Maybe I should’ve gotten a hat instead.
*Picture courtesy of momtogirls79 on PhotoBucket