13 November 2013 @ 11:14 am
I used to have a shoe icon, but I don't know where it went  
My grandmother had two expressions she liked to trot out on a regular basis: "You have to suffer to be beautiful" and "Your vanity will have to keep you warm." (Actually there were a third: "Someone's been around the jam pot, again." That one was when I started wearing red lipstick when I was seventeen.)

My vanity has, indeed, kept me warm on more than one occasion. But I generally don't believe that you have to suffer to be beautiful - indeed my grandmother's concept of what was beautiful generally doesn't jive with mine. But I'm reminded of the expression this morning as I walk around in four inch heels trying to decide if they're too tight to actually wear to a wedding this weekend.

I have been on a quest to try and find the perfect silver shoe. (My evening dress is bright blue, and I could go neutral, but thought silver would be kind of fun.) It's hard. There are shoes that are elegant but not in my size, and shoes in my size that look like they've been sprayed with a glitter hose. I opted for a pair of the second type first, and when they arrived yesterday I discovered they were . . . well. Tasteless. So I went searching again and found an elegant pair that looked better, and those arrived this morning. And they are kinda small. My feet are in them, but I'm not sure I could actually walk long distances in them. In short: if the zombie apocalypse hits this weekend while I'm at this wedding, I am going to be the first to go.

My feet are big because I am tall, and if they were smaller I would fall over. But finding shoes for size 11 is a challenge, not least of which because they sell out so fast. My size 11 sisters (and perhaps some brothers) and I are always in a mad competition to get. that. pair. of. shoes. because who knows when something cute will come along again?

Consider, too, that my feet were this large when I was 11 years old and my family had no money. Trying to find a pair of size 11 shoes that were appropriate and that we could afford was awful. That lasted a long time -- I clearly remember being twenty and returning, at Christmas, to work at the department store I'd worked at before college. I had no navy shoes (which were part of the uniform) so I wore the only pair of shoes I had - a pair of ankle-height, brown, lace-up boots. I was hauled into my manager's office to be told how unacceptable that was. And I had to confess that these were the only pair of shoes I had, and the only way I could afford to buy new shoes was to wait for my first paycheck and buy some then.

So in that light perhaps my quest for the perfect shoe now is understandable.

So, it seems likely I will be suffering to be beautiful on Saturday. And that is kind of dumb. But so are shoes, sometimes. The end.