A friend of mine, Rick, who lives in New Orleans sent me this photo. It was taken during Mardi Gras of this year. He entitled the email, "I thought of you!" Of course he would for he knows I have always worn high heels.
Didn't wear them as a child or in junior high school but started wearing them when I was about fourteen--and not gracefully either! No, I didn't wear them to school but two of my girlfriends decided to go buy our first pair of heels at Butler Shoes and we wore them down the main street,Capitol, in Charleston, West Virginia. [My mother had always bought and made me wear expensive flat shoes from Palmer's or Arnold's shoe stores. She had no idea I was doing this on this specific day.]
I will never forget that day--ever! My friends seemed to be doing fine while I was staggering and managing to make it from one parking meter to the next all the way down the street. Looking down Capitol Street [which I knew by heart] seemed endless. But at fourteen, girls want to look cool and besides there were always guys who hung out on the street for one reason and one reason only: To look at girls! In retropsect, I must have looked like an idiot while trying to keep composure.
Our goal that day was not only to buy our first pair of high heels but to make it down the street and get on the bus to get home. Heaven only knows how we made it but we did.
When the bus arrived, I had to take off my heels: My feet were on fire. And I sat on the bus barefooted. I don't think I could have gotten those heels back on to save my life. Rode all the way home barefooted, got off the bus before my friends did and managed to get home in my bare feet which were ablaze with heat! Of course, when my mom got home I got the speech about how "cheap shoes" would destroy my feet and so on. While she was giving this speech, she was standing there in her high heels.
In my senior year of high school, my girlfriends and I would wear high heels to football games. Were any other senior girls wearing them? Of course not--just us.
While at my first year at Marshall University, I wore "Weejuns:" They were loafers and what all girls and guys wore. But I had heels to wear to --you guessed it, football games and the like.
Two years later, while still in college, I started wearing heels all of the time. Graduated a year later and landed my first teaching job. And throughout my entire teaching career, I always wore high heels unless I wore flats, which only after several times, made me fall; heels did not make me fall! I haven't worn heels at the beach however: I always wore flip flops or sandals and no way was I tripping through the sand in high heels.
I come from two generations of high heel wearers: My grandmother always wore them as did my mother. In fact, as I'm writing this, I have heels on--the backless type.
Now the high heel torch has long been passed to my thirteen year old granddaughter: She started wearing mine when she was five and walked with such grace that I was more than astounded. Unfortunately, she now can't fit into my heels: She wears two and a half sizes bigger than me. Despair!
The love affair with high heels will never end for me, even if I'm not supposed to be wearing them for my doctor jumps all over me! But I just can't walk in flats and have no desire to fall in those. Makes no sense, I know and yet, it is as it is!
Long live high heels!
*This story was published in the WVGazette of Charleston, West Virginia
Photo from Rick; shoe picture of KreweMuses in New Orleans