I love high heels. Always have. I own them in a zillion colors. But basically one style: pointy toe, 3 inch stilettos. (I have been known, however, to cheat on my steady go-to with the occasional slingback, kitten heel or ankle strap. Variety is, after all, the spice of life . . .) At one time I owned over 200 pairs: brown suede with mink balls on the toes, cork, fabric, leather, every metallic, animal pattern and color palette in the rainbow. Buckles, buttons and bows–oh, my! (Do I have to tell you how happy I was when red high heels were approved for our new uniforms?) Yep, Imelda had nothing on me!
BTW, there is no straight man on the planet who understands why a woman needs 20 pairs of black heels. To them black is black. Period. So don’t even try to explain toe cleavage, high vamp, low vamp, open toe, heel height, etc. He’ll glaze over like a Krispy Kreme. But to be fair, do we give a flying f**k about a hole saw vs a hacksaw vs a band saw vs a chop saw vs a sawsall ? Just cut the effin’ thing!
That being said, it should come as no surprise I’ve often compared dating with shoe shopping. Sometimes you hit DSW and try on and discard everything, leaving the store empty-handed. Sometimes you buy what you think you love, and it sits in the box, never to be worn. Other times you buy it because it’s cheap or different–and damn, if it doesn’t become a favorite pair! One never knows.
A while ago I was seeing this guy. He wasn’t relationship material by a loooooong shot. (But I wasn’t looking for a relationship.) I was never quite sure when–or if–he would pop back up in my life (or bed). But it didn’t really bother me. (That’s a topic for another day, I’m sure.) Still, I wondered why. What was it about him that made the inconsistency so damn appealing? And then I figured it out.
In men, as in shoes, I want a wow stiletto. That pair of high heels you see in the store and instantly want. And damn they look good on! Of course, you can’t wear them all day, every day–but you really don’t want to. They are not for all day, every day. They are for show, for fun, for the zing to your spirit you get when you put them on. When you want to dress up and go out, they are the perfect shoe. So perfect, in fact, that in a moment of weakness, you might begin to think it’s a shoe you would be able to wear all the time. But you can’t. It’s not a practical shoe.
Besides, you know you. You don’t always want to be dressed to the nines–which is exactly what this shoe requires. There’s a time for down time, alone time. Plus, you know full well they would hurt after a while. Or you’d get bored and want new–or worse. You would wear them out. And that would break your heart. To have them scuffed, cracked, missing that little rubber tip . . . Moreover, if you are really being honest with yourself, you know the real truth. As much as you love them, it’s not the shoes. It’s the way they make you feel wearing them: sexy, attractive, sassy, desirable, alive. If you wore them every day, they wouldn’t elicit those feelings. In economics it’s called “the law of diminishing returns.” In life it’s called reality.
And life is short. (At 60 it’s even shorter.) Live it. It ain’t a dress rehearsal, ladies. We’ve got just this one shot. So, kick up your heels–kitten or otherwise–or round them (look it up.) I’m sure as hell not going to judge.
BTW, is it a pure coincidence, an amusing irony or a nod of tacit cosmic approval, that when I texted a question about this topic to a girlfriend, “stiletto” auto-corrected to “still eros” ?!?
Postscript: A fellow flight attendant (who is an amazing poet!) sent me the following after reading this post. Thank you, Amy, for allowing me to share!