I spent the better part of this week pondering a brave group of women. Women who I counted myself among, years ago. I am certain that many of you reading have also have bravely marched on in the face of pain and suffering. For me, I had chosen a while ago to stop participating. But I still have friends and women I admire, who bravely continue the practice. Women who face pain, suffering and risk much harm to themselves, all by choice.
I am speaking of women who wear high heels. These women are able to put pain aside and although it has been a while since I was among the army of courageous souls, I have to say I was drawn back into this group very recently.
It all began last week when I attended an event at a friend’s house. I noticed how short I felt. I think that young women are growing taller than they used to. I don’t think I am shrinking, I just think that prenatal vitamins or maybe effects of pesticides in the water are changing the average height of women. I found out through research that it is true. The average height increases about one half inch every two to three decades.
I would love to be tall. Being tall would be the answer to a number of small issues for me. For those of my readers who don’t know me personally I will tell you that I am actually 5’3” but when I am home I feel 5’9”. Not until I have a reference of tall women around me, does reality return.
Well anyway, I was at this event when I began to notice all the tall women around me. Yes there were shorter women there, but the lust in my heart for height began anew. And then I saw her. A stunning woman who was very tall. I looked at her feet and yes, she had on these magnificent high heels. I immediately wondered what drew her to deal with the pain when she could have easily taken the easy route and worn a lower heel and still been fabulously tall. I found out that she was a former Ford model – which did not surprise me at all and quickly admonished her death defying feet (sorry couldn’t resist) to the fact that she had been trained to walk and talk and act like she was fine without ever letting on that she was in agony.
But I began to wonder if I too could once again attempt to reach new heights by wearing heels. My heritage includes heel wearers. I can still remember visiting my Grandmother’s house and sitting in her closet looking at all the beautiful high heels. My Grandma was a classy lady. Nails and hair always perfect and always high heels when we went out and this continued well into her 80’s.
She always had a tote bag with flats along just in case there was music and dancing. You never knew when the opportunity would present itself, even if we were just headed to Applebee’s for lunch. I much like my Grandma will never pass up the opportunity music brings for spontaneous dancing. For me it can be anywhere, even alone in my office with a banana as my microphone.
I asked her many times why she wore shoes that hurt her feet and she would just say – she really liked high heels. It didn’t understand why she didn’t just wear lower heels and avoid carrying a spare pair of shoes everywhere in a tote bag, just in case.
So off I went to DSW to see if there could be a pair of heels that will work for me. I was certain that advances must have been made in shoes recently with fit and cushioned soles. Maybe these will allow the pain to be tolerable. As I enter the stores I couldn’t believe my eyes. Row after row of high heels arranged by the heel height. I must have blocked out this side of the room when I have been shopping for shoes previously. I guess I am typically zeroed in on the flats or flip flops on the opposite side of the room.
As I meander down the stilettos aisle I am completely mesmerized by the sheer number of styles. One pair after another of shoes, the atmospheric change alone would make me become dizzy and my ears pop. This was shocking. A whole subculture must exist that I was not aware of. I have seen my daughter Melissa’s heels that she wears to clubs, but the assortment and sheer numbers of styles available means lots of people are buying these.
And as I walk the aisles I see women my age trying them on. If they can do it, I can do it. Now the challenge was on. I was committed to finding a pair that may be painful but tolerable, but they needed to be safe. Safety is always first for me, pain is one thing but a fall from that height could be fatal.
So on to the next aisle slightly lower but high by my recent standards, they would add a couple inches to my stature. Pair, after pair, after pair, no luck, they were absolutely killing my feet. Worse yet is the fact that my feet are normally AAAA which is a very narrow – so the heels slip in and out with every step… I couldn’t be blessed with a skinny butt and wide feet instead of wide butt and skinny feet, oh well at least I have both parts.
Then the revelation, the solution, and a way I could make this all work! So I pick a cute pair that are also a nice height, a quick stop by the shoe accessory rack and off I go to the check out.
Now the secret, the solution I came up with that only my readers will know, and I don’t mind sharing it with you all, on how to wear high heels, pain free.
It involves a little time, but is well worth it. My shoes are filled to the brim with every imaginable cushion I could find from Foot Petals. They are all lined up on the inside of each shoe – and they have fun names for each; amazing arches, haute heels, killer cushions, strappy strips, heavenly heels, tip toes and petals. I have succeeded in replacing the hard inside surface with pillows of cushion on every surface. Yes, it’s true that I can barely get my foot inside, not as bad as the Spankx incident, but once I have them on they feel really good. I have succeeded.
I figured out why my Grandma and all my tall friends continued to wear heels. It feels good. I realized that it doesn’t have as much to do with the height, I just feel fabulous. I love how I feel. I don’t remember feeling this good when I wore them when I was younger. It must be because now I am wearing them, for me. I am not wearing them to attract men or impress anyone; I just like how I feel.
Now that I am older I know what makes me happiest and if that includes slightly altered high heels, why not. I can even decide to have them on while sitting in my office writing , yes they are on right now with a warm up and I do not feel a bit silly. I just have to be cautious that the dog does not go flying by, and trip me when I get up. It’s like riding a bike, it takes time for the mind and feet to sink up before you are up and walking comfortably again.
I have begun to grasp all those little things that you can’t begin to understand when you are younger.
As I walked out the door to yet another event last night, hair and nails done and high heels on, I smiled as I realized my Grandma would be looking down at me proud, that I too like to wear high heels. But looking up again I see her smile widen as I run back in and grab my tote with my spare pair, just in case there might be dancing