Next I got rid of all my high-heeled shoes. I hadn't worn them very often since I slipped on an outdoor stairway covered with wet leaves and broke my leg. I had already understood that if I had been wearing flat shoes that day I would have avoided a miserable week in the hospital and three months on crutches. Some of these shoes were beautiful in themselves, and giving them away was hard. But it was also a relief, because although fashion magazines don't admit it, high heels always slow you down and hurt your feet. Whenever you are in a restaurant you can see that under the partial cover of the tablecloths at least half the women have taken off their painful spike-heeled pumps and sandals, just as my friends and I used to do. Fashion pretends to be a feminist, but still makes it almost impossible for anyone under her spell to negotiate a subway grating or a rough gravel path, or run for a bus without turning her ankle.