I'm no Carrie Bradshaw. I don't have shoes in my oven. I don't shod above my station in shoes I can't afford. My shoe closet couldn't be liquidated into an apartment down payment.
But I still like shoes -- I like the way a sexy heel can accentuate my legs, the strut a heel automatically produces, a shoe that brings an outfit together perfectly or even the carefree bohemian attitude a Hawaiiana creates.
When I moved from Philadelphia to South Beach, I owned a few pairs of boots for winter, 2.5-inch heels for going out and 2-inch heels for work. I also had a pair of glittery sparkly platform shoes purchased for a costume party. Brown, black, silver and gold were the only colors in my shoe closet: plenty, it seemed. The longer I live in South Beach, the more red, blue, teal, pink, purple and green swatches of color snuck in my shoe closet. Bedazzled accessorized shoes proudly stake their claim now too. When I moved from more corporate Miami jobs to the world of marketing Spanish telenovelas, my heels got higher and higher, half an inch at a time.
In the last few weeks I broke three pairs of shoes from hard living and walking. Others pairs were worn down. My show closet needed a recharge. I went to a favorite shoe store and looked around, ready to buy. The store was full of six-inch heels. Only. With this extra height, I'd be taller than three-quarters of Miami. The three- to four-inch heels I previously thought were high now looked like Barbie's little sister Skipper in her training bra.
I asked the sales associate if she had anything for non-strippers or transvestites. She showed me a flat or one inch heel, but I can do better than that. She showed me a beautiful purple and blue six-inch heel. I tried it on for fun. My legs looked ah-mazing. I could walk. Kinda. I towered over the gorgeous Lenny Kravitz-lookalike shoe salesman. I even towered over his hair. The shoes also came in gold with leopard print. Or blue, celeste and white. Or platinum. Or titanium. My legs looked great, six inches was the only heel available and I was there to spend. Maybe shoes aren't really for mobility. I got them all. I took them home and put them in my closet where they dwarfed all my other shoes, except the sparkly platform "costume" shoes. They were the exact same height, separated at birth.
The next day I sported my new purple and blue shoes to work, giddy like a child on the first day of school. I was styling -- hip, colorful, right off the runways. I strode around my office. Slowly. I towered over everyone I encountered -- men, women, even a maintenance guy on a step-ladder. I kept waiting for someone to channel Ru Paul and say, "You'd better work. Sashay shante." No one said anything at first. Perhaps they were too busy craning their necks. At the coffee machine I thought I heard a couple of people screaming up to me that they liked the shoes, but I couldn't really hear them well from my perch in the clouds.
At lunchtime my back hurt. By the end of the day I was barefoot in the office. When I got home I had to ice my back. I woke up with my back still throbbing and called for a chiropractor appointment. I'll return the other shoes if I can get out of bed to walk over there. I've never been all function over fashion, but this fashion knocked the function out of me.