This is neither profound..nor earth shattering but I stumbled upon a piece I wrote for a women’s magazine a few years ago…it was funny and timely as recently the subject of my shoe collection came up at the office..
You see every week, at least once a week I get some errant comment on my foot wear– “how do you wear such high heels?”, “wow those are over the top”… “pretty, but I could never do it”… I always smile politely and try not to engage in full on discussions..what’s the point? If you don’t love heels, you’ll never understand a woman’s obsession with these towers of fantasy.
One of my dear friends, used to be in the shoes business and he and a couple of others were discussing the 4 inch platform suede heels I was wearing in a rural town at a reception I ad arranged for a visiting rock dignitary..
I was asked what was the most I had ever paid for a pair of shoes?
Ones that I kept and still own? Or does it count if I returned them? ( I was thinking, if not already –these people are going to think I am nuts)
The eyes of the group glazed and I knew when I uttered the price I might need smelling salts…
So I went for it. $795.00 Jimmy Choos. Sandals with a large rhinestone that looked like the Hope diamond dangling atop my foot. I bought them for my second wedding probably to take my mind off of the fact that I was making a mistake.
They were astounding and exquisite and made me feel like I had tiaras on my feet. BUT, 15 years in retail taught me quality was important and when I noticed how thin the leather soles were I decided the fact they were more than my mortgage payment was probably a good indicator that I should send them back. As beautiful as they were, they wouldn’t last ..kind of an omen about my marriage…but for a day or two they were wonderful to gaze upon….
In my Corporate Exec years I amassed a collection…my Neiman’s credit card was quite helpful in my quest… Manolo Blahnik patent leather Mary Janes, Gucci sandals that I teeter in whenever I wear them, Pucci sandals with scarf ankle straps and a divine pair of Stuart Weitzman pop art heels…. a few of the most expensive and dear shoes were Ebayed long ago to fund my other habit: Creativity ….but while I had them I always walked a little taller , a little more confident…so I still miss them in a way…
Well it’s quite simple really…
The arch. The curve. The supple leather..the style that takes you to dizzying heights? Cars? Roller Coasters, perhaps? No, neither of these could inspire women’s passion for hundreds of years. We build closets to display them, work entire outfits around them, and in some cases delay our mortgage payments in order to squeeze in an extra pair, two or three. The high heel. We embrace them, strap them on, covet them like jewels and as they elevate us high above the other mere mortals in the world, we fall in love a little more with each step.
Shoes are a billion dollar business. Designers have become cultural icons as if by some private invitation to a Studio 54 party and we can’t get enough. Blahnik, Choo, Weitzman….they are today’s superstars of the pedicured arch. Emma Bowd, author of “Mad About Shoes” once said, “dainty designer heels equate with elegance and style, skyscraper spikes exude sex appeal, and pretty party shoes are simply irresistible. It is no wonder then, that women love shoes.”
So, maybe I have been excessive ..to the tune of 125 pairs (there’s a debate in the casa de Thorestein, Jon thinks 165 so wait with baited breath, I’ll let you know the final number soon….) but man, did some of these delights make me happy.
You see, boyfriends and husbands may come and go, and careers may take nose dives and twists and turns, but the one paramour that will never let you down is that favorite pair of high heeled, well tooled, and delicately designed pair of shoes.
Just think, you can glance down for just a mere moment and take in the beauty that wraps around your ankles and your point of view, mood and attitude can change instantaneously. Case in point, Bette Midler once said, “Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world.”
Well, it worked for Cinderella didn’t it?