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For the Love of a Perfect Shoe

ShoeI should have bronzed them and placed them on a fireplace mantel– a tribute on an altar to the shoe Gods. Those shoes were the sexiest, most wicked, most wonderful, bunion making black shoes I had ever owned. The purchase came at a time when I could least afford it–$60.00 for a pair of shoes in 1985 was a lot of money. Like I said, they were black.  They were black and high, with pointy toes and a little strap around the ankle that added to the allure. They were the ultimate “come hither” pumps.

The shoes, when lying on a carpet, looked like they should have an empty martini glass and a black lace bra lying next to them… real heart breaking, damage doing leather accouterments reserved for a Catholic girl who took all those many years of guilt producing catechism and slipped it into a pair of shoes that could be worn with a strut. God, I loved those shoes. They were practically a religious experience.  They gave me moxie on first dates, second dates, and “I might let you come home with me” dates.  They were familiar with dancing at the Roxy till closing time, and Donte’s–a little jazz club in the valley where I once watched Gabor Szabo fall off of the stage on a particularly wild night.  They had wobbled me home from dinners at the Ivy and nightcaps at the Hotel Bel-air.  They glided across carpeted rooms in a way that turned heads.  In short, those shoes were the world’s biggest confidence booster.

For a year I wore them with just about everything. My closest was not of the Imelda Marcus variety, but rather the single working girl variety. Among practical work clothes, I owned one classic black dress and one pair of fabulous shoes. Whenever I put those shoes on, I felt like a million bucks, and even as the heels wore away and the pointy toes became wrinkled, the counter slightly scuffed, my love was faithful. Putting them into the plastic bag that went to the Goodwill was a sad, and grieving day.

I cannot wear high heels anymore. I am at the sensible flats age of life, and I refuse to torture my feet , hips or low back the way that I used to regardless of how gorgeous the shoe is. Still, as a bonafied elder, the advice that I have for young women is this: a little torture may be worth the price.  Always have a perfect pair of black, sexy shoes in your closet that lets you strut your stuff and know that you are “all that!” You’re only young once.


Thanks to a Daily WordPress Prompt from the friends at WordPress!


Novelist, essayist, blogger, wife, dog-mommy, dancer, dreamer, grateful.

12 thoughts on “For the Love of a Perfect Shoe

  1. Hi Stephanie
    I really liked your shoe article; they became almost a person in and of themselves, didn’t they. We’ve all had those terrible days when we’ve had to say goodbye to an irreparably broken car, one that we have sat in for so many years, and then been engulfed by weeping.

  2. Start with a post like this and you could write a book-length memoir!

    Confidence (with a capital “C”) must be life’s highest high. I mean the kind of “strut your stuff,” head-turning confidence you describe here. I’ve never experienced it, but I expect young men could find it in owning a fabulous Pontiac or perhaps Thunderbird, back in the day. You could probably get almost that high with a Mustang in a few special years, or even a 1959 Chevy Impala convertible. The 1959 Impala convertible must have given one wings to fly.

    I endorse your advice. Any person who has the opportunity to experience such confidence — and I agree it’s probably attainable only when you’re young — should grab for it. There are other, lesser confidences that one can be born with or gain over time, but I think you’ve described the most rarefied form here.

    1. 1969 powder blue Mustang…that was the car of my dreams. I settled for a 1969 powder blue VW bug with a sun roof that you cranked open. And at the time of the perfect black shoes, I was driving a beat up Chevy Vega that hardly paved the way for an entrance–though the shoes made up for it! 😉

  3. Oh yes. After a week of having French women in the house it is clear that the difference between what we teach young women and the French way is this – we are taught to be careful with our physical gifts, to apologize for them in a way. French girls are taught to manage their physical beauty, to own it. Shoes – I swear that French women give birth to baby girls already in shoes such as you describe. The young women in my house this past week, and their mother as well (I met the grandmother also, once…same attitude) were all so EMPOWERED. Fashion sense is just a part of it. It was a beautiful thing to see.

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