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RIP: My Former Self And The Shoes She Wore

I used to pride myself on my unsurpassed skill when it came to walking in ridiculously high heels. None of that wobbling around and tripping all over myself business. So when I had ankle surgery last December, the recovery period was a bitch. Aside from the almost two months on crutches, there have also been the six virtually heel-less months since. I can whip out my lower ones for a couple hours at this point, but beyond that my leg starts giving out spontaneously, sending me into an incredibly attractive floor-ward dive. People love it. The only light at the end of this seemingly epic tunnel of flats—a word I used to consider unfathomably dirty—was my doctor’s promise that, come winter, my ankle would probably be strong enough to deal with “those terrible shoes you love to wear.” So even though it’s not technically a great idea, I’ve been stockpiling. Heeled booties, pretty pumps, wedges that send me soaring well over 6’1”: they are all impatiently awaiting my return in rows of pretty boxes stacked in my closet. It’s a good thing I saved those receipts though, because those lovely little shoes won’t be seeing the light of day any time soon.

As it turns out, I have arthritis in pretty much all my leg joints. I am 20. And yet here I am, ordered to wear flat, sensible shoes almost always and to start a physical therapy routine that’s popular amongst the geriatric set. Seriously?

I know that people are probably right when they say that my health is more important than how good my ass looks in a pencil skirt—for the record, always better when said skirt is accompanied by stilettos—but I’m feeling just a tad bitter right now.

Since leaving behind the frumpy skirts and boring uniformity that came with Catholic school, I’ve spent most of my life in a state of perpetual overdress. From tutus and leather jackets in class to five-inch heels for a three-mile walk, people knew it was me when they heard the light clicking of my stilettos on the floor. And I liked that. I didn’t care at all that there was borderline nothing practical about my look; that was half the fun. (The other half being, of course, the ball-threatening ability that comes with a spiked heel.)

I’d like to say that the right attitude can make anything look fabulous, but I’d be lying to you. Sure, it goes a long way, but a great smile and a black sheath dress still look better with a bad-ass patent peep-toe. Today, I mourn the loss of those devilishly tricky buggers with which I used to spend my days. We were so happy together (see pic at left for proof). Some might say that the relationship was one-sided—me loving them; them assaulting my feet with their high vamps and tight toe boxes—but I maintain that we had a good thing going there. A moment of silence, please.

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