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Sunday, May 6, 2012

In her shoes

High heels.  I don’t find them easy. Those of us of a certain age know that they weren’t always that high. Two to three inches was quite acceptable at one point. No longer, sadly.

My first foray in proper heels was about three years ago. It was my birthday and we were having a gang of friends to dinner. I got a pair of green suede peep toes with five inch heels and an outfit to match. Standing in front of the mirror (key word here; standing) l looked great, and the first three times I walked from the kitchen to the front door to answer it and greet guests, I managed ok. The fourth time I could feel my heels bleeding and my back click in the wrong way. I clomped along bravely and my good friend sitting at the kitchen table beckoned me over.
“Take them off” she said kindly “You look ridiculous.”

A few years later, after having my fourth child I decided it was time to give glamour a go again. I found a pair of black Kurt Geiger boots online that were reduced to forty pounds. On screen they looked fantastic. In the box they looked fantastic. And on, whilst standing in a stationary position they did not let me down. At five and a half inches though, they did made me feel as if I was about to fall forward all the time. I googled “how to walk in high heels”, studied instructional videos on YouTube and practiced at home. (Not while carrying the baby, I hasten to add) and when my neighbour had a party, decided it was time to give them a night out.

She lives close by so it was about 32 steps (yep, I was counting) to her house. My husband was minding the kids so I didn’t have his elbow to lean on, which was unfortunate. After answering the door her husband ushered me into the hall and said that most of the guest were in the kitchen, down a small flight of stairs, at the back of the house. He stood aside and said gallantly
“After you”.
“Oh no, it’s ok,” I said “You go first.”
“Not at all” he insisted “after you.”
“I can’t” I confessed “It’s going to take me a few minutes to get down the steps and I don’t want an audience. Could you go first and just not watch me?”
Holding the wall at both sides, I made it down without major embarrassment.

At eleven it was time to go home and feed the baby. Having spent a significant portion of the evening worrying about how to get back up the stairs I decided to leave by the back door. It led into a lane which in turn led to my house. Even though it was pitch dark, the lane was stony and there was often broken glass, empty cans and god knows what on the ground, I walked home barefoot.     

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