I love you, shoes. I lust you. I lurve you. There. I said it.
And I’ve got my reasons. For starters, my man is 6’4″, and I want to be up there, nuzzling his neck. Second, it’s my God-given women’s right to buy heels after heels after heels – bunion be damned. If I want to pin pics of shoes that make me dizzy with glee on pinterest and schlep 7 pairs for a week-long vacation, what’s it to you?
The best part: On those days I look as if I got hit by a garbage truck, at least my feet are smiling.
So I figure Miss13 was born into her shoe lust. OK, you got me. I bought her the most awesome hot pink patent booties ever made back when. And now that her slender little feet have grown into my big-foot size, life is over the top good for both of us. Oh glory day, now we can share.
When she was 12, my daughter begged for dainty 1-inch heels to wear to a wedding. I hid my smile as she wobbled around on slim ankles, all hunched over. At home, she would wander into my closet, strap into my 4-inchers and tiptoe around like a baby giraffe trying to stay up.
“How do you walk in these?” she’d ask, buckling, marveling at my ability to step heel first in them as though they were part of my legs. That was the trick, I told her. Pretending they were.
A year later, Miss13 was deep into the Bar Mitzvah party circuit. We had stopped in a mall shoe store for my scan-the-sale-rack hit of ecstasy when she spotted it. It was high, with the secret platform that tricked your feet into being able to walk. Black suede, studded all over. Some kind of exotic candy.
“Ohhhhhhhhhh, Mom,” she breathed, holding that baby into the light, where it sparkled. “Can we just try them on?”
“Isn’t it kind of, um, old for you?” I asked, secretly thinking it was kinda young for me. Too whimsical, too much fun.
“Love,” she whispered, the shoe spell taking over. “Love, love, love.”
A few minutes later, my little girl didn’t look so little anymore. In fact, she looked about 5’8″ as she practiced her heel-toe strides across the floor and nearly bumped into a friend of mine – a no-nonsense mom whose daughter, another Miss13, is perfectly comfortable in ballet flats. I watched as my friend’s eyes drifted down and collided with those candy shoes with a bang. She looked at me with raised brows and said simply, “You’re not buying her those, are you?”
My daughter’s eyes were on me, too. Four eyes altogether, waiting for the verdict that would make me either a good or bad Mom, depending which head you belonged to.
My friend didn’t have to say more. In her mind, those heels would give my child permission to grow up too fast. They were a costume used to change my girl into someone she was not – yet. Someone inappropriately dressed, someone slutty.
My daughter didn’t have to say more, either, although when my friend left the store, she did.
“You know I’d only wear them to parties with a really simple outfit,” she told me. “Something classy, with no jewellery. The shoes would be the outfit. Please, Mom? We could share them. I’d feel so good in them.”
Born with an eye for style, my kid can outfit me better than any personal shopper. At 13, she’s a trendsetter, and she knows it. She’s not slutty, and no shoes will change that – unless she lets them. Like me, she’s a shoe freak, but unlike me, she’s downright confident about her looks. Unlike me, she doesn’t have to grow into that.
Those shoes now live quietly in Miss13’s closet, and since the day they moved in, she’s worn lots of heels – mostly my simple black ones. But while she feels fine entering a party standing tall, she’s discovered that after an hour or so, heels fight back.
That’s her cue to slip them off and dance in bare feet the rest of the night. The fact is, in eighth grade, most of those boys come up to her chin anyway. And it’s way more fun hanging out down there, she says, with them.