Monday, July 12, 2010

Fighting the Gladiator

I am heading out tonight to a swanky opening at the De Young Museum. An event where all manner of hip, artistic folk will gather to drink champagne, eat some hors d'eouvres (which isn't entirely correct since hors d'eouvres translates in to "apart from the main work" or something that would satisfy your peckishness before the big stuff hits the table) and then view some impressionistic paintings. Me, I prefer the term "amuse-bouche" for my nibbles - not because it's technically different from an hors d'eouvres - but it's easier to spell and pronounce and who, really, doesn't want their mouth amused? Yet, I digress.

So, I need to get gussied up for this soiree. Problem? Since my retirement from the working world a few years ago, my shoe selection has morphed from many pairs of fetching heels to flip flops and flats. Yes, I have become a "comfortable shoe" wearer. Oh no.

I do still own lots of pairs of fetching heels. Most are somewhere in a box in a very dark place in a storage facility. I did bring along a couple of pairs "just in case." There was a time when I wore heels to work every day. I spent lots and lots of hours wearing them, oddly enough, comfortably. But holy moly, I put on a pair to go out the dinner not too long ago. I made a sound akin to a large animal being released from a bear trap when I got in to the car and took those puppies off my feet. AAAAAAAHHHHH! I practically wept with gratitude. It seems that I am out of practice.

So, the shoes I have are out of the question (plus this is a "hip" cocktail party - my heels are standard executive wear Bruno Magli's. Nice shoes, yes! Right for this occasion? No.). I went where all woman looking for the perfect pair of shoes go. To Nordstroms. What did I find? Nothing. Nadda. Zip. Zero. Disappointing.

Seems that the shoe industry has determined that unless you're looking for formal wear, work pumps or tennis shoes you are only interested in a) cute little fancy flats or b) gladiator-type shoes with a 7" heel (could be platform, could be spike - but 7" nonetheless).

If I were say, 20 years younger, the gladiator shoes may have briefly entered the realm of consideration. Not to much now. First, we have already established that walking in heels higher than say 2.5" would be hell. Second, I have no desire to channel my inner gladiator. I am 5'2" inches tall. Gladiator shoes with all the straps and studs and leather reduces my leg length considerably and I appear to then stand only 4'10" tall. Not an attractive look. Plus, given the absence of a chariot and hungry lions, I think that they look ridiculous. Men, you might disagree there. Perhaps going out with Xena the Princess Warrior is a common fantasy? Who knew?

Flats, now I understand these shoes. I believe I mentioned I wear them all the time. But again, when you put them on with a dress-up dress - well, it looks like I am seven years old from the knee down. Or I am standing in a hole. Perhaps I am seven years old standing in a hole? Topped with the head and body of a 50 year old woman? Doesn't matter. It just looks silly. Since I am not seven, or in a hole, maybe people will think I had bunion surgery and that is why I need to wear practical, unimaginative flats? Nope. Just can't go there either.

So I am left with an empty shoe box and nothing to wear to my fancy schmancy cocktail party where I will hob nob with aficionados of art who, I am sure, own appropriate smart, en vogue footwear.

I guess I'm just going to have to casually ask them where they buy them. And I will not look at the art much. I will likely be looking around to see how many woman are channeling their own inner Xena or look like they have first grader feet. What a night.

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