Thursday, January 2, 2014

love affair with high heels: the sexiness of selling out & giving in

In my second trimester, I still wore heels to work almost everyday, but I especially wore them on days when I only had to be at the campus for four hours or so. dolled up, I would hang on to the railings of our walk up apartment and manage the stairs with as much grace as possible, trying not to look dragged down by the enormous and numerous literature books and student papers that I had to shuffle back and forth, all while walking the planks in heels. 

One morning, while I was five and a half months pregnant, I was making my way down the stairs in such a way, wearing purple suede stiletto booties, textured tights and a pencil skirt. The old woman that lived in the apartment below Tim and I was always outside, taking care of her garden. She always waved and would yell things like, "Have a wonderful day, beautiful girl," but we had never had a full conversation. However, that morning, she spent an exceeding amount of time explaining to me that I should never, under any circumstances, stop wearing high heels. She gave me fair warning that if I ever stop wearing heels, then I will get fat, which she said is what happened to her.

She may have traumatized me a little. I have about 80 pairs of shoes, and about 60 of them are high heels. When I was a teenager, I lived in Chuck Taylor's and Doc Marten's (which I still wear all the time), but I never wore heels. I felt to put on; I felt like heels made me too demanding.

But when I took out my nose ring, tongue ring and spacers from my ears, when I decided to grow my hair long and do something different, it all went along with wearing high heels. I still felt like a sell out about it. I remember the end of SLC Punk!, after Bob overdoses, and wealthy kid Stevo decides to sell out, forget his image, dig college with Trish, and become a kind of intellectual. 

Yeah, I felt like that. 

When I was eighteen, I started making my own clothes and I needed to wear heels. I mean, really wear heels. I didn't want to be one of those girls that walked like a dinosaur in heels or that leaned against the walls in heels. I wanted to be one of those girls that could dance like a banshee in heels, that walked down a hall in heels, legs swinging like pendulums, the rhythmic click click click so steady that it becomes some kind of anthem that moves ahead of you. 

That took a lot of work. My parent's built their house in a circle and the floors are wood, so it was the perfect place to practice my walk, especially because they have tons of animals that will dodge in front of you and step on your heels nonstop, and my mom would sometimes be around, laughing at me and making fun of me, which was fine. She's only five foot tall and wears heels with the best of them, and I appreciate a good naysayer. It just makes me work harder. So I worked those cheap black leather pumps with the 3 inch heel. Then I worked a 4 inch strappy sandal with a buckle ankle and thin toe strap when my best friend Liz came to town. Then I worked a 6 inch zip up platform bootie, and at this point, I can dance in anything. 

And I did. Cut to now, and I am almost 32 weeks pregnant. I mostly wear wedges and ballet flats to work, and this is mostly because every room I teach in is on the third floor, and I refuse to take the elevator unless I am carrying a lot of books or a hot tea. I read about how I will be more prone to accidents and making dumb mistakes right now, and after the kitten jumped out at me and I slammed into a door, I have stopped walking into dark rooms. I hear horror stories about my feet getting bigger because of pregnancy and all, but that has not happened yet (I pray this doesn't happen; I did just say I have 80 pairs of shoes). I don't wear the heels I have to he conscious of, the ones I know are extravagant and dangerous; I don't even try them on. I hardly look at them because it's like a surprise, it's like dating the man of your dreams. You don't want to rush things because the day dreams and that rush and awkwardness is so exhilarating, and you think you'd combust if you had to take it all in at once, so you take it all in slowly. Inch by inch.

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