By Barbara Falconer Newhall
Jon picked out his wedding attire in a half hour. I’ve devoted several all-day shopping trips to my wedding outfit and I’m still not done.
Jon feels sorry for me. All that shopping. So many trips to the mall. So many trips into San Francisco.
I feel even sorrier for Jon. His visit to our local Men’s Wearhouse was over and done with in forty minutes.
Our son and his bride had already picked out coat, tie, vest, slacks and shoes for the men in the wedding party. All Jon had to do was go into the store, get measured, try on the ordained shoes and jacket in two different sizes, fill out some paperwork and, boom, he was done.
It’s at times like this that I’m glad I was born female. When there’s a fancy occasion we women, unlike the men I know, don’t settle for a de rigueur uniform. We have choices. We get to shop.
I’ve picked out the dress I’ll be wearing to Peter’s wedding. It’s long and purple and pretty. Last week I was ready to decide on some shoes to go with it.
I was thinking strappy silver sandals with the same one-and-a-half-inch heel I’ve been wearing since I married my – sorta short – husband thirty-six years ago.
That shouldn’t be too hard to find, I thought. Wrong.
Dress shoes for women right now, as you may have noticed, sport heels that go on forever. Wedge heels, spike heels, stack heels – everywhere I looked I saw nothing but heels of skyscraper proportions built to lift their wearers an ankle snapping four or even four-and-a-half inches off the ground.
Ridiculous, I thought as I passed the mannequin at the entrance to Nordstrom. Who would wear those silly chrome wedges with the astronomically high heels?
And who would wear those preposterous gold pumps with the swollen toes in the display case at Steve Madden?
Not me, I thought. I’m sticking with practical, sensible, safe. One-and-a-half inches max. Like always.
Until I saw The Killer Shoes.
There they were, on a table at Nordstrom, daring me to try them on.
Elegant pavé rhinestone straps wrapping just so around ankle and instep. A funky zipper up the back.
And a four-and-a-half-inch heel.
I asked the saleswoman to bring them to me in my size.
I put them on. They were beautiful. My feet were beautiful. My ankles were beautiful.
I stood up. I was beautiful. Statuesque, for heaven’s sake. No longer was I my modest five-foot-three-inch self. I was tall. I was elegant. I towered five feet seven-and-a-half inches above the crowd at Nordstrom. I could see over the tops of their heads.
I could actually see the point of wearing those ridiculously high-heeled shoes.
But then I took a few steps, and I knew right away that The Killer Shoes and I had no future. No way was I going to get through a wedding, let alone a reception, in those heels. I’d fall on my face. I’d break something essential, a hip maybe.
Chastened, I stepped out of The Killers. I put them back in their box and returned to my old reliable, five-foot-three-inch self.
I spent the following days scouring the department stores for a pair of simple, low-heeled, strappy sandals. I found a few. But they were either too expensive, too informal or a poor fit. I settled on too informal as the least of the three evils.
I thought of Jon and his shoes. Shiny. Black. Presentable. Comfy.
Sometimes men have all the luck. But only sometimes. For example, they don’t get to shop for earrings, most of them . . . And that’s what I’m going to do next.
If you enjoyed this post you might also like “I’m the Mother of the Groom, Now What Do I Do?” Also, “Shanghai Chic: Where a Woman’s Style Starts With Her Shoes.” Share this post with friends by clicking on the Facebook, Twitter or Share icons below.