Shoes. I love shoes. Sandals, flats and shoes with the heels on the back. (high heels) I have high-heeled lace boots with pointy toes in black, and granny boots and monster boots and army boots and even rubber ducky yellow boots for the garden. I have blue runners, pink high tops, slip-on half runners and white garden dirt stained runners.
Orange wedge sandals, brown leather strappy sandals, black plastic sandals and a new pair of green/blue striped slip-on sandals. One pair of basic black high heels with rhinestones is all I have for real dress-up days but I have a ton of Birkenstocks and Isotoner footgear.
Packing up my shoes to move made me think about all the precious shoes I have owned; the ones that complete my history and say a lot about who I am. The first memorable pair was of course my Mary James worn to birthday parties and on Easter when we went to Stanley Park and wore our matching outfits; my sister and I. Little brown Lucille ball hats that matched the thin brown stripe on our pink dresses so well.
There are a series of Stanley Park Easter photos wearing different pale blue chiffon dresses with ribbon sashes but in all of them our shoes were the same. Mary Janes-black. Sturdy shoes.
I remember longing for black patent leather and I have one cherished photo were I had on a pair but they didn’t last long. I remember coming home from school walking on a bridge overpass and kicking my feet until one of the black patent leather shoes went sailing over the rail and headed east on the train below. It was the same overpass I stuck my tongue to the cold winter I was 8 because my older sister told me to. Dad ran from the house two blocks away with hot water in a kettle to pour over my tongue so we cold melt it of the icy metal. It was the last time I stuck my tongue on anything other than a lollipop and even then I was cautious.
In high school the shoes that became the love of my life were pink sling-backs bought at the Army and Navy on Hastings for $3. Hot pink. Beautiful plastic, bright and sexy and made me a popular girl in grade ten. Only the hottest chicks would dare to wear pink sling-backs with a mini skirt. Guys threw pennies at me when I walked down the hall and I was in my forties before I knew what that was all about. I was naïve.
When I hitchhiked across Canada in the late 60s I wore army boots. I called them my shit-kickin’ boots but I was more of an Alice in Wonderland type then a shit-kicker back then. Wish I had those boots now.
On my wedding day we were so poor I bought a dress for $11 from Woolworth’s and a big orange hat for $4 and my shoes were white plastic sandals from Woolworth’s that cost $1.49. That fact became apparent to all the wedding guests when they passed my shoe around for bullshit poker. (I never said it was a classy wedding).
Then later when I was pregnant I remember I had this wonderful green pinstripe pantsuit. When I wore it in my ninth month I looked like Al Capone swallowed a watermelon. But the shoes were cool; black slip-ons that looked like men’s penny loafers without the pennies.
By the time I had my second child I was more in to the hippy thing again. For me that style came and went. It came more than it went. I still prefer long skirts and flowing clothes. The second pregnancy found me mostly in thongs. We’re talking about the 70s when thongs were rubber things you wore on your feet not underwear that get stuck up the crack of your bum.
My shoe styles have changed little come to think of it. Actually I think I still have shoes from the 60s and 70s. The only shoes that are no longer in my possession that I still covet are pink sling backs. I wonder if guys would still throw pennies?
Hmm, not likely. People would just be drawn to look at my feet clad in inappropriate plastic pink and think I was senile. Whoever said ‘when I get old I can wear anything I want’ was nuts. Well, sure you can but who wants to look ridiculous?
I think I’ll just slide in to my appropriate granny comfort shoes and go for a walk.