This morning, the UPS man delivered the most ridiculous pair of high heels I’ve ever bought. I’m sitting here with them on right now, despite the fact that I am wearing pilled yoga pants and the oldest T-shirt I own. They are about one foot high. They may be ugly and they may be fantastic — I haven’t decided yet.
I ordered these suckers on a whim. I have a new dress that is black and gold, and I needed a new pair of shoes to go with them for an upcoming party. I started hunting around on Zappos and saw the shoes that I have on my feet right now. I showed them to my husband, who loved them immediately.
“No way will you buy those,” he said. “And if you do, no way will you wear them.”
He was right. I found a pair of pumps, gold but otherwise as conservative as you can get, and bought those instead.
When they arrived, though, the shade of gold didn’t match the dress — they were more pink/bronze — so it was back to the Zappos drawing board.
Almost immediately after I restarted my search, this pair of shoes popped up on my screen. I looked at them again. They really were ridiculous. Black suede platform, spiky heel, gold straps that run up to the ankle. They’re so ridiculous I can’t even describe them correctly. Suffice it to say that Cleopatra would have taken a shine to them. And it’s very possible Anna Nicole Smith would have too.
But for some reason, they seemed perfect for the dress. Could I pull them off? Would I be bemoaning them the entire night as my feet swelled and the straps sank into them like vices on a tube steak?
High heels and I have never gotten along very well. I watch other women effortlessly walking in them at cocktail parties and wonder how they do it. They don’t look like they’re teetering. They don’t have Band-Aids protecting their heels. They don’t even look like they’re in any pain.
The women who impress me most are the ones who wear high heels all day long at work. Click, clack, click, clack, they say, as they walk down the hallway, looking so comfortable I suspect they might just continue wearing them when they get home. While they make Manwiches for dinner. While they watch a rerun of “The King of Queens.” While they apply night cream.
As for me? Not a chance. I’ve had nights — fun nights, mind you — whose highlight takes place when I get to the car and can take my heels off. Or pop them off, it would be more accurate to say. My toes are numb at first, kind of like I’ve sustained a touch of frostbite. But then they warm and expand so they start to look like a five-pack of Peeps.
“That’s the stuff,” I’ll say to my husband, rubbing them in ecstasy. He’ll just sit there and shake his head, probably wondering how exactly he married the most unfeminine woman in North America.
Still though, these heels. Like they were pretty awesome. Weren’t they? Or were they ugly? Were they awesome ugly? It was tough to tell. If I wore them, assuming I could walk in them, would I look like I belonged at fashion week in New York City? They would have to make my Ukrainian legs look Frencher, wouldn’t they? Would the other women at the party say, “Woah. Kaprowy’s got her game on tonight.” Or would they say, “Call the fashion police, ladies.”
The only way to know for sure was to buy them. Free shipping, free returns on Zappos, right? Worth a shot.
So this morning they arrived. I was in the middle of writing though. I needed to get the writing in, then fold the laundry, more writing, then 3:15 pickup for Gabrielle. I’d open the shoes this evening when I’d finished my work. Only thing? What to write ye olde column about?
So, to get an idea, I started looking at columns I wrote in November 2013. And there it was: a column about William’s illness. I’d written it days before we received the news that his heart had recovered fully from the virus that attacked it.
Apparently, I hadn’t known what to write about then either so had searched columns from November 2012. That 2013 search had prompted a column about how his recovery had been akin to the countdown of a pregnancy, which had been the hard topic in 2012. I’d ended the 2013 piece by saying:
“Hopefully next November I’ll look back at my columns in search of a topic and find I’m in a completely different place when I open this one.”
And now here I was. That’s when I looked over at the Zappos box sitting on the dining room table. What was I waiting for? Bloody laundry? I got a knife, opened the box and donned the most ridiculous pair of shoes in the world.