Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Feet First

My feet came in before just about everything else. Not that 12-year old's need any help in the humiliation department, but waking up to find size 9's at the bottom of my constantly changing upper half quickly put a stop to my search for the graceful gawkiness that oh so few middle school girls possessed. A year more and a blessed relocation to the Northwest, I reached my full five feet and eight inches of potential and accepted the fate of my podiadatric genes, focusing my energy to creating hieroglyphs on my Chucks and weirding out boys. It was this move, though, that sparked my interest in vintage clothing (Big Bang, rip), along with a great frustration in finding myriads of hot disco dresses that fit like a glove and endless pairs of  dainty disco heels that made me want to just give up, become an English teacher and invest in Germanic footwear. Converse and Doc Martens became not just a statement, but a necessity. If I couldn't buy vintage, I was only going to wear ethically (yeah, right) produced, non-gendered foot wear. It wasn't until college that I finally lucked out in a little thrift shop on 6th Ave in Tacoma and found a pair of barely worn, cordovan leather, authentically '70s loafer platforms. Platforms with heels! Imagining the looks of confusion I would elicit on campus, I skipped home with them, already planning which polyester skirt and blouse I would pair them with on my next shift at the coffee shop. Feeling quite pleased with my sartorial choice, I examined my new kicks in my apartment, only to find, in faded black ink, "7.5". What? No, I am a 9. A 9 I tell you! Yes, they  were, in fact, men's shoes. They were cute! They had heels! What kind of guy would wear these?! Being the master of avoidance that I was at the time, I just pretended that I didn't see those numbers and went on my way. The shoes were amazingly comfortable and really did a lot to help out my over walked, under fed, calf muscles. By the end of my shift, I had told 4 people already, "Hey, aren't these shoes cool? They're GUYS SHOES!!!"  I rarely find a situation in which I feel that sexiness outweighs quirkiness and generally prefer getting a laugh over a phone number. I got a lot of use out of those shoes, and retired them, along with several better-left-unsaid things, at graduation.
These days, I'm strictly boots. Early 80s Dexter Western Boots are my faves, and increasingly hard to find. I treat each pair with much more respect and care than those silly platforms, generally wearing down a pair completely before I search for the next. My life is told in every rain drop that stains them, my miles I walk told in every centimeter I wear into the soft wooden heels. My mother always told my sister and I to be happy of our feet and proud of our height. It is mostly well-taken advice, though I have to constantly remind myself, that if I was able to fit into these size 6-

I would probably fall over. A whole lot. In the long run, I suppose safety really does win over fashion. Well, i can always console my self with these-


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